Laptop won’t detect second monitor [FIX]

biagelo@gmail.com' By: Elsie Otachi
6 minute read
laptop won’t detect second monitor

You may be at your workplace or home, and you’d like to extend your desktop display but your laptop won’t detect second monitor. This can be frustrating especially if you’re pressed for time.

If this is your situation or experience, here’s how to fix it.

Laptop won’t detect second monitor?

Solution 1: Check Display settings

Under Display settings, there is an option for Multiple Displays. If your laptop won’t detect second monitor, this option will not show, or it doesn’t detect an external monitor.

If the monitor is detected, the Multiple Displays option will appear in the drop down menu list next to Display.

In case it is not appearing under this drop down list, click Detect, ensuring the monitor you want to extend to is turned on and plugged in to your video port correctly.

laptop can't detect second display

Also select the correct source labeled on your monitor’s controls so that you’re using the correct video port.


Solution 2: Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

If your laptop won’t detect second monitor, then run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to resolve the issue.

This checks for commonly occurring issues and ensures any new device or hardware is correctly installed on your computer.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to View by option on the top right corner
  • Click the drop down arrow and select Large icons

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

 

 

  • Click Troubleshooting

 

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Click View all option on the left pane
  • Click Hardware and Devices

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Click Next to run the troubleshooter

Follow the instructions to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.  The troubleshooter will begin detecting any issues that may be causing your laptop not to detect the second monitor.


Solution 3: Perform a System Restore

Use System restore to create restore points when you install new apps, drivers or Windows updates, or when you create restore points manually.

If the laptop won’t detect second monitor, try and restore the system and see if it helps.

Here’s how to perform a system restore:

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box and type System Restore
  • Click System Restore in the list of search results
  • Enter your administrator account password or grant permissions if prompted to
  • In the System Restore dialog box, click Choose a different restore point
  • Click Next

laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Click a restore point created before you experienced the problem
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

Restoring doesn’t affect your personal files. It however removes apps, drivers and updates installed after the restore point was created.

To go back to a restore point, do the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • In the control panel search box, type Recovery
  • Select Recovery
  • Click Open System Restore

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Click Next
  • Choose the restore point related to the problematic program/app, driver or update
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

Solution 4: Install latest driver updates

There are three ways to do this:

  1. Check Windows Updates for latest driver updates and install them
  2. Install drivers from manufacturer website
  3. Install drivers from Device Manager

Check Windows Updates for latest driver updates and install them

If you check Windows Updates and find that driver updates are available, install them and check if it helps fix the problem.

Follow these steps to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box
  • Type Updates
  • In the Windows Update settings window, click Check for Updates, and install all updates listed

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

Windows will immediately detect your system’s configuration and download appropriate drivers for it.

Important drivers you need to download after installing or upgrading to Windows 10 include chipset, video, audio, and network (Ethernet/wireless) drivers. For laptops specifically, download also the latest Touchpad drivers.

Install drivers from manufacturer website

You can also find drivers from the manufacturer website’s support section for your laptop type. Go to the Software and Drivers sub-section (depending on the laptop brand this name can change), or search for drivers using Google so you can get a direct link to your device’s manufacturer website.

Once you’re on the website, find and download, then install the appropriate drivers missing from your laptop that can make the laptop not detect a second monitor.

Install drivers from Device Manager

In case Windows Update didn’t detect your driver, or you couldn’t get it from the manufacturer website, you can try using Device Manager on your laptop and manually install the driver using the steps below:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Select the device
  • Right click on it
  • Select Update Driver Software
  • The update driver wizard will launch. Select either Search automatically for updated driver software, or Browse my computer for driver software.

ALSO READ: Fix: Resource Monitor not working in Windows


Solution 5: Scan for hardware changes

Here’s how to do this:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

 

  • Go to Monitors and click to expand the list

laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • You’ll see two monitors, right click the second monitor’s driver
  • Select Uninstall
  • Click Scan for hardware changes icon

If it shows generic PnP, uninstall the driver and download the latest driver from the manufacturer website as explained in solution 4 above.

  • Check the box that says Include subfolders
  • Click Next and wait for the wizard to complete

Solution 6: Install drivers in compatibility mode

Follow these steps to install in compatibility mode:

  • Download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website
  • Save it on your local disk
  • Right click on the driver set up file
  • Click Properties
  • Click Compatibility tab
  • Check the box next to Run this program in Compatibility mode
  • Select the Operating System from the drop down list
  • The driver will install, then check its functionality.
  • Restart the computer and check if the issue persists

ALSO READ: How to set a dual monitor wallpaper on Windows 10


Solution 7: Check Monitor settings

If your monitor doesn’t support adapters, then the laptop won’t detect second monitor. This ideally means then that your monitor can run through straight connections only.


Solution 8: Update basic video driver

Here’s how to do this:

  • Log in as administrator
  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • In the Control Panel search box, type Administrative Tools

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

 

  • Click Administrative Tools
  • Double click Computer Management

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

 

  • Select Device Manager

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

 

  • Locate Display adapters

 

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Select the arrow to drop down devices – if it says Windows Basic Video, download the driver by right clicking on it, and then select Update driver software.

Let it run, then when complete, check if the second monitor will work.

ALSO READ: Samsung’s new ultra-wide HDR QLED gaming monitor is simply stunning


Solution 9: Check if second monitor is enabled

Follow the steps below to do this:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Click Hardware and Sound

 

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Go to Display

 

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Click Adjust Screen Resolution

 

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Click Project to a Second Screen

 

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Click Extend

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

 

  • Under Multiple Displays drop down list

 

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  •  Click Extend These Displays

 

Laptop won’t detect second monitor

  • Click Apply
  • Click OK

Note: If the two monitors are not visible on this screen, click Detect button.

Once you enable the second monitor, right click your Desktop screen and it will display the second monitor. It you choose Show Desktop only on 1, then the laptop won’t detect second monitor in Display Settings menu.

Let us know in the comments section whether any of these solutions worked to resolve the issue.

RELATED STORIES TO CHECK OUT:

For various PC problems, we recommend to use this tool.

This tool will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Quickly fix PC issues and prevent others from happening with this software:

  1. Download ReimagePlus (100% safe download).
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues (requires upgrade).