Windows 10 Not Detecting Second Monitor? Here’s how to fix it.

If Windows 10 can’t detect your second monitor, not to worry. Many Windows 10 users have reported this issue. You can fix it easily with one of the methods below.

I’ve included six methods below to fix the ‘Windows 10 not detecting second monitor’ issue. You can try them one by one until the problem is resolved.

Method 1: Unplug the second monitor and restart the computer
Method 2: Manually add the second monitor
Method 3: Disable and enable the graphics card device
Method 4: Roll back the graphics card driver
Method 5: Uninstall and update the graphics card driver
Method 6: Hardware troubleshooting


Method 1: Unplug the second monitor and restart the computer

If your second monitor is not connected firmly, the problem can cause. To fix the problem, you can unplug the second monitor and restart the computer. To do so:

1) Unplug the second monitor from the computer.

2) Turn off your computer.

3) Plug the monitor to the computer again.

4) Turn on your computer and check to see if the second monitor is detected.


Method 2: Manually add the second monitor

When the second monitor is not detected, it’s possible that the second monitor is not added properly. If that’s the case, adding the second monitor manually can fix the problem.

To manually add the second monitor, just follow these steps:

1) On your keyboard, press Win+P (the Windows logo key and the P key) at the same time to invoke the PROJECT menu which contains four display modes.

The difference between each display mode is as follows:

  • PC screen only — Only using the first monitor
  • Duplicate — Displaying the same content on both monitors
  • Extend — Using both monitors to display an extended desktop
  • Second screen Only — Only using the second monitor

2) Ensure Duplicate or Extend is selected. If neither of them is selected, select one of them depending on your need, then check if the second monitor is detected.

If this method doesn’t work for you, move on and try other methods.


Method 3: Disable and enable the graphics card device

Some users have confirmed that re-enabling the graphics card device can fix the problem. So to fix the problem, you can try to disable and enable the graphics card device. Follow the steps below:

1) On your keyboard, press Win+R (the Windows logo key and the R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type devmgmt.msc into the box and click OK to open Device Manager.

3) Expand the category ‘Display adapters’, right-click on the graphics card device and select Disable device.

4) Click Yes to continue.

5) Once the graphics card device is disabled, right-click on the device again, and select Enable device.

6) Check to see if Windows detects your second monitor.


Method 4: Roll back the graphics card driver

The problem can be caused by graphics card driver issues. To fix the problem, you can try to roll back the graphics card driver. Here’s how to do it:

1) On your keyboard, press Win+R (the Windows logo key and the R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type devmgmt.msc into the box and click OK to open Device Manager.

3) Expand the category ‘Display adapters’, right-click on the graphics card device and select Properties.

4) Select the Driver tab and click on Roll Back Driver, then follow the on-screen instructions.

Note: If the Roll Back Driver button is grayed out, this method doesn’t work for you. Try other methods.

5) Restart your computer and check to see if Windows detects your second monitor.

If rolling back drivers doesn’t resolve the problem, try to uninstall and update the graphics card driver.


Method 5: Uninstall and update the graphics card driver

To fix the problem, you can uninstall and update the graphics card driver.

Firstly, uninstall the graphics card driver

1) On your keyboard, press Win+R (the Windows logo key and the R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type ‘devmgmt.msc’ into the Run box and click OK to open the Device Manager window.

3) Expand the ‘Display adapters’ category. Right-click on the graphics card device and then select Uninstall device.

4) Check the Delete the driver software for this device checkbox and click Uninstall to uninstall the graphics card device.

5) Once uninstalling the device, go back to the Device Manager window and click the Scan for hardware changes icon in the top menu bar.

6) Check if a generic graphics card driver is installed. Generally, if the generic graphics card driver is installed, the device name will be displayed as ‘Microsoft Basic Display Adapter’.

If it’s not the Microsoft Basic Adapter installed, repeat Step 3) to Step 5) to uninstall the device until you see the generic graphics card driver is installed.

Secondly, update the graphics card driver

To update the driver, you can go to your PC manufacturer’s website or graphics card manufacturer’s website to download the latest graphics card driver. Before you get started, you need to verify what your PC model number is or what graphics card you have, and what version of Windows you’re using.

If you’re not sure how to download the drivers manually, you can use a driver update utility to help update the drivers automatically. Most driver update utilities, for example, Driver Booster, allow you to update drivers in Windows with a few clicks. You don’t have knowledge about drivers.
After updating the graphics card drivers, check to see if the second monitor is detected.

If the problem is still not resolved after you try the above methods, it could be due to hardware issues (see Method 6).


Method 6: Hardware troubleshooting

  • Test the video cable

If the video cable from the second monitor is damaged, the monitor can’t be detected properly. If possible, you can connect the monitor with a new video cable.

With a new video cable, if the problem still persists, try to test the monitor on another computer.

  • Test the monitor on another computer

The last method you can try is connect the second monitor to a different PC. If it doesn’t work on another PC either, the problem can be caused by a damaged monitor. In this case, you need to have the monitor repaired or buy a new monitor.

If the monitor is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you can send it to the manufacturer to have it fixed. If not, take it to the repair store to have it fixed

Hopefully you can fix the ‘Windows 10 not detecting second monitor’ problem with the above methods. If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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