How To Fix Second Monitor Not Detected on Windows 10 (2023)

When you have multiple tasks and things to keep track of, having one monitor screen may not be enough. Things may get cumbersome when you have a lengthy video editing task to handle or you’re working on motion graphics; working on a single monitor often makes the task much more difficult than it already is.

In such scenarios, the dual monitor setup enables you to multitask and keep an eye on critical information simultaneously. A second monitor increases your visual space and improves productivity, efficiency, and user satisfaction. Although connecting the second monitor is a plug-and-play process, sometimes Windows 10 faces difficulties detecting the second monitor. There are a few fundamental root causes of this problem, and we will address them all individually.

Why does the “Windows not detecting second monitor” problem occur?

Some of the most prominent reasons why your external monitor is not being detected on Windows 10 are listed below:

  • Hardware-related issues
  • Incorrectly installed display drivers
  • Running outdated video drivers
  • Having pending system updates
  • Incorrectly configured display settings

Whatever the reason, let’s take a look at fixing the problem of “Windows not detecting a second monitor” issue!

Things to check before troubleshooting the “Second Monitor Not Detected” problem

Before troubleshooting and resolving the issue with your second monitor, first, start with these basic workarounds to save yourself some time from digging deep.

  • Ensure that the right cable is connected to your PC and monitor. Also, check if it is damaged or malfunctioned. If so, replace it with a new one because the faulty cable will not detect the second monitor.
  • Disconnect docks, adapters, or dongles from your PC. It causes hardware conflicts between the PC and the second monitor. So, disconnecting them temporarily may resolve the “Laptop won’t detect monitor” issue.
  • To determine if the problem is with the primary system or the display, try connecting the second PC monitor with a different computer.
  • Verify that a power supply is attached to the second monitor. Sometimes, insufficient supply may cause the problem of “Windows not detecting a second monitor.”
  • Use the built-in controls on your display to pick the proper input like HDMI, DVI, and others.
  • To check if the real culprit is graphics card, attach it to a different functional monitor.
  • Update the display firmware you’re trying to set up to fix any compatibility issues or bugs.

Following this essential checklist may help to get Windows 10 to recognize the second monitor. If the issue persists, you can follow the below solutions:

How to fix the “second monitor not detecting on Windows 10” issue?

If you are tired of Windows 10 not detecting the second monitor problem, follow these troubleshooting steps. It will help you fix the problem in no time.

WORKAROUND 1 = Restart your PC

To refresh the connection, try rebooting your device once. It will certainly help in fixing common and basic issues related to your computer. Who knows, it may also solve the ‘external monitor not detected’ problem. To restart your PC, select Start, select Power and click on Restart. If the restart doesn’t work, select Start, then Power, and click on Shut Down.


WORKAROUND 2 = Make Windows 10 look for the second PC monitor

If restarting doesn’t solve the issue of ‘second monitor not detected on Windows 10”, then you need to force display detection and ask your Windows PC to recognize the second monitor manually. You can use the Windows 10 Settings app to perform the force detection of the second monitor.

  1. First,open the Windows Settings and select the System module, as shown in the screenshot attached below.system
  2. On the next screen, spot the Displaysection and click on the same.display
  3. Click the Detect button under the Rearrange your displays section.


That’s it! Windows should now recognize the second display. If the problem persists, try another workaround shared below.

WORKAROUND 3 = Connect a Wireless Display

In this workaround, you need to establish a successful connection of the wireless display to replace the secondary screen on your computer. To do so, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Windows Settings and then hit the Devices devices
  2. Select Bluetooth & other devices from the next window.bluetooth
  3. Select Add Bluetooth and other devices.add
  4. Select Wireless Display or dock.wireless display or dock
  5. Make sure the Wireless display is discoverable. Next, you need to select the display “Wireless monitor, TV, or PC with Miracast support) from the list of options.

Follow the on-screen instructions if applicable. Your wireless display should be recognized as the new external display now.

WORKAROUND 4 = Check your display adapter

Your graphics card display adapter might not be able to handle two monitors at once, leaving the second monitor undetected. A display splitter, in this situation, replicates the same signal rather than producing two distinct signals. When that happens, it does not expand your display to the second monitor either. You can only support one external monitor if your PC has a single video output connection. You’ll need a docking station or a USB adapter for an additional video output port to handle multiple monitors.

WORKAROUND 5 = Rollback your graphic driver

If your desktop or graphics driver was recently updated and Windows 10 cannot detect the second monitor, we suggest rolling back to the previous version when everything was working normally. To reinstall the current graphics driver and switch to an earlier one, you need to:

  1. Type in device managerin the taskbar’s search box, navigate to the Display adapters category and expand the same.display-adapters
  2. Right-click your graphics card and select properties
  3. On the next screen, select Driverand Roll Back Driver. If you notice the rollback driver option grayedout, consider uninstalling the respective driver.

select driver

You might want to read: 4 Ways: How to Fix Driver Error Code 32 on Windows 10

Important: Alternatively, if you discover running outdated drivers on your PC, consider updating them using a professional driver updater software like Advanced Driver Updater. The software supports updating all your device drivers, including Graphics, Motherboard, Keyboard, Mouse, Display, USB, and more. It even comes with an automatic scheduler that ensures no recent driver update gets missed for any of your devices.  If rolling back drivers doesn’t help in fixing “Second monitor not detected on Windows 10,” we recommend you to go with updating your old, missing, damaged, corrupted drivers. And Advanced Driver Updater is undoubtedly an ultimate solution to keep all your PC drivers up-to-date with the latest and most compatible versions.



To know more about this best driver updater software, follow the guide shared below:

Enjoy a seamless multitasking experience after fixing “Windows not detecting second monitor” issue!

Laptop won’t detect the second monitor is a frustrating issue you can often run into, especially when you have to get some work done urgently. Many reasons can cause this error and several ways to solve them. We have addressed the most effective ones in this article. Follow the checklist to help you quickly resolve the issue and get back to work!

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