How To Fix Windows 10 not Recognizing Second Monitor Problems
Connecting your second PC monitor is usually a plug-and-play process, but in some cases, Windows 10 may not be able to detect the monitor. There are some basic causes of this problem, such as a bad or malfunctioning cable, your PC does not support the second display, you have an outdated driver, or the display drivers cannot handle the second display.
If your second monitor is not detected, use this guide to troubleshoot and resolve problems with your monitor.
Fix second monitor not detected in Windows 10
You can start with the following basic troubleshooting tips. These can solve your problem with the second monitor not detected before you have to delve into other problems.
Confirm that you are using the correct cable to connect your PC and the second monitor. If the cable is damaged or malfunctioning, Windows will not detect the second monitor. If you change the cable and the new cable works with your display configuration, it means that the old one is faulty.
Unplug all accessories, such as plugged in adapters, dongles, or cradles, that may cause hardware conflicts between your PC and the second monitor.
Try using the second PC monitor with a different system to isolate whether the problem is with the main system or with the monitor.
Check if the second monitor is connected to a power source. Some monitors have a switch on the back to turn on the screen.
Make sure to select the correct input (HDMI, DVI, etc.) using the built-in controls on your monitor.
Plug in another working monitor to check if the problem is with the graphics card.
You may need to update the firmware for the display you are setting up as a second monitor to fix any compatibility issues or bugs. To do this, visit your display manufacturer’s website and check the support page for information on how to apply the latest firmware update.
Restarting your computer works effectively for many problems, even when your second monitor is not detected. A reboot closes all other running processes that may interfere with the connection between your PC and the second monitor.
To restart your PC, click Start> Power> Restart.
Force Windows 10 to detect the second PC monitor
If there are no physical connection problems with your PC and the second monitor, you can use the Settings application to force detection of the second screen.
Go to the Rearrange your displays section and click Detect.
Connect a wireless display
If your physical (wired) connection doesn’t help Windows 10 detect the second monitor, try connecting a wireless display instead.
Click on Bluetooth and other devices.
Select Add Bluetooth and other devices.
Click Wireless Display or Dock.
Confirm that the wireless display is turned on and visible. Select the screen from the list and then follow the instructions on the screen to complete the setup.
Check your display adapter
If you can connect an external monitor, but the second monitor is not detected, your graphics card (also called a display adapter) may not be able to support multiple monitors at the same time. In this case, a screen divider will also not help you extend your screen to the second monitor because it duplicates the same signal instead of creating two independent signals.
If your PC only has one video output port, it means that it can only support one external monitor. To support multiple monitors, you will need a USB adapter for an additional video-out port or a docking station.
Update, reinstall, or roll back the graphics driver
A buggy, outdated, or corrupted graphics driver can be one of the main reasons why Windows 10 won’t detect your second PC monitor.
To solve this problem, you can update, reinstall, or roll back the driver to a previous version to repair and restore the connection between your computer and the second monitor.
How to update a graphics driver
To update the graphics driver, right-click Start> Device Manager, and then click the Display Adapters category to expand it.
Right-click on your display adapter (graphics card) and select Update Driver.
Click Search automatically for updated driver software, and then restart your computer.
Windows Update will automatically download and install the update if it finds a newer driver. Check if the second monitor is detected after updating the driver.
Reinstall the graphics driver
Right click Start> Device Manager> Display adapters. Right-click on your computer’s display adapter, and then click Uninstall Device.
Clear the Remove the driver software for this device box, and then click Uninstall.
Restart your PC and go back to Device Manager. Find and right-click the name of your PC under Computer. Click Check for hardware changes.
During startup, Windows will automatically try to reinstall the graphics driver, after which you can try to connect to the second monitor again.
Roll back the graphics driver
A driver update can prevent Windows 10 from detecting your second monitor. If this happens, you can roll back your old graphics driver to fix the problem.
Right-click Start> Device Manager and double-click the Display Adapters category to expand it. Right-click on your computer’s display adapter and click Properties.
Click Revert Driver. If the Revert Controller button is not available (grayed out), you cannot revert the controller. However, you should be able to find an older version of the driver on your device manufacturer’s support website.
If the driver back button is available, click Yes and then restart your computer.