fbpx

How to Switch Monitor 1 and 2

by Lisa Hayden
How to Switch Monitor 1 and 2

How to Switch Monitor 1 and 2

If you have two screens on your setup, each will have a number, either 1 or 2. The numbers are allocated depending on the ports that the monitors are connected to. You can designate one of the monitors as your primary display and the other as the secondary one.  

Having multiple monitors on your setup helps boost your productivity as it makes it possible to multitask. 

Monitor switching is essential in several instances. For example, several screen sharing and video conferencing software prioritize your monitor numbering over the display settings. 

So, how do you set your primary display or switch monitor 1 and 2?

How to Set Up Your Primary Display

To set up your primary monitor, use the following process:

  • Right-click anywhere on the desktop with no icons, apps, or programs

  • On the drop-down menu that appears, select “Display settings.” The option is at the bottom of the display settings menu, next to the monitor icon

  • The two monitors will be shown in graphical shapes. Select the monitor  to be set as the primary display

  • After selecting it, go down to the bottom of the screen and select “make this my primary display”

If the setting is grayed, the screen you want to set as the primary monitor is already set 

  • If you want to change the primary monitor to another display, select the one at the top and go to “Make this my main display” 

  • Finally, click “Apply” to use the new settings and swap the displays

How Do You Switch Monitor Numbers on Windows 10

To switch the monitor numbers, use the following steps:

  • Start by disconnecting the displays on your setup except for the primary monitor. You’ll have to change the ports that each port is connected to.

However, changing the ports of each monitor isn’t all you are required to do. You’ll also have to get rid of the registry keys that recall the displays, to help Windows recognize the new setup order of the monitors.

Before going to the editor, ensure you disconnect all the monitors that you have not designated as the primary display. For example, you can use your laptop monitor as the primary display and disconnect other monitors

  • Next, you should go to the registry editor. Opening the registry editor requires you to go to the Windows search bar and type “regedit.” Go to the search results and click “registry editor”.

  • Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemcurrentControlSetControlGraphicsdrivers. You can also copy the address and paste it on the address bar you get at the top of the registry editor and press “Enter”.

Alternatively, you can use the following steps to navigate to the address:

  • Go to the left panel and click “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”

  • On the folder beneath that, double-click on the “System”

  • Next, double-click the “CurrentControlSet” folder

  • Double-click “Control”

  • Finally, double-click the “GraphicsDrivers” folder 

Ideally, you should delete the configuration key. However, you may be required to restore it if something goes wrong. Therefore, it’ll be best to rename it to “configuration. old” instead of deleting it.

  • To rename the key, go to the left panel and click the “Configuration” folder

  • Type “configuration. Old” and then press “Enter”

  • If something doesn’t go according to the plan, you can go back to the “Configuration.old” folder and rename it to “Configuration” to restore your previous settings

Next, you should rename the “Connectivity” key to “connectivity.old”.

  • On the left panel, right-click the “Connectivity” folder and then click “rename”.

  • Type “connectivity. old” and click “Enter”.

  • If something doesn’t go as planned, you can come back to the “Connectivity.old” folder, rename it to “Connectivity” to restore the previous settings for the connectivity key.

  • Next, you should turn off your computer. To turn off the computer, click on the Windows Start menu. Click the Power button and then select “Shut down.” 

  • After shutting down your computer, connect the display you want to use as the number 1 monitor. Ensure you connect the monitor to the primary video port on the PC. 

If the computer features a multiple-port video card, ensure you connect the display to the first port. The primary port of the monitor is the port built-in to the motherboard. 

When using a laptop, monitor 1 will be the built-in monitor. If you have several video cards, you may not know how to tell the primary video port. You’ll have to try them in reverse order. 

Don’t plug in your secondary monitor. 

  • After connecting monitor 1 to the video port, use the power button on your PC or laptop to power it on. You can also turn on the monitor if you've turned it off.

  • Next, right-click anywhere on the desktop with no icons, apps, or programs. On the drop-down menu, select “Display settings” to open the display settings window.

  • Plugin the other monitor that you want to use as your secondary monitor. The operating system will detect the second display and also install all the required drivers. The two monitors will be visible in the right panel under “Multiple displays”.

The monitor connected to the primary port is labeled “Monitor 1.” “Monitor 2” is the display you connected last. You can also plug in another monitor that’ll be labeled “Monitor 3”.

There’ll be no need to return to the registry editor as Windows will detect the registry entries you entered earlier. 

If you cannot see the second monitor in the Display settings, go to the “Multiple displays” option and press the “Detect” option to see the monitors. 

How Do You Set the Primary Display on a Multi-Monitor Mac Setup 

If you have a multi-monitor Mac setup, you can switch the monitors to have the monitor with the higher resolution as the primary display. 

You only need a few minutes and some settings adjustments to configure the changes. Before starting, ensure both monitors are turned on, and the external display is connected to the Mac. 

Follow these steps to set up the primary display:

  • Go to the Apple menu and open the system preferences

  • Click on the Display icon and select the “Arrangement” tab

  • You’ll see a white bar at the top of the current primary monitor. Click and hold the white bar, which represents the menu bar

  • Drag the bar across to the display you want to use as your primary display for the Mac setup

  • As you drag the bar across, you’ll see a red border that forms around the display to be used as your new primary monitor. The red border assists you in selecting the monitor to use as your primary option 

  • When you release the white bar on the other display, you’ll notice the two monitors flicker on and off briefly. Then, the video output will adjust accordingly to work with the new settings

  • When you are done with the new primary display settings, close the System Preferences and keep them set

The new primary display becomes the default display for launching your applications, and it also holds the system’s menu bar. The menu bar accommodates the dock and all the default desktop icons. 

The method helps you turn any external display into the primary, which allows you to take advantage of the increased screen real estate if the external monitor is larger.

Conclusion 

If you have a multi-monitor setup, you can switch the monitor you use as the primary display. For instance, you can use the display with more screen real estate or higher resolution as the primary display. The process of switching the monitors is simple, and you’ll be done in a short time. 

Sharing is caring!

You may also like

Leave a Comment