Monitor: Dual Screen Setup for Notebook Computers

The following steps explain how to configure a notebook computer to display in dual screen mode using a second, external monitor.


Older notebook computers may not support this functionality. Please submit an online service request if you need additional assistance.

Physical Set Up

  • If the external monitor is 19" or smaller, it is usually positioned to the right of the notebook computer.
  • If the external monitor is 22" or larger, it is usually positioned behind the notebook with the notebook in a closed position (dual screen setup is not recommended for monitors 22" or larger).

Set Output Mode

  1. Log in to the notebook computer. Power on your second, external monitor.
  2. Right-click on the notebook desktop > Select "Graphics Options."
  3. Select "Output To" > Choose "Extended Desktop."

Indicate the Primary and Secondary Monitor

  1. Two options will display: "Notebook + Monitor" and "Monitor + Notebook."
  2. The primary monitor (which contains your toolbar) is listed first in each set. 
  3. If you want the notebook screen to be your primary monitor, choose "Notebook + Monitor."
  4. By default, your mouse moves from left to right as you travel from your notebook screen to the external monitor.

Set Resolution

  1. Right-click on your desktop > Choose "Graphics Properties..."
  2. Select "Display Settings" > Choose the "Notebook" tab.
  3. Suggested notebook resolution is 1280 x 800.
  4. Now choose the "Monitor" tab.
  5. External monitor resolution can be either 1280 x 1024 or 1024 x 768.
  6. Click the [Apply] button to preview the settings.
  7. Click [OK] if you are satisfied with how both screens display.

Hints and Suggestions

  • If you are using a desktop computer with a second, external monitor, please refer to the related help page covering Dual Screen Setup for Desktop Computers .
  • The default display is a "cloned" image (the same image will display on both the laptop and the external monitor screens).
  • If someone logs in to your computer after you, the monitors will revert to a "cloned" display for that user. However, the monitors will remember the extended display associated with your login the next time you log in.

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