Dual monitors have been a standard PC setup in many work offices nowadays. It makes work easier, especially if you’re in the field of graphics design, since it gives you more space when working with your images or artwork, and it also allows you to multitask at the same time.

But what do you do when your second monitor goes missing? Here are some common fixes that you can try to troubleshoot your second monitor. As usual, the steps below assumed that you have already done the basic stuff such as checking the cables for any loose connection, and trying out the second monitor as the main one to make sure that it’s not a hardware issue.

So once you’ve tried it and you’re still unable to get your second monitor back to life, go ahead and proceed with the rest below.

Check the Correct Port

If you have a dedicated graphics card, then all visual output connections go from there, so any monitor cables (VGA, HDMI, DVI, whatever) you connect to the motherboard boards won’t work.

If you want to use both your motherboard and GPU ports (because, for example, your graphics card doesn’t have a VGA port and you want to hook up a VGA monitor alongside your HDMI one), you can potentially do so by going to your PC BIOS, and setting your integrated/motherboard as your primary display adapter. Your drivers should still pick up your graphics card this way, yet your motherboard ports will be active at the same time.

Force Windows to Detect Display


Once connected, most displays should be detected by Windows right away. The shortcut for Multiple Display options is Windows + [P], which allows you to toggle different multiple-display setups if there are multiple displays connected.

However, this doesn’t always happen, whether because you’re using an older display or because of a softwarehiccup (use CCleaner to get rid of old registry keys, which could be causing conflicts in your display drivers). To get Windows to manually detect a second monitor, right-click on the desktop, click Display settings, then the click the Detect button under Multiple displays.

Reinstall or Roll Back the Graphics Card Drivers

If you started experiencing this problem since a GPU driver update, then it’s quite possible that that’s where your problem stems from. To solve this, you can try rolling back the driver to the previous version.

The best way to do this is to go to Device Manager, find your graphics card under Display adapters, right-click it, then click Properties. Then click the Driver tab, select Roll Back Driver, and follow the instructions to do so. Reboot your PC, and hopefully your second screen will work again. You could even try updating back to the latest driver version after you reboot, or to be safe you can wait until an even more recent version of the driver gets released.


While you’re in the Device Manager, you could also try the above process for your second monitor. Find it under the Monitors drop-down in Device Manager, and then do the same thing.


This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 6:26:49 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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