Laptop won’t detect the second monitor

The second monitor is not detected by the computer.
The laptop has a built-in video card, so it shouldn’t be an issue with your graphics driver or hardware specs. The connection between the two monitors should also work when both are plugged in via HDMI cords and ports on each side of your adapter. If these don’t solve the problem, then you may have to purchase a new operating system that supports dual screens at minimum

The “windows 10 won’t detect second monitor” is a problem that many people have been encountering. The issue has been around for quite some time, and Microsoft has finally released an update to fix the issue.


Milan Stanojevic is a writer who lives in Belgrade, Serbia.

Expert in Windows and Software

Milan has been fascinated by computers since he was a youngster, and this has led him to be interested in all PC-related technology. He worked as a front-end web developer before joining WindowsReport. Continue reading

14 November 2021 (last updated)

Originally published in March of 2021.

  • It’s possible that your laptop isn’t identifying your display because of a connectivity issue.
  • When your laptop fails to recognize your display, the first thing you should do is double-check your settings.
  • If you have issues with your registry files, you may utilize a third-party tool to repair them.
  • You may also use the Windows troubleshooter to find and fix the problem.



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You can be at work or at home, and you want to expand your desktop display, but your laptop doesn’t recognize the second monitor. This may be aggravating, particularly if you’re in a hurry.

If this describes your circumstance or experience, there are many options for you to consider. Here’s a rundown of the greatest options.

How do I get my laptop to recognize the second monitor?

  1. Examine your display options.
  2. Run the troubleshooter for Hardware & Devices.
  3. Update your drivers using the newest versions.
  4. Examine the hardware for any changes.
  5. Drivers should be installed in compatibility mode.
  6. Basic video driver should be updated.
  7. Restore the system to its original state.
  8. Verify that the second monitor is turned on.

1. Examine the Display options.

  1. Start typing in the Windows search box.
  2. In the Display Settings field, type.
  3. Select Multiple Displays from the drop-down menu.
    • The option will not appear if your laptop does not recognize the second monitor.
    • Make sure your display is switched on and connected to your video port in this situation.
  4. Then hit the Detect button. Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  5. So that you’re utilizing the proper video port, choose the correct source listed on your monitor’s settings.

2. Run the Troubleshooter for Hardware and Devices.

  1. Start with a right-click.
  2. Control Panel should be selected.1636901559_98_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  3. Select View from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner.
  4. Select Large icons from the drop-down arrow.
  5. Select Troubleshooting from the drop-down menu.
  6. On the left pane, choose View all.
  7. Select Hardware and Devices from the drop-down menu.1636901560_259_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  8. To run the troubleshooter, click Next.

If the second monitor on your laptop isn’t being detected, use the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to fix the problem.

This checks for common problems and guarantees that any new hardware or device is properly installed on your computer.

To launch the Hardware and Device troubleshooter, follow the on-screen instructions. The troubleshooter will start looking for any problems that are preventing your laptop from identifying the second display.

3. Download and install the most recent driver updates.

  1. Start by pressing the Start button.
  2. Type Settings into the search area box.
  3. Select Update & Security from the drop-down menu. VIDEO-SCHEDULER-INTERNAL-ERROR-BSoD-on-Windows-10
  4. Click Check for Updates in the Windows Update settings box. 1636901562_805_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  5. Then, install all of the updates that are mentioned.

If you check Windows Updates and discover that driver updates are available, install them and see if they assist to resolve the issue.

Windows will identify your system’s settings right away and download the necessary drivers.

Drivers may be downloaded via Device Manager.

  1. Start with a right-click.
  2. Select Device Manager from the menu.1636901563_555_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  3. Choose a device.
  4. Select it using the right-click menu.
  5. Update Driver Software is the option to choose.
  6. The driver update wizard will begin.
  7. Choose between searching for updated driver software automatically or browsing for driver software on my machine.

If Windows Update fails to recognize your driver or you can’t find it on the manufacturer’s website, you may use Device Manager on your laptop to find it.

Use a driver updater from a third-party vendor.

You may use a dedicated program to automatically update your device manager if you’re weary of manually looking for updates in your device manager.

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The program will scan your PC for appropriate driver versions and install them for you with only a few clicks.

Most of the time, the system does not correctly update the generic drivers for your PC’s hardware and peripherals. A generic driver and a manufacturer’s driver have significant variances. It might be time consuming to find the correct driver version for each of your hardware components. That’s why we propose DriverFix, an automatic assistant that can help you discover and update your system with the proper drivers every time. This is how you do it:

  1. DriverFix is available for download and installation.
  2. Start the program.
  3. Wait for all of your problematic drivers to be detected.
  4. DriverFix will now display all of the problematic drivers, and all you have to do now is choose the ones you want corrected.
  5. Wait for the latest drivers to be downloaded and installed by the app.
  6. To make the modifications take effect, restart your computer.



Keep your PC components drivers up to date without jeopardizing your computer’s performance.

Disclaimer: In order to execute certain specified operations, this software must be updated from the free version.

4. Examine the hardware for any modifications.

  1. Start with a right-click.
  2. Select Device Manager from the menu.1636901563_555_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  3. Expand the list of monitors by clicking on it.
  4. You’ll notice two displays; right-click the driver for the second monitor.
  5. Uninstall is the option to choose.
  6. For the hardware changes icon, click Scan.

If generic PnP appears, delete the driver and obtain the most recent version from the manufacturer’s website, as described in solution 4 above.

  1. Include subfolders should be checked.
  2. Wait for the wizard to finish before clicking Next.

The laptop will not recognize the second display if your monitor does not support adapters. This preferably indicates that your display can only be powered via direct connections.

5. Use compatibility mode to install drivers.

  1. Visit the manufacturer’s website to get the most recent driver.
  2. Save it to your hard drive.
  3. Right-click the driver installation file.
  4. Then choose Properties.
  5. Select the Compatibility tab from the drop-down menu.
  6. Check the box next to Compatibility mode for this software.1636901564_935_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  7. From the drop-down menu, choose an operating system.
  8. The driver will be installed, and then its operation will be tested.
  9. Check to see whether the problem remains after restarting the machine.

6. Install the latest basic video driver.

  1. Assume the role of administrator.
  2. Start with a right-click.
  3. Control Panel should be selected.1636901564_682_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  4. Type Administrative Tools into the Control Panel search box.
  5. Go to Administrative Tools and choose it.
  6. Select Computer Management from the drop-down menu.1636901566_30_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  7. Select Device Manager from the menu.
  8. Display adapters should be found.
  9. To drop down devices, choose the arrow.
    • If it reads Windows Basic Video, right-click on it and choose Update driver software to get the driver.
  10. Allow it to finish, then check to see whether the second monitor is working.

7. Restore the system to its original state.

  1. Start by pressing the Start button.
  2. Type System Restore into the search field box.
  3. In the list of search results, choose System Restore.
  4. If asked, enter your administrator account password or give rights.
  5. Choose a new restoration point in the System Restore dialog box.
  6. Next should be selected.1636901567_894_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  7. Select a restore point that was generated before the issue occurred.
  8. Next should be selected.
  9. Finish by clicking the Finish button.

When you install new programs, drivers, or Windows updates, or when you manually generate restore points, use System Restore to create restore points.

If the second monitor isn’t detected by the laptop, try restoring the system to see if it helps.

Your personal files are unaffected by the restoration. It does, however, uninstall any programs, drivers, or updates that were installed after the restore point was established.

  1. Start with a right-click.
  2. Control Panel should be selected.
  3. Type Recovery into the Control Panel search box.
  4. Choose Recover.
  5. Open System Restore by clicking the button. 1636901568_18_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  6. Next should be selected.
  7. Choose a restore point for the program/app, driver, or update that isn’t working. 1636901570_785_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  8. Next should be selected.
  9. Finish by clicking the Finish button.

You may also use a third-party program like Restoro to restore your system files. The program will search for and restore faulty system settings and files on your computer.

Because you won’t be tampering with key system files by hand, there’s no way you’ll muck things up if you utilize a third-party program, thus we highly advise you to do so.

8. Verify that the second monitor is turned on.

  1. Start with a right-click.
  2. Control Panel should be selected.
  3. Click on the Hardware and Sound tab.
  4. Go to the Display tab.
  5. Select Adjust Screen Resolution from the drop-down menu.
  6. Select Project to a Second Screen from the drop-down menu.
  7. Extend the window by clicking on it. 1636901571_127_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  8. Select Multiple Displays from the drop-down menu.
  9. Select Extend These Displays from the drop-down menu. 1636901572_187_Laptop-wont-detect-the-second-monitor
  10. Apply the changes.
  11. Click the OK button.

Note: Click the Detect button if the two monitors aren’t shown on this screen.

After you’ve enabled the second monitor, right-click your Desktop screen and the second monitor will appear.

If you choose Show Desktop Only on 1 in the Display Settings menu, the laptop will not recognize the second monitor.

That’s all there is to it for this article. We hope that these options may assist you in resolving your issue. Please let us know if any of these ideas were successful in resolving the problem in the comments area.

1635156952_270_How-to-stop-Amazon-Assistant-from-popping-up-Fixed Are you still experiencing problems? Use this tool to fix them:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool (download starts on this page).
  2. To detect Windows faults that may be causing PC difficulties, click Start Scan.
  3. To repair faults with Patented Technologies, click Repair All (Exclusive Discount for our readers).

This month, 0 readers have downloaded Restoro.

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If you are having a problem with your laptop not detecting the second monitor, there are a few things that can be done to fix this issue. The first thing that you should try is unplugging and replugging in the monitor. If this does not work, you will have to find out what is causing your laptop to detect the monitor as “off” or “unavailable.” Reference: pc not detecting second monitor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I force my laptop to recognize a second monitor?

A: To do this, you will need to find your system configuration by going into Control Panel > Hardware and Sound. Youll want to disable the option which says Show me only recommended devices. This will limit the list of device configurations so that it doesnt include any conflicting monitors or adapters. Once youve disabled these options, try plugging in a different monitor. If Windows does not recognize it as an adapter or secondary monitor, then follow on from there with some troubleshooting steps listed below!

Why is my 2nd monitor not displaying?

A: The most likely cause of this is that you might have a faulty cable. Make sure your monitor and the device are connected by HDMI, DVI, or DisplayPort cables before asking questions about settings toggles.

Why wont my laptop project to a second screen?

A: There could be a number of reasons for this. One issue is that the laptop may not support two projectors, or its just too old to need more than one projector plugged in at once. Another reason is that there are compatibility issues between your software and Windows 10 (or whatever operating system youre using).

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