How to Connect Two Monitors to a Computer

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

For majority of industries that depend on the use of computer systems, the implementation of multiple displays provide a major advantage in the development of cutting edge and innovative outputs like in the fields of music production, graphic design, and even computer gaming among others. The introduction of LCD monitors have boosted the use of this technology by allowing an almost seamless integration of display screens that extend the user’s desktop and present a fresher dimension on how graphics and even text are displayed to the end user. Multiple displays can be used as one continuous desktop or complimentary display mechanisms that may allow one monitor to display for example thumbnails of pictures while the other monitor displays its full view. This type of structure also provides the user with the solution to allow for the simultaneous deployment of two or more programs like using a word processor on one screen while playing a movie on the other which totally redefines the concept of multitasking.

Materials Needed:
- Desktop computer that can support multiple display cards
- dual display video cards
- laptop with external video connector
- Operating System that allows multiple monitor connection
- monitor switch box
Step 1
There are two possible ways to implement the connection of two or more monitors to a single computer system. First option is to purchase a monitor switch box which will allow the user to move between the displays. Connect the monitor switch box to the video card output while connecting the two monitors to the switch box. This hardware solution is simple because the shifting from one monitor to another is done directly from the box.
Step 2
When attempting to use dual vga cards or a vga card with dual display, the first step is to identify if your hardware and your software support it. For the hardware, bring the CPU to a qualified technician to correctly identify the possible display hardware that can be installed.
Step 3
For the software component, make sure you are running Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Mac OS X Operating System platforms. For Windows-based machines, click on the 'Start' button and select the 'Run' option.
Step 4
Type the command 'winver' and click on the 'OK' button. This will display the exact version of your Operating System.
Step 5
After installing the necessary hardware (including its driver) and verifying that you have the correct Operating System, connect both monitors to the vga output ports at the back panel of the machine.
Step 6
Click on the 'Start' button and choose the 'Control Panel' option. Select the 'Appearance and Themes' category and click on the 'Display' option to adjust the display settings of the machine.
Step 7
Under the dialog box labeled 'Display Properties', click the 'Settings' tab. This will show two monitors labeled 1 and 2.
Step 8
Click the monitor labeled 2 and the checkbox 'Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor'. This will instruct the Operating System to treat both monitors as a single entity and spread the display across both of them.
Step 9
Some display cards may require the user to align the two monitors. Simply drag the monitor icons accordingly until they appear to match the physical arrangement of the monitors.
Step 10
Click on the Identify button to make sure that the system knows which monitor is considered as 1 and 2.
Step 11
Click on the Apply button which will activate both monitors. Click on the OK button to save changes and finalize the dual monitor configuration of the system.