Whether you work hard or play hard, multiple… monitors give you more room to get things done. Write a document on one screen while viewing web pages on the other screen, or game on one while chatting on the other. Discord of the other. But don't just plug in a second screen and leave it at that: these tips will help you get the most out of that multi-monitor setup.

Match monitors

If your monitors are the same brand and model, you can probably skip this section. Once you plug them both in, Windows should automatically extend your desktop horizontally. Just adjust the stand of each monitor so they are perfectly aligned and you can start working.

However, if you have two different monitors, you may need to try a little more to get them to match well. For example, you can plug your laptop into an external display and use them side by side, or you have a monitor from the company's product line. 4K monitor alongside a 1080p monitor. This will produce some weird behaviors, but they are easy to fix.

Right-click on the desktop and choose Display Settings. Under Rearrange your displays to rearrange your displays, click and drag the rectangles to match the orientation of the monitors on your desk, for example, if one is slightly lower than the other. This way, when you move your cursor to the left, it appears in the same spot on the left monitor instead of jumping up or down the screen. You may need to do some trial and error to get them lined up correctly.

Scroll down to the Scale and Layout section to adjust each monitor's resolution and scaling. So if one monitor is 4K and the other is 1080p, you can set each monitor to its native resolution but increase the scaling on the higher resolution monitor, so your windows appear the same size on each. (If you want to set up a monitor in portrait mode, you can also do that here).

To go one step further, you can use each monitor's built-in settings to adjust the brightness and color to match as closely as possible. Once you change all of these settings, your monitors should match up much more closely, making it easier and more enjoyable to move windows between them.

Edit your taskbar

6 ways to improve your setup at dual screen

By default, Windows 10 extends your taskbar to both monitors, which can be handy – although you can customize it a bit more to your liking. Right-click on the taskbar and choose Taskbar Settings. There are a lot of useful options here, but if you scroll down to Multiple Displays you'll see what we're interested in.

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The first switch removes the taskbar from your secondary screen. This is how I personally choose to use multiple monitors because it puts all my shortcuts in one place.

If you choose to keep the taskbar extended across both screens, you can decide where you want the individual icons to appear: on both screens, on the main taskbar, and on the taskbar where the window of the application is open, or only on the active screen of the application. You can also choose whether you want taskbar buttons to have labels, like Windows XP.

Look for super wide wallpapers

Although fancy wallpapers won't increase your productivity, they are one of the most interesting aspects of using multiple monitors, so we need to include them here. While most wallpaper sites offer multi-monitor options, there are a few sites that specialize in superwide wallpapers, including Dual Monitor Wallpapers, WallpaperFusion, and subreddits like /r/ multi-wall.

Once you have a wallpaper (or a collection of wallpapers) that you like, right-click on the desktop and select Personalize. Navigate to the image or folder in question and choose Span to fill the space on all your screens.

Study your shortcuts

The beauty of multiple monitors—especially when compared to ultrawide and superwide monitors—is the ability to dock windows to the edges of each screen, making it easy to display multiple windows at once. Although you can always drag your windows and resize them using the mouse, this is strenuous and time-consuming.

That's why Windows 10 has a few shortcuts that can help you, including:

Most of these shortcuts also work when you only have one monitor, but the more monitors you add, the more useful they become.

Fix that errant cursor

While triple monitors allow you to spread the game across all your displays – using Nvidia Surround or AMD Eyefininity settings – dual monitors don't work as well good for super wide gaming, since your crosshairs would be right on the edges of the monitor. You can, however, play on one monitor while having a chat window, chat window, or GPU monitor on the other.

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Most games can run this way without problems, but you may find that in some cases your cursor can "drift" to the other monitor while you're still in the game. This has happened to me with several titles, including The Witcher, Doom, and Metro: Last Light.

Luckily, an enterprising developer set out to fix this with a tool called Cursor Lock, and in my experience, it works like a charm. Launch the program, check the Open program and then enter the path to the game's EXE file. This will create a new shortcut for you to use.

Now when you launch the game using this hotkey, your cursor should stay "locked" to the game window unless you do the following Alt+Tab to exit it. If that doesn't work, the game in question may need some additional options, which you can learn about in the "Cursor Lock video tutorial."

Do even more with DisplayFusion

If after all that you still want more, a third-party tool called DisplayFusion was designed with multiple displays in mind. With DisplayFusion, which runs in the system tray, you can better control your wallpapers, create custom keyboard shortcuts, align windows to the edges of any screen, or automatically reduce screen brightness. inactive monitor so as not to be distracted.

Seriously, this program is loaded with useful options, so download the free version to try it out for yourself. It's a bit more limited in features than the paid version, but if you like what you see, you can purchase a license for $30. I bought it seven years ago and I haven't regretted it for a second.

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