One of the best ways to boost productivity and improve your multi-tasking experience is by connecting a second monitor to your PC. In general, the process involved is straightforward and simple. However, that’s not always the case. It is possible for Windows 10 to fail to detect your second monitor. So, despite having a good connection between your computer and external display, you might see error messages.

So, why doesn’t Windows 10 detect second monitor? Well, in this article, we will answer that and even provide you with the proper resolutions. There are many things you can do to fix this problem, including manually detecting the monitor, hardware troubleshooting, and updating your drivers.

Using Hardware Troubleshooting Techniques

In most cases, Windows 10 can’t detect the second monitor because of software issues. However, it is still possible that a connection problem is preventing you from using your other monitor. So, before you try updating your drivers or before you modify your device settings, we suggest performing these hardware troubleshooting steps:

  • Make sure that the physical cable connection from the display to the video port on your laptop, PC, or tablet has no issues.
  • It is possible that the problem is caused by a bad pin or cable in the connector. So, it is advisable to try a different cable and see if this fixes the issue.
  • If your monitor has multiple inputs, ensure that you selected the correct one.
  • Are you using a high-definition display as your second monitor? Try updating its firmware to resolve compatibility issues and bugs. If this is the case, visit the manufacturer support website of your display to learn how to acquire the latest firmware update.
  • The issue may have something to do with the output port on your device or the input port in the monitor. Try switching ports to check if that resolves the problem connecting to the second monitor.
  • Restart your PC to check if that fixes the issue.
  • Try connecting your second display to a different device. If it still doesn’t work, then the problem is with the display itself.

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps above and your external monitor still does not work on Windows 10, it is time to try the advanced solutions. We will teach you how to fix second monitor is not enabled in the display settings and other practical and easy-to-follow methods.

Method 1: Using the Settings app

If there are no problems with the physical connection, then you must get Windows to manually detect your external monitor. You can do this by using the Settings app.

How to Force your System to Detect your Second Display

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S.
  2. Type “Settings” (no quotes), then press Enter.
  3. Click System.
  4. Go to the left-pane menu, then click Display.
  5. Under the Multiple Display section, click the Detect button.

How to Connect to a Wireless Display

If you’re trying to connect to an external wireless display, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Windows Key+S on your keyboard.
  2. Type “Settings” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. Select Bluetooth & Other Devices.
  4. Click the ‘Add Bluetooth & other devices’ button.
  5. Select the ‘Wireless display or dock’ option.
  6. Make sure that you have a discoverable wireless display.
  7. Choose the display from the list.
  8. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Method 2: Updating your Graphics Drivers

In some cases, Windows 10 cannot detect the external monitor because of corrupted, outdated, or incompatible graphics drivers. So, we recommend updating or reinstalling your drivers. You can do this manually, but it is more convenient to use a trusted tool like Auslogics Driver Updater. Keep in mind that updating your drivers is a tedious process. If you do not have the patience to manually look for the correct drivers, it is best to use Auslogics Driver Updater.


Resolve PC Issues with Driver Updater

Unstable PC performance is often caused by outdated or corrupt drivers. Auslogics Driver Updater diagnoses driver issues and lets you update old drivers all at once or one at a time to get your PC running smoother


To give you an idea of how complicated the process can be, let us show you the steps in manually updating and reinstalling your drivers.

If you want to update your graphics drivers manually, you can do so through Device Manager. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to your taskbar and right-click the Windows icon.
  2. Select Device Manager from the list.
  3. Once Device Manager is up, look for the Display Adapters category. Expand its contents.
  4. Right-click the device, then choose Update Driver.
  5. Click the ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ option.

After following the steps above, restart your PC and check if your system now detects the external monitor. On the other hand, you can opt to reinstall your graphics drivers. Just follow these instructions:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+X.
  2. From the list, select Device Manager.
  3. Go to the Device Manager category and expand its contents.
  4. Right-click the device, then select Uninstall Device.
  5. Click Uninstall again, but make sure that the ‘Delete the driver software from this device’ is not selected.
  6. Restart your PC.
  7. Repeat the first two steps to open Device Manager.
  8. Right-click your device’s name, then select Scan for Hardware Changes.

Restarting your computer should prompt your system to reinstall the drivers automatically. However, it is ideal to go through the additional steps to ensure that the video card has been detected properly. Otherwise, you would need to go to the manufacturer’s website and look for the correct and compatible drivers. Keep in mind that if you install the incorrect drivers, your computer might suffer from system instability issues. So, why risk it when you can automate the process, using Auslogics Driver Updater?

Method 3: Using Previous Versions of your Graphics Drivers

It is possible that the problem has something to do with the newer driver you recently installed. If you see a yellow exclamation mark in the adapter, we recommend rolling the driver back to its previous version. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Press Windows Key+X on your keyboard.
  2. Select Device Manager from the options.
  3. Look for Display Adapters and expand its contents.
  4. Right-click the device, then choose Properties.
  5. Go to the Driver tab.
  6. Click Roll Back Driver.

Note: You cannot use the Roll Back Driver button if it is grayed out. On the other hand, you can go to your device manufacturer’s support website and download the earlier versions of your drivers.

  1. Provide the reason why you want to return to an older version of the driver.
  2. Click Yes.

Do you think there are easier ways to resolve this problem?

Share your ideas in the comments below!