Full Fix: Third monitor not detected in Windows 10/11

by Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If you can't connect the 3rd monitor in Windows, know that you're not alone.
  • Sometimes, a third monitor is not detected in regards to a monitor compatibility problem.
  • This is especially true if the monitors are not identical or not even from the same generation.
  • The first solution is to disconnect all the monitors and reconnect them back one by one.
How to fix Windows 10 won't detect third monitor

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Along with the continuous growth of the gaming industry, many users started using a 3 monitor display setup for a better gaming experience.

There is a common problem with using this type of display setup though. Users reported that they couldn’t connect their 3rd monitor to the Windows OS.

This is a frequent issue in Windows, and sometimes it could be triggered by a monitor compatibility problem. Speaking about common issues, here are more examples reported by our readers.

Where can this issue appear and what to expect?

  • Display 3 isn’t active
  • Laptop not detecting 3rd monitor
  • 3rd monitor not detected using HDMI (This can happen when your Windows OS does not recognize the TV HDMI at all).
  • 3rd monitor detected but not displaying
  • Third monitor not detected Windows 11/10/7
  • 3rd monitor not detected by Dell docking station/Lenovo Thinkpad
  • Third monitor not detected Nvidia/Intel HD graphics
  • Third monitor not detected after update

In the guide below, we’ll focus on solving the monitors‘ connectivity issues in Windows 10.

How do I get 3 monitors to work on Windows 10?

  1. Try to reconnect the monitors
  2. Change the display settings in the Control Panel
  3. Check for updates
  4. Get the ISO version of Windows
  5. Try to enable Set up Multiple Displays for Nvidia graphic cards
  6. Disable Integrated Intel card

1. Try to reconnect the monitors one by one

Although you might think that you have everything in order, sometimes it is better to reinstall your monitor setup.

Various technical issues may sometimes occur when you use more than one DVI to Display Ports.

Try unplugging the monitors in the order displayed in the Advanced Display Settings window. Plug them back in afterward.

After a few attempts, the auto-detect could find the 3rd monitor.

2. Change the display settings in the Control Panel

Many users reported having one monitor disconnected. To change the monitor‘s status you need to follow these steps:

  • Press the Start button and open the Control Panel
  • Select Display > click Change Display Settings
  • Click on the Disconnected screen > select Extend desktop to this displayextend displays windows 10 settings

3. Check for updates

Making sure that you have the latest updates guarantees that your display is working properly.

check for updates windows 10

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You can automatically install the latest Windows 10 updates by going to Settings and hitting the Check for updates button.

Alternatively, you can download specific updates from the Microsoft Update Catalog website. If particular updates bring display bug fixes and improvements, we strongly recommend installing them.

4. Update your graphics card drivers

GeForce graphics cards are known to have issues on three monitor setups.

Automatically checking for Windows 10 updates doesn’t necessarily mean you computer will also get the latest GeForce driver updates.

Go to NVIDIA’s official website and install the latest updates manually to make sure your system is fully updated.

Another solution would be to use third-party software that scans your device and finds the most suitable updates by itself. Using its automatic technology, the tool will install the graphics card drivers within seconds.

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5. Try to enable Set up Multiple Displays for Nvidia graphic cards

Set up your display manually to make sure you’re using the correct settings. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Right click on a random free spot on your desktop and open the NVIDIA Control Panel
  • In the NVIDIA Control Panel, click Set up multiple displaysSet up multiple displays nvidia
  • Check all the boxes for the monitors that you want to use
  • Save the changes and restart your computer
  • Check if all the selected monitors are working

6. Disable Integrated Intel card

Trying to disable the Integrated graphics card is another adequate solution.

Hardware conflicts may sometimes occur between the integrated graphics card and your primary graphics card.

To disable the integrated graphic card driver you need to follow these steps:

  • Press R + Windows buttons on your keyboard to open the Run box > type devmgmt.msc and press Enter
  • In the Device Manager Window, click the arrow next to Display adaptersdevice manager
  • Right click on the Intel graphics card and select Disable devicedisable intel display adapters
  • Try to reconnect the 3rd monitor and see if it works

These are the solutions that we found to be most efficient. If you have any other working solutions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • First, connect the two monitors that are working just fine, then connect the third one and restart your computer. If that doesn’t work, we have more solutions in our professional guide.

  • Open Display Settings and hit the Detect button to detect the extra monitor manually. Here’s a guide on how to clone or extend the screen to multiple monitors.

  • If it doesn’t display anything after you press the power button that means that the monitor doesn’t receive power. Unplug the monitor from the outlet and then unplug the cord from the back of the monitor. Contact the manufacturer.

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