How To Hook up Two Monitors To a Computer

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Learning how to hook up two monitors to a computer can significantly improve your work or gaming setup.

With two monitors, you can handle many streamlined tasks simultaneously and with double the display space.

It is a simple process, as long as you have the correct cables, computer, and monitors.

What Do You Need To Connect Two Monitors?

Before we get into the step-by-step process of connecting two monitors, you need to know what you will need.

There are a few key things to consider before you get started.

1. Computer Ports

Fortunately, the majority of modern computers are designed to allow dual monitors. Even the least expensive ones will feature dual monitor support.

Another advantage of newer designs is that they have many ports you can use.

Typically, you’ll find VGA, DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPorts, as well as a combination between them.

2. Monitors

Once you’ve confirmed your computer can handle dual displays, it is time to find a new monitor.

Ideally, you are going to want a monitor with relatively good graphics if you’re a beginner.

Some find that buying two of the same monitors looks better when setup, but the choice is yours.

You might prefer to have one small and one large monitor, depending on your uses.

The most important thing to consider is the bezel size, which can be frustrating to work with.

Monitors with thinner bezels have fewer visual interruptions while doing tasks, such as dragging from one display to another.

Like your computer, you’ll want to ensure your new monitor also has a few port options. You’ll find that the device comes with VGA and DVI cables.

If you’re using DisplayPort or HDMI, you’ll need to purchase the cables separately.

3. Cables

The majority of people are interested in learning how to run dual monitors with one HDMI port.

In this instance, you’re going to need to purchase an HDMI cable to connect the two monitors to your computer.

You will also need to purchase a second non-HDMI cable to connect the two monitors.

This is why your monitors must have two different types of ports for the most straightforward setup. There is a possible alternative that we’ll explore below.

4. Cable Management

Although this isn’t necessary, it can be incredibly beneficial when designing your office or gaming setup.

Cable management cannot be understated, as it helps keep your workspace organized for everyday activities.

You’ll want to ensure all of your cables are kept clean and protected to maintain the integrity of your connections.

There are multiple types of cable management to consider, including:

Velcro Cable Ties

Velcro cable ties are a more popular option because they are easy to use and remove.

You’ll be able to tie the cables together in a neat bundle and hide them behind your desk.

This product is ideal for preventing cables from hanging down near your feet and causing a mess under your desk.

Cable Management Panels

Panels are another great option, and they can be mounted on the wall or your single- or dual-desk setup.

With this, you’ll run your connections through the cable manager so that they are kept off the floor.

They are ideal for more permanent setups and typically hold multiple cables at once.

Cable Holder Clips

A more user-friendly option is to opt for cable holder clips, which are affordable and easy to install.

The strips are typically designed of rubber and can be stuck to your desk’s surface or your wall.

There are individual grips that hold onto your cables so that you can route them to their specific components.

What Is the Best Way To Setup Dual Monitors?

There are two ways that people traditionally set up dual monitors, depending on the display you want to achieve.

Dual Port Setup

This process is recommended for people who have computers with dual HDMI ports.

For this task, you will need two HDMI cables and, of course, your two monitors and your computer.

Step 1: Organize the Monitors

First, you are going to want to consider where you want the monitors to be placed on your desk.

You’ll then determine where to run your cables and ensure both monitors are close to the power source.

Step 2: Connect the Monitors

The next step is to begin connecting the monitors to your computer using their respective ports.

Your primary monitor can be connected via HDMI, while you can join the second display via VGA.

You’ll want to make sure each display has a dedicated port on your computer to make this process work.

Step 3: Configure Your Settings

Now that your two displays have been installed, it’s time to configure your settings in Windows.

People generally choose two main options between display duplication and display extension.

Display Duplication

With this option, you’re going to have both screens share the same data at the same time.

Duplication is one of the lesser popular choices, as people traditionally want more workspace than mirrored displays.

Display Extension

The more popular option is to have your second display act as an extension of your first display.

You’ll be able to spread your applications across the two monitors for a more efficient workflow.

For example, you can have video conferencing software on Display One and spreadsheets on Display Two.

In your Windows settings, you can also reorganize your displays’ positioning. This allows you to set one monitor as your primary display and the other as secondary.

Step 4: Test the Monitors

Now that you have the correct settings, you can begin testing your displays.

Ensure they are adequately assigned and that you are able to use them as expected.

How To Connect Two Monitors To One Computer With One Hdmi Port

If you’re interested in mirroring your displays instead of extending them, there’s an alternative option.

You can have quick display duplication by learning how to connect two monitors to one computer with one HDMI port.

With this task, instead of connecting both monitors using different display ports, you can purchase an HDMI splitter/switcher.

The HDMI splitter goes into your computer, connecting each monitor.

When everything is connected, you will have two of the same displays projected onto your monitors.

tips on how to hook up two monitors to a computer

How Do I Hook Two Monitors To My Computer (Daisy-Chaining)?

Instead of learning how to run dual monitors with one HDMI port, daisy-chaining can be a preferred alternative.

With daisy-chaining, you can easily extend your displays using minimal cables.

However, you will need a few specifics before you get started, including:

Getting Started: Check DisplayPort Support

The first thing you’ll want to confirm is whether your monitors support DisplayPort 1.2 as a minimum.

This technology acts as the middle-man in your chain, so you’ll need input and outport ports. Unfortunately, you cannot use HDMI cables, as they don’t allow for daisy-chaining.

Another alternative is to use USB-C ports, which are becoming more common in modern computers.

It is also important to consider the number of monitors your computer can support simultaneously.

Some of the more expensive graphics cards allow for four or more 1080p screens to be connected simultaneously.

Regarding the DisplayPort technology, the more recent the tech, the more monitors they support. For example:

DisplayPort 1.2

  • Compatible with up to four 1080p screens
  • Compatible with two 2560 x 1600 screens

DisplayPort 1.3 and 1.4

  • Compatible with two 4K monitors at 60 Hz
  • Compatible with up to six 1080p daisy-chained monitors


Instead of buying HDMI cables for daisy-chaining, you’ll need DisplayPort cables or USB-C cables.

The technology starts at 1.2, but you can easily find DisplayPort 1.4 cables.

Daisy-Chaining: DisplayPort Setup

With your gear in hand, it is time to begin your daisy chain setup for dual monitor support using DisplayPort.

Step 1: Connect the Displays to the PC

First, you are going to want to connect your PC to the DisplayPort slot on your first monitor.

Step 2: Connect the Monitors

The next step requires you to connect the first monitor to the second monitor through their DisplayPorts.

If you intend to use more than one monitor, you’ll have to repeat this process for the third and fourth displays.

Step 3: Adjust the Settings

Once your devices are connected, you can then use the On-Screen Display menu to adjust the settings.

Ensure that “Enable DisplayPort” is selected on the first monitor and that it is disabled on the last monitor.

Daisy-Chaining: USB-C Setup (Windows Only)

Windows computers offer support for daisy-chaining through USB-C as an alternative to DisplayPort.

One of the advantages of this setup is that you can have multiple functions to take advantage of.

To get started, you’ll need the following:

  • USB-C Cables

Like DisplayPort, you’re going to need USB-C cables to connect your monitors and your computer.

  • USB-C Converter

Along with your cables, you’ll also need to buy a USB-C converter, depending on the connection your daisy monitors need.

It’s important to remember the USB-C output needs to be on the master display with this task.

You can then use DisplayPort via an adapter to connect your subsequent monitors.

Step 1: Connect to the Computer

You will have to connect your master display to your computer via USB-C for the first step.

Step 2: Connect the Monitors

Next, take your adapter and connect it to the other end of your USB-C cable.

You can then use a DisplayPort cable, or whichever connection is preferred, to connect your subsequent displays.

Step 3: Adjust Power Sources

Although USB-C can charge devices, like your laptop, it’s not enough to power your monitors.

Hence, you’ll need to ensure individual power sources for each of your monitors in this setup.

How To Hook up Two Monitors To a Computer

There are many ways you can learn how to hook up two monitors to a computer for your office.

The steps are relatively simple, regardless if you want duplicated or extended displays.

As long as your graphics card can support the number of monitors you want, all you need are the correct cables.

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