How to Setup Your Computer for Dual Monitors

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I’m loving the dual-monitor computer system Lenovo sent me for review and giveaway. In my opinion, most dads and moms will be more productive with two 19″ monitors instead of one super hugemongous monitor. With two applications side by side on my 22″ screen, I have to scroll horizontally and vertically. But with two 19″ Lenovo displays, I can maximize an application on each screen and rarely have to scroll sideways. And if you have a home office like this geek dad, you can stream an ESPN game on one monitor while you work on MS Word or Excel on the other screen. Just don’t tell the boss.

As some geek dads know, Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, and XP has built-in support for multiple monitors (see my how-to instructions for dual displays). However, not all desktop computers have the hardware to support multiple displays. Your computer needs two Video Graphics Array (VGA) connectors, two Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connectors, or one of each. That’s one of the things I like about the Lenovo ThinkCentre A63 tower computer and ThinkVision L1951P LCD monitor — they have two video ports (VGA and DVI). [Note: the Lenovo ThinkVision LCD displays also come with both VGA and DVI cables.] If your PC only has a single video connector, you will need to upgrade the video, buy a second video card, or purchase a USB to DVI/VGA adapter.

If you have a spare monitor and a computer with multiple video ports (like a laptop), follow the Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, and XP instructions below to set up two monitors on a single computer.

How to Instructions for Setting Up a Computer with Two Monitors

Setting up two Lenovo ThinkVision LCD monitors on a Lenovo ThinkCentre A63 Windows desktop computer

Microsoft Windows 7

  • Right click on your desktop
  • Click Screen resolution
  • Under Multiple displays, select Extend these displays
  • Click OK

[Note: if the mouse can't move from the left screen to the right screen, then drag the icon for screen #2 to the left of the icon for screen #1. Then click Apply.]

Microsoft Vista

  • Right click on your desktop
  • Click Personalize
  • Click Display Settings
  • Click on the icon for monitor #2
  • Check the box for Extend the desktop onto this monitor
  • Click OK

Microsoft XP

  • Right click on your desktop
  • Click on Properties
  • Click on Settings
  • Click on the icon for monitor #2
  • Check the box for Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor
  • Click OK

[Disclosure: I received a dual monitor computer system for review from Lenovo. However, I'm not keeping it. The PC will be given away on this geek dad blog.]

2 thoughts on “How to Setup Your Computer for Dual Monitors

  1. If you use multiple monitor system, I recommend you to try Actual Multiple Monitors (http://www.actualtools.com/multiplemonitors/). It is a most powerful multiple monitor management utility that helps to gain maximum performance in multi-monitors environment.

    Actual Multiple Monitors adds taskbar to second display and the second taskbar has all features of main taskbar like Start button and tray area with notification icons.

    Actual Multiple Monitors has new window controls specially designed for a work with multiple monitors:additional button in each window’s title bar to move a window instantly to any monitor or maximize it to entire desktop.

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