How To Set Different Resolutions For Multiple Monitors In Windows 10

When you connect a second display to your PC, Windows 10 automatically sets the same resolution for it as the primary display. If both displays are the same size, this isn’t a problem. If one of them has a higher resolution than the other, it is a problem. Unless you fix the resolution set for both monitors, one will always look bad. If nothing else, you won’t be getting the best out of at least one of your monitors. Windows 10 lets you set different resolutions for multiple monitors. It just doesn’t make it easy or obvious how it’s done. Windows 10 removed the wallpaper and display settings from the Control Panel app and moved them to the Settings app. The Settings app is a simplified version of basic settings but it complicates how you set different resolutions for multiple monitors. Here’s what you need to do.

Connect your second, or third monitor to your PC or laptop. Turn it on and wait for your desktop to either extend or mirror to the new displays you just added. Once you’ve connected your displays, it’s time to fix their resolution.

Open the Settings app and go to the System group of settings. Select the Display tab and make sure windows 10 is detecting all connected displays. Click the ‘Identify’ link at the bottom of the detected displays. This will help you identify which monitor is which.

Next, scroll down this same tab and click ‘Advanced display settings’.

On the Advanced display settings screen, select the monitor you want to change the resolution for. You should know which monitor is which from the first step. If you skipped it, there is an Identify link on this screen too. Use it to identify your monitor.

Select the monitor you want to set a different resolution for. This is a crucial step because the resolution options in the dropdown change depending on which display you’ve selected. Display 2 has been selected in the screenshot below.

Open the Resolution dropdown and select the recommended (or higher) resolution for the display. Click Apply. When prompted to keep or revert the change, click ‘Keep’. The resolution for the selected display will be changed. The resolution for the other display will remain the same as before.

This was easier on older versions of Windows 10. The trimming of the Control Panel app, and the addition of the Settings app have complicated otherwise simple tasks on Windows. That said, the option is still there and it takes little effort to set different resolutions for multiple monitors. You just have to know where to look.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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