Ever felt like your computer desk was missing something? Maybe a second screen to boost your productivity? Having two monitors can be a game-changer. But what happens when your Windows 10 refuses to recognize that fancy new addition? Let’s dive in!

The importance of dual monitors

Have you ever tried juggling with one hand? It’s limiting, right? The same principle holds true when working with a solitary monitor. Dual screens not only offer convenience but increase efficiency, multitasking and can even give gaming experiences a significant uplift. No wonder more and more professionals are shifting towards this trend.

Troubleshooting Techniques

Experiencing issues with a second monitor not being detected can be frustrating. To address this, here are some systematic steps you can follow:

1: Check the connections

Begin with the basics. Verify that the cable connecting your secondary monitor to the computer is securely inserted at both ends. A loose connection could be the underlying reason for various display problems. If you possess an alternate cable, consider trying it to rule out cable defects.

2: Restart your computer 

Often overlooked, restarting your computer can remedy minor glitches, especially if they’re related to system hang-ups or temporary software conflicts.

3: Update your graphics drivers 

Out-of-date or corrupted graphics drivers can hinder proper communication between your system and the monitor. Navigate to the manufacturer’s website of your graphics card and download the most recent drivers. Alternatively, using a reliable driver updater tool can streamline the process, making updates automatic.

4: Tweak the display settings 

In Windows 10:

  • Launch the ‘Settings’ application.
  • Traverse to ‘System’ and then select ‘Display.’
  • In the “Multiple displays” dropdown, ensure that the “Show only on 1” choice isn’t enabled. If it’s active, deactivate it, and then select the ‘Detect’ button to prompt Windows to search for the second monitor.

5: Roll back the display driver 

If you’ve recently updated your graphics driver and then faced the issue, the new driver version might be causing incompatibility problems. To revert to a prior driver version:

  • Press ‘Windows Key + X’ on your keyboard.
  • Choose ‘Device Manager’ from the menu.
  • Unfurl the ‘Display adapters’ section.
  • Perform a right-click on your second monitor’s display adapter, and then choose ‘Properties.’
  • Navigate to the ‘Driver’ tab.
  • Select ‘Roll Back Driver.’
  • Comply with the on-screen instructions to revert the driver to its previous version.

6: Contact the manufacturer 

If, after deploying all the above techniques, your second monitor remains undetected, it’s advisable to get in touch with your monitor’s manufacturer. They can provide specific guidance or highlight any known issues with particular models.

Additional Troubleshooting Tips

If the primary troubleshooting techniques don’t yield positive results, don’t fret. Sometimes, it’s the smaller, more specific solutions that can bring about a resolution. Here are some nuanced steps to consider:

1: Monitor Power and Input Settings

  • Power On: It may sound overly simple, but ensure your second monitor is powered on. There might be times we overlook the basics.
  • Input Source: Monitors often support multiple input sources such as HDMI, VGA, or DisplayPort. Ensure you’ve selected the correct input source corresponding to the cable you’re using.

2: Alternate Port Utilization

Shifting the connection to another port can sometimes be a game-changer. If your computer has multiple ports compatible with your monitor, try a different one. This action can assist in pinpointing whether the issue originates from a specific port.

3: Docking Station Checks

If your setup involves a docking station:

  • Secure Connection: Confirm the docking station is adequately connected to your computer. A loose or incomplete connection might be the underlying cause.
  • Display Settings Adjustment: Just as with direct connections, double-check the display settings when connected via a docking station to ensure they’re set up to recognize multiple monitors.

4: Disabling Power Saving Modes

Some power-saving features, when activated, can inhibit a second monitor’s recognition. This is especially true when the monitor or computer enters a deep power-saving mode.

  • Computer: Navigate through your computer’s power settings and deactivate any aggressive power-saving features.
  • Monitor: Peruse your monitor’s settings to ensure it’s not set to go into a deep sleep mode too quickly.

5: BIOS Reset

As a more advanced step:

  • If the software and simple hardware checks don’t resolve the issue, a BIOS reset might. By resetting the BIOS, you revert all configurations to their factory settings.
  • To reset, you’ll need to boot into the BIOS during your computer’s startup (usually by pressing F2, DEL, or another designated key) and select the option to reset to default settings. This method can occasionally clear out any misconfigurations hindering multi-monitor setups.


Facing technical issues can be frustrating, but with a bit of patience and systematic troubleshooting, you’ll most likely find a solution. After all, every problem, no matter how big, has a solution somewhere, right?