Tech Tips

A study by Jon Peddie Research found that dual displays can increase productivity by 42%. But it’s more complex than just setting up an extra screen. 

It’s common for people to feel “off kilter” when trying to work from two monitors. They may even find it harder despite having more screen real estate. The cause is usually the setup. They either have the screens positioned wrong or need to optimize the settings.

We’ll dive into some dual-monitor setup best practices. These should help you improve your two-screen experience and take it to the next level.

Best Practices for a Great Two-Screen Setup

1. Match Size and Resolution

Before you jump into the excitement of a dual-monitor setup:

  1. Do some matching.
  2. Make sure your monitors are well-matched with each other.
  3. Try to use monitors of the same size and resolution.

This helps to avoid any jarring differences in image quality or screen real estate. Your eyes will thank you for the consistency!

2. Get the Right Cables

Picture this: you’ve set up your dual monitors and are excited to fire them up. But your cables don’t fit the ports! Check your device outputs and inputs to avoid this headache to ensure you have the right cables. HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI are common options. But verify which ones you need for optimal performance.

3. Positioning is Everything

Now that your monitors are ready, let’s talk positioning. Placing your monitors correctly can make a world of difference. This is true for both your comfort and productivity.  

Ideally, arrange them side by side, keeping the top edges aligned. Adjust the angle to reduce neck strain, and make sure the distance is comfortable for your eyes. After all, you’ll spend a lot of time in front of these screens.

4. Embrace the Extended Desktop

It’s tempting to mirror your displays and have the same content on both screens. But that’s not the full potential of a dual-monitor setup. Embrace the extended desktop feature. It allows you to have separate content on each screen. 

This means you can work on a document on one screen. And browse the web or handle email on the other—double the productivity!


5. Focus on Taskbar Tweaks

A cluttered taskbar can quickly turn your dual-monitor setup into chaos. Keep things organized. Set the taskbar to display only the active applications on the open screen. 


  • Right-click on the taskbar and go to “Taskbar settings.” 
  • Open “Taskbar behaviors”
  • Adjust the setting, “When using multiple displays, show my taskbar apps on.” Set it to the taskbar where the window is open.

6. Leverage Shortcuts

Did you know that Windows has some nifty window-snapping shortcuts? Use the Windows key plus the left or right arrow to snap an application to one side of the screen. It will fill exactly half of it. 

This is perfect for comparing documents and writing while researching or watching a video while working. It’s a productivity boost you won’t be able to live without once you’ve tried it!

7. Gaming in Style

A dual-monitor setup can bring your gaming experience to a new level if you’re a gamer. Many modern games support dual monitors, allowing an extended field of view. This is especially true in racing and flight simulation games. Just remember to adjust your graphics settings accordingly for the best performance.

8. Mastering Multitasking

Multitasking is where dual monitors truly shine. For example, you can open your design software on one screen and your reference images on the other. 

Writers can have research materials on one screen with their writing software on the other. The possibilities are endless. It’s like having a productivity superhero at your disposal! Explore workflows that make the most of both screens.

9. Tame the Cable Chaos

Dual monitors mean double the cables. If you’re not careful, it can quickly become a cable jungle. Invest in some cable management solutions, such as adhesive cable clips or cable sleeves, to keep things tidy. Your setup will look cleaner. It’ll also be easier to make changes or upgrades in the future.

10. Don’t Forget the Ergonomics

As you immerse yourself in your dual-monitor world, remember to consider ergonomics. Ensure that your monitors are at eye level. And your keyboard and mouse are at a comfortable height and angle. 

Good ergonomics can prevent strain and discomfort. This allows you to enjoy your setup longer without aches or pains.

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Article used with permission from The Technology Press. 

October 23, 2023

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