Your PC can’t project to another screen? Try these fixes

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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  • Many users complain that their PC cannot project to another screen after installing the latest Windows 10 updates. We’re here to help you out in case of facing the same issue.
  • Reinstalling your video drivers and checking your hardware are some of the first things to do in this case. Look for the detailed steps below.
  • All updates rolled out to Windows 10 computers via Windows Update are mandatory. That’s why you should visit this great Windows Update errors section and make sure no similar problems are there to stay.
  • You most likely had your own annoying share of computer issues. Please do keep in mind that we have a generous Laptop & Computer hub that you may visit for more useful solutions.
Your PC can’t project to another screen fixes

Dealing with incompatibility issues along with various malfunctions is not an isolated problem when talking about the Windows 10 platform.

Unfortunately, more and more users are reporting problems after installing the latest Windows 10 updates.

One common problem is related to the following message or alert: Your PC can’t project to a second screen. Try reinstalling the driver or using a different video card.

This error message affects all Windows versions. However, it seems that it’s prevalent for Windows 10. For this reason, the solutions described in this troubleshooting guide mainly refer to Windows 10.

Of course, you can use them on all Windows versions, as well. Well, this problem is really stressful especially when you want to connect your Windows 10 laptop, tablet, or desktop to an external monitor or projector.

You won’t be able to do so, even if you could establish the connection before updating to your OS. So why is this happening?

To find out the answer, check the guidelines from below. We will explain to you why your PC cannot project to another screen. We will also show you how you can easily address this annoying problem. Let’s dive in.

How can I fix Your PC can’t project to another screen error?

1. Reinstall your video drivers

As the message states, you are dealing with an incompatibility issue. That is happening because after updating to Windows 10, your drivers are outdated and you need to apply compatible updates with the new OS.

So, the best will be to uninstall the video drivers and to reinstall them afterward.

Of course, you should download compatible drivers with Windows 10 system right from your manufacturer’s official website in order to make sure that you get the right drivers. Basically, here are the steps to follow:

  1. You need to open Device Manager > go to Display Adapters.
  2. Right-click on your display adapter driver > select Uninstall.uninstall display adapter driver
  3. Wait for the process to complete.
  4. Then, you can go to Action > Scan for Hardware Changes.

device manager scan for hardware changes

Want the latest GPU drivers? Bookmark this page and always stay updated with the latest and greatest.

Windows can’t automatically find and download new drivers? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Of course, as recommended, you can also download the latest drivers directly from your manufacturer’s website.

Be careful, as downloading drivers manually can be a tedious task, especially if you’re not computer-savvy, but there are tools such as TweakBit Driver Updater that can automatically update all your drivers with just a single click.

Thus, you will keep your system away from permanent damage by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.

Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this guide.

2. Check your hardware

Another thing to do is to check the cables you are using for establishing your connection with your external monitors. In some cases, Windows 10 isn’t supporting analog cables for second monitors that are hooked up.

So, before trying anything else, the best will be to try a direct DVI connection.

In most cases, this is the perfect solution that resolves the Your PC can’t project to a second screen. Try reinstalling the driver or using a different video card alert on Windows 10.

3. Run the Hardware  and Devices troubleshooter

Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

Another quick solution is to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter. To do this, go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot. Locate and run the troubleshooter.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.

4. Run SFC

You may not be able to link your Windows computer to your projector due to system corruption issues. To fix this problem, you need to run an SFC scan.

The System File Checker utility quickly analyzes and repairs system file issues. Here’s how to run it:

  1. Go to Start > open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Type sfc /scannow > hit Enter.sfc scannow
  3. Wait for the scanning process to complete and then restart your computer. Try to connect your machine to your projector to check if this quick method solved the problem.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look on this guide.

scannow command has stopped before the process finished? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy fix for you.

5. Clean boot your computer

Sometimes, various apps and programs may interfere with your projector, preventing your computer from connecting to it. To fix this, you need to start your computer using only a minimal set of drivers and programs. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Start > type msconfig > hit Enter.
  2. Click on System Configuration > go to the Services tab >  check the ‘Hide all Microsoft services check‘ box > click Disable all.hide all microsoft services
  3. Go to the Startup tab > Open Task Manager.
  4. Select each startup item > click Disable.disable startup programs
  5. Close Task Manager > restart the computer.

If you want to know how to add or remove startup apps on Windows 10, check out this simple guide.

6. Use a different user account

If you’re using a multiple account computer, keep in mind that not all the user accounts available on the respective machine may have access or permission to project to another screen. U

sing a different user account may fix your problem.

Learn everything there is to know about the administrator account and how you can enable/disable it right here!

Anyway, try the troubleshoot solutions listed above and see if you can fix your technical issues.

In case the issue persists, let us know by using the comments field from below. Give us more details and we will try to assist you as soon as possible.

FAQ: Learn more about your PC projecting to another screen

  • Why can’t my PC project to another screen?

The display adapter driver and a recent Windows update that messed up some settings are both common causes of this error, so use this guide to fix PC projection issues.

  • How do I project my Windows PC to my PC?

To project your Windows PC to your PC, open the Action center, click Connect, then click Projecting to this PC.

  • How do I stop projecting on my second monitor?

To stop projecting, right-click anywhere on the desktop and go to Screen Resolution. Click the Detect button, then use the keyboard shortcut Windows key+P, and click PC Screen Only.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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