Working with multiple monitors has become the norm for many professions. It's also very handy if you work from home and can create a fantastic office setup. Additionally, connecting a monitor can provide additional viewing space for a laptop computer user. This is especially useful when you need to duplicate your main screen.
For example, you might want to show someone your work process, and it will be more comfortable if they see it on another monitor. The same idea applies if you are going to share your screen while you are playing.
But if you've never duplicated or extended monitors before, you might not know how it all works. Luckily, this is a simple setup and we'll walk you through all the steps.
How to duplicate displays on monitors in Windows 10
There are over a billion Windows 10 users worldwide, and each of them can mirror displays across multiple monitors if they have the right tools.
The first step is to connect the monitor to your Windows 10 laptop or desktop, then follow these instructions:
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard and select "Settings".
- Choose “System” followed by “Display”.
- If your computer does not automatically detect the additional monitor, click "Detect".
- Under "Multiple screens", select "Duplicate these screens".
From here you can change the orientation of your screens. Click on “Scale and Layout” and select “Display Orientation” which suits you.
Once you have gone through the multiple display setup once, you can use a shortcut the next time. Most laptops have a "spotlight" button that lets you quickly mirror the display. The Windows key + P shortcut achieves the same result using a desktop computer.
Notes: You can use another shortcut to display settings. All you have to do is right-click anywhere on your desktop and select "Display Settings".
How to duplicate displays on monitors in macOS
Mac users can also mirror displays to monitors with the right equipment and with just a few clicks. Before starting the installation process, make sure to connect the external monitor to your computer. Now follow these steps to duplicate displays:
- Select the Apple menu then “System Preferences”.
- Go to “Displays”. If the device does not automatically recognize a new monitor, select the "Detect displays" button.
- Select the "Arrangement" tab and check the "Mirror displays" box.
You can also use the Command+Fn+1 shortcut to toggle display mirroring on and off.
How to Extend a Display to Another Monitor in Windows 10
Duplicating displays across multiple monitors can be critical in specific situations. But many people choose to add another monitor to expand the desktop and have more room to work.
When you connect another monitor to your laptop or desktop, you have options for how you want to arrange the display. Your monitor can be placed to the right or left of the main screen or above it.
The steps for extending a display to multiple monitors for Windows 10 are the same as for duplicating displays. You just have to make a different choice, so let's go through the steps:
- Go to “Settings” followed by “System”.
- Select "Show".
- Choose "Extend these displays" under the "Multiple displays" option.
You can choose the primary and secondary monitors in the display settings and rearrange their positions according to your preferences. Remember to use Windows key + P shortcut to switch between display settings to save time.
How to Extend a Display to Another Monitor in macOS
Mac users can also arrange the layout of the external monitor to best suit their working environment. The first step is to connect the two units with the cable and place the monitor where you want it on your desk. From there, this is what the process looks like:
- Click on the Apple logo in the main menu and choose "System Preferences".
- Select "Displays" and make sure to skip the "Mirror Displays" box.
- Choose the "Arrangement" tab and move the two screens into a position that reflects your desktop layout. The main display will have a white bar at the top, so make changes accordingly.
Keep in mind that even though these changes are applied quickly, it may take a few seconds for results to appear. Also, both screens may briefly go black at some point, but that's not a cause for concern.
Increase your productivity with the perfect monitor setup
Some people don't mind working on a single screen, even if it's a 13-inch laptop screen. Others need an advanced productivity setup that includes dual monitors, a tablet, and a phone alongside.
The good news is that this is a quick and easy process if you want to duplicate or extend displays across multiple monitors.
You will need a reliable HDMI cable and a few minutes to complete the setup steps. Windows and Mac users will have to dip into the System and Display settings to choose the options that suit them.
Keep in mind that your computer will automatically return to its original settings once you disconnect the monitor.
Do you ever need to duplicate or extend monitors for school or work? Let us know in the comments section below.