Clone or extend screen with multiple monitors in Windows 10

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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  • Cloning a screen allows users to duplicate the image on one screen and have the same picture displayed on the other connected monitors.
  • The first option is to clone and extend your screen by using the Windows 10 hotkey. Just press the Windows key + P.
  • Problems in Windows 10? You will find plenty of solutions in our Windows 10 Fix section.
  • Check out our Laptop & PC Hub for more issues and solutions with your device.
How to clone extend screen multiple monitors

What exactly is cloning and extending a screen?

Well, cloning a screen allows users to duplicate the picture on one screen and have the same picture display on other connected monitors.

On the other hand, extending a screen allows users to have more information spread out on different monitors.

Knowing how to clone or extend screen with multiple monitors in Windows 10 can be highly useful for a number of situations such as gaming, coding, writing, movie watching, and more.

If you want to know how to manage multiple monitors in Windows 10 on a PC, or a laptop with an attached screen, then the below information will help you.

How do I clone my desktop to multiple monitors?

Option 1: Clone and extend your screen by using the Windows 10 hotkey

Thankfully, Windows 10 has made it extremely easy for users to configure multiple monitors through its hot key feature.

With this feature it only takes a few steps to manage your multiple monitors.

Here are the steps to clone or extend screen with multiple monitors in Windows 10 by using the hot key:

  1. Connect your monitors to your PC. Fortunately, most up to date laptops and desktop computers have DVI, HDMI, or VGA ports that can be used to connect your monitors.
  2. (Optional) It is advised to close all other programs for a quicker, smoother experience.
  3. Hold the Windows key and together. This should open a side dialogue like the picture below.
  4. Once you have access to this feature, you will need to choose one of the options. Here is a detailed description of each option:
  • Second screen only: This option located on the bottom of the dialogue allows users to turn of the main monitor and only use the second monitor. This option is mostly used for laptop users who want to use a larger, better monitor instead of the one that is on their laptop.
  • Extend: The extend option will enlarge your desktop to fit on your additional monitors. Basically, it gives users more screen space to work with. This option is highly useful for gamers who want to view more of the game’s graphics, coders who need multiple screens to work more efficiently, writers who need to research projects while writing, and more. The possibilities with this feature are endless.
  • Duplicate: This option will clone the image from your primary monitor to show the same image on your additional displays. This feature can be used for giving presentations, watching movies, or giving a class.
  • PC screen only: This features only allows information to go to your primary or default display. All other additional displays will show a black screen, regardless of whether they are connected or not.

Option 2: Manually clone and extend your screen in settings

You may want to manually set up your monitors through the settings option.

This allows you more options to configure the way you want your desktop to be displayed on your additional monitors.

Furthermore, some monitors will not be automatically detected by your PC, which will require you to manually identify them.

Below are the simple steps for manually connecting your multiple monitors:

  1. Either go to the display options by pressing the windows key > Settings > System > Display, or right click your desktop and select display settings.
  2. If you can’t find your other monitors then you will need to click on the detect button.Display settings
  3. Once your computer detects your other monitors, you will have several customization options available to you. If your monitors are different sizes, models, then you may want to select each one and choose an appropriate scaling level. This may also be necessary if your monitors have different levels of DPI. Other features include orientations, which allows users to flip the screen.
  4. Similar to the hot key function, you will also be able to choose how you will like to use your extra monitors. In other words, you can choose options like extend, duplicate, use one screen only, etc.

Option 3: Use a third-party program

You can always use a different program to clone or extend screen with multiple monitors in Windows 10.

Software that help you manage multiple monitors are usually packed with features.

For instance, a popular software called DisplayFusion significantly helps you configure your monitors. This application is packed with features such as:

  • Adding a task bar on each of your monitors. This will give you the feeling that you are using more than just one computer. It will also help with multitasking.
  • Tweak various the interface of Windows 10 by moving the user menu, hiding the Windows lock, and more!
  • Have access to numerous high quality desktop wallpapers. Set a different wallpaper for each of your display screens.
  • Create specific settings that allows you to profile, split, pad, etc your different display screens.
  • Have control over the program through your tablet or smartphone

There are many other programs just like DisplayFusion that offer many features, which can be used to help you clone or extend screen with multiple monitors in Windows 10.

However, if you are looking for a quick and easy way to manage your multiple screens, then the built in features in Windows 10 is ideal for you.

FAQ: Read more about extending your desktop

  • How do I extend my display to 2 monitors?

Press the Windows key and the P key. In the next window click on Extend. Follow the on-screen instructions to extend the image on the second display. Here’s an excellent guide to extend your display in Windows 10.

  • What is the difference between duplicate and extend display?
When you duplicate the display you will have the same image on both monitors. When you extend your display, you will add the space of the second monitor to your current display. You will have one bigger display.
  • Why is my second monitor not detected?
If your OS doesn’t detect the other monitor, open Display Settings and click on the Detect button. If that doesn’t work, we have a perfect guide to fix that.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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