FIX Windows 10 Not Detecting Second Monitor [Quick Tutorial]

 

 

How to Repair a Missing Second Monitor in Windows 10
Published on May 24, 2022 by Mauro Huculak

If Windows 10 isn’t detecting the external monitor, try the troubleshooting steps below.

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Settings for Windows 10’s second monitor detection
Settings for Windows 10’s second monitor detection (Image courtesy of Windows Central)
Connecting a second monitor to Windows 10 expands the desktop canvas, allowing you to work with numerous apps and play games on your laptop or desktop computer.

Although configuring an external display is usually simple, Windows 10 may fail to detect older displays or second monitors due to driver or hardware issues. If your computer has a problem, you can use several troubleshooting steps (such as checking the connection and installing the correct drivers) to quickly resolve the issue.

This Windows 10 guide will walk you through three practical ways to troubleshoot and resolve issues that may be preventing the system from automatically detecting the second monitor.

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How to Troubleshoot External Monitor Connection Issues Using Hardware
When your computer fails to detect the second external display, it could be due to a software issue, but it could also be due to a problem with the physical connection or the monitor itself.

If the monitor does not appear in the settings, follow these steps before tinkering with the Windows 10 configuration settings:

Ascertain that the monitor is powered on.
Check that the monitor is turned on.
To refresh the connection, restart the computer.
Select the appropriate input port using the monitor’s built-in controls.
Examine the connection between the monitor and the graphics card’s signal cord.
Disconnect both ends of the signal cable, wait 60 seconds, and then firmly rejoin it.
Replace the signal cable to ensure you are not dealing with a faulty cable.
DisplayPort and HDMI have multiple versions, so verify with the manufacturer for specifics to ensure you have the right cable.
If the display and graphics card have numerous ports, switch between them.
Connect the monitor to a different computer to investigate if the issue is with the external display.
Connect another known functional monitor to ensure that the problem isn’t with the graphics card.
Disconnect all peripherals (including printers, cameras, and USB devices) to ensure that no other devices are interfering with the display.
If you have a Surface Pro 8 docked, unplug it and attach the display directly to the PC to ensure the issue is not with the dock.
Update the firmware on the external monitor to aid with bug fixes and compatibility issues (uncommon).
If the simple troubleshooting techniques listed above do not resolve the second monitor, there may be a software-related issue that you can resolve using the steps below.

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How to Troubleshoot External Monitor Connection Issues Using Settings
After establishing that there isn’t a physical problem with the connection, monitor, or computer, you can force the system to recognize the second display using the Settings app.

Force detection of a second display
To manually detect a second monitor in Windows 10, follow these steps:

Navigate to Settings.
Select System.
Select Display.
To connect to the external monitor, go to the “Multiple displays” section and click the Detect button.
Identify an external monitor

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(Optional) Click the Detect button in the bottom-right corner of the “Rearrange your displays” area (if applicable). Please keep in mind that if you only have one monitor, the choice will not be available because it is only available when connecting several screens.
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When you finish the procedures, Windows 10 should recognize the external monitor that is attached to the computer.

Connect an external wireless display
Follow these instructions to connect a wireless display to Windows 10 as a secondary screen on your computer:

Navigate to Settings.
Select Devices.
Select Bluetooth and other devices.
Activate the Bluetooth toggle switch (if applicable).
Add Bluetooth or another device by clicking the button.
Include Bluetooth and other device support.

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Select the Wireless display or docking station option.
Windows 10 wireless secondary display connected

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Check that the wireless display is turned on and discoverable (refer to device documentation).
Choose a display from the list (wireless monitor, TV, or PC with Miracast capabilities).
Follow the on-screen instructions (if applicable).
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When you finish the instructions, the wireless display will be recognized as a new external display.

How to resolve external monitor connection issues with the most recent graphics drivers
A faulty, obsolete, or corrupted graphics driver can cause issues that prevent Windows 10 from immediately identifying a second monitor. The simplest way to resolve this issue is to update, reinstall, or downgrade the driver.

Update your graphics driver.
Follow these steps to update the graphics card driver via Windows Update:

Navigate to Settings.
Select Update & Security.
Select Windows Update.
Select the View optional updates checkbox. If the option is not available, Windows Update does not have a more recent driver.
Optional Updates for Windows 10

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Choose the Driver updates option.
On Windows 10, check for graphics driver updates.
Windows Update will install a graphics driver and repair monitor detection.

Windows Central is the source. (Image courtesy of Windows Central)
Click the Install and Download button.
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When you finish the procedures, Windows Update will install the graphics driver, resolving the external monitor detection issue.

If Windows Update does not offer a more recent driver version, go to the manufacturer’s support page to download and install one (if available).

Install the graphics driver again.
Follow these procedures to replace a damaged video driver in Windows 10:

Start the program.
To access the app, search for Device Manager and select the top result.
Expand the Display adapters branch by double-clicking it.
Right-click the adapter and choose Uninstall device.
Driver removal in Device Manager

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Remove the driver software from this device choice (if applicable).
Select the Uninstall option.
Delete driver option in Device Manager

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Start the computer again.
Reopen Device Manager. Quick note: The system should automatically detect the monitor again. If this is not the case, you can manually check for changes to reinstall the display.
Right-click the computer’s name and choose Scan for hardware changes.
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Option to scan for new devices in AD Device Manager

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When you finish the procedures, Windows 10 will automatically reinstall the driver. However, following the procedures outlined above will ensure that the driver is properly installed.

Revert the graphics driver
If the machine was recently updated or the graphics driver was manually changed, and Windows 10 is unable to identify the second monitor, reverting to an earlier version of the driver may remedy the problem.

Follow these steps to uninstall and reinstall an older version of a graphics driver on Windows 10.

Start the program.
To access the app, search for Device Manager and select the top result.
Expand the Display adapters branch by double-clicking it.
Right-click the graphics adapter and choose Properties.
Option for device properties in Device Manager

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Navigate to the Driver tab.
Roll back the driver by clicking the Roll Back Driver button. You cannot use this rollback method if the option is not available. You may, however, be able to utilize an older version from the device manufacturer’s support page (if available).

 

Option for AD Device Manager driver rollback

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To respond to the question, choose one of the options.
Select the Yes option.
Settings for driver rollback

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Reboot the device.
After you’ve finished the instructions, Windows 10 should begin rendering material on the external display.

Using the manufacturer’s control panel, update the graphics driver.
Although Windows 10 may automatically install drivers for most graphics cards, the drivers available through Windows Update are not always the most up-to-date. Companies such as NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel provide tools to easily install the newest updates that may assist to fix external display difficulties if you need to install the latest driver.

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Depending on your manufacturer, use the following sites to download the drivers:

Driver & Support Assistant from Intel
GeForce Experience by NVIDIA (opens in new tab)
Adrenaline Edition AMD Radeon Software
The installation of the manufacturer’s control panel application is straightforward. You only need to download and double-click the installer from the links above, then follow the on-screen instructions to finish the setup and check for updates.

Alternatively, you can follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s support website to get the drivers directly. You can find the drivers by following the links below:

NVIDIA Intel (opens in new tab)
AMD
Examine the manufacturer and driver versions.
Follow these procedures to determine the graphics card vendor and driver version in Windows 10.

Start the program.
To access the app, search for System Information and select the top result.
Expand the Components branch on the left pane by double-clicking.
Choose the Display option.
To determine the driver’s card model and the current version, confirm the Adapter Type and Driver Version information.
Graphical information on the system

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Once you’ve completed the procedures, utilize the links above to locate, download, and install the appropriate driver.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 is one of the greatest graphics cards available right now due to its excellent performance and connectors for connecting multiple displays. Other GPUs that may meet your budget can be found in our list of the best graphics cards.

 

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The RTX 3080 supports multiple monitors.

If you need to replace your graphics card, the RTX 3080 is an excellent choice. Not only does it have superb gaming and workload performance, but it also has several DisplayPort and HDMI connectors and is ideal for multi-monitor setups.

Finally, keep in mind that manufacturers (such as Dell, HP, Razer, Acer, and Microsoft) frequently modify the original drivers in order to improve their devices. As a result, if you have a branded computer (also known as an Original Equipment Maker (OEM) computer), you should always use the graphics driver available from the device manufacturer before attempting those available from the graphics card manufacturer to avoid difficulties.

Additional Windows resources
More articles, coverage, and answers to frequently asked questions regarding Windows 10 and Windows 11 can be found at the following websites:

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