How to add a Second Monitor in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to add a second or external monitor in Windows 11. Windows is capable of working with multiple displays or monitors. If you have additional monitors that you want to extend your work to, simply plug into your Windows machine and start working.

If you’re adding a second display to your desktop computer with dual display adapter, then make sure all the monitors’ cables are securely fastened. If adding a second display to your laptop, then connect the second display to a compatible display port on your laptop and make sure it’s securely seated.

Once the second monitor is attached correctly, Windows will automatically detect and duplicate your desktop on both or all monitors. If the second monitor is not displaying anything, then do this:

Select Start Settings System Display. Your PC should automatically detect your monitors and show your desktop. If you don’t see the monitors, select Multiple monitors tile and click Detect.

With two screens, these display modes are available to use:

  • PC screen only: See things on one display only.
  • Duplicate: See the same thing on all your displays.
  • Extend: See your desktop across multiple screens. When you have displays extended, you can move items between the two screens.
  • Second screen only: See everything on the second display only.

How to set up additional monitors in Windows 11

When you set up a second monitor in Windows, Windows will automatically recognize it and configure it with the recommended resolution to get the most out of your displays.

However, if the systems doesn’t automatically identify or recognize the second monitor, follow the steps below to have Windows detect your displays.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click System, and select Display tile on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

Your PC should automatically detect your monitors and show your desktop.

If you don’t see the monitors, select Multiple monitors tile and click Detect.

If Windows detects the second monitor, it will show up and allow you to you to adjust the settings for each one.

How to identify a display in Windows 11

Once all displays are detected, Windows will show a number which corresponds to a display. Go to Settings > System Display Identify. A number appears on the screen of the display it’s assigned to.

How to arrange your displays in Windows 11

With multiple displays, you can change how they’re arranged. You can drag your displays to the relative positions you want. This is helpful if you want your displays to match how they’re set up in your home or office.

In Display settings, select and drag the display to where you want (left to right or right to left). Do this with all the displays you want to move. When you’re happy with the layout, select Apply.

You can also select the orientation, resolution or scale, and refresh rate to apply additional settings.

Read the post below to learn how to change your display orientation.

How to change display orientation in Windows 11

That should do it!


This post showed you how to add a second monitor in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.