Mastering Multiple Monitors in Windows

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
Yeah, good point. If you're new and never set up two monitors it can be a daunting task ..... I think too many out here forget what it was like in their own "early days" .....
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,826   +763
For more advanced users looking for more control over window snapping (known yesteryear as Aero snapping), the FancyZones utility included Microsoft PowerToys (https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/powertoys/fancyzones) allows custom zoning with granular control per physical display, or treating all displays as one logical display, as well as being able to define multiple layouts to be able to change to at will.

I particularly like doing the latter as I have three displays. With programs or games (running windowed mind you) that have UIs that rely on sidecars, I'll "push" those sidecars off to their respective adjacent screens, giving me more space on the main display for whatever I am doing, while also defining the zones immediately to the left or right so I don't cover anything up.
 

GreenNova343

Posts: 445   +332
Most of us probably are familiar with setting up multiple monitors, but we've now had the fairly new deal of potentially working with using the same "multiple monitor" setup with different PCs. For example, I have 2 monitors for use at home, but I use one of them with my work laptop at home to have 2 screens. Usually this meant having to physically connect each cable to the monitor to switch back & forth. Finally decided to spring for a DVI switch (monitor in question only has DVI & VGA plugs, so DVI is the better choice), so now I just click a button to switch back & forth.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,826   +763
Most of us probably are familiar with setting up multiple monitors, but we've now had the fairly new deal of potentially working with using the same "multiple monitor" setup with different PCs. For example, I have 2 monitors for use at home, but I use one of them with my work laptop at home to have 2 screens. Usually this meant having to physically connect each cable to the monitor to switch back & forth. Finally decided to spring for a DVI switch (monitor in question only has DVI & VGA plugs, so DVI is the better choice), so now I just click a button to switch back & forth.
I remember doing that at work when I was in a smaller office. I had a second screen that I'd use with my main computer and also with a KVM when setting up multiple PCs at once, so I used a small 2 port VGA selector depending on what I was doing at the moment. Worked great for the time
 

Hodor

Posts: 418   +299
This article would be quite enough, if Microsoft had unit and integration tests, so that code they write gets tested. But as I seriously doubt they have that, here's a bug you'll encounter from time to time:

1. Let's say you have a big monitor attached to your laptop.
2. Laptop is closed and stored in a drawer, so you aren't even using its small screen.
3. You tell Windows your big external screen is the main screen, while laptop's screen is irrelevant.
4. You start a few apps, and they correctly open themselves on the big main screen.

5. A few days later (maybe after an automatic system update) you open one of those apps..... and they disappear. You can see them in the task bar, but their window is nowhere to be found.

6. Eventually you find out that Windows has open it on the laptop's irrelevant, unused, always closed monitor. Why? Just because. It's Windows. Don't ask.

And now, finally, my advice........ instead of opening the laptop's small screen and dragging the window back to the big screen, there's a nice keyboard shortcut:

Windows key + Shift + Left/Right Arrow

This will move the currently active app (in the task bar) to the monitor left or right from the current monitor.
 

mbk34

Posts: 418   +323
How do you force the sound to come from the laptop and not from the supporting screen? I find it a little annoying to be speaking to people on zoom on my laptop but having the sound coming from another screen.
 

jason lee

Posts: 42   +37
Attn laptop designers: you see the thumbnail image of the user with an external keyboard? They need to design laptops that can remove the built in keyboard in the front to make extra space for the screen to come closer to the viewer. For instance- tent mode. Laptop screens are small as it is, and with an external keyboard the laptop has to sit farther away, making the screen harder to engage with.
 

Fastturtle

Posts: 105   +52
Kepe in mind that some GPU's insist that the HDMI port is the primary. I've got that problem with a Radeon 5600xt so any time I plug in my Wacom One, it takes over and screws the resolution up for the 27 that is my primary display.
 

GreenNova343

Posts: 445   +332
How do you force the sound to come from the laptop and not from the supporting screen? I find it a little annoying to be speaking to people on zoom on my laptop but having the sound coming from another screen.
Depends on if you have admin access on the laptop or not, but usually it's just disabling the sound hardware in Settings. If you don't have admin access, your IT department should be able to handle that.
 

passingposeidon

Posts: 38   +51
How do you force the sound to come from the laptop and not from the supporting screen? I find it a little annoying to be speaking to people on zoom on my laptop but having the sound coming from another screen.

Both Windows itself, as well as most applications with fleshed out settings/options will allow you to choose an Output device. Windows lets you pick the Default, which many applications also allow you to choose a specific output device.

When you connect a monitor, sometimes the monitor also appears as an Output device and may somehow end up as the Default, or otherwise an Application may use it.

If you go into control panel -> sound and disable all of the other output devices except the one you want, that works. Or maybe you do want the option to use them all.