How to Set Up Three Monitors? 5 Easy Steps

A dual-monitor configuration has grown ubiquitous in recent years. Multitasking on a single screen is simply unworkable. But why stop with just two? Multiple monitors are awesome and something you require in your life.

How to Set Up Three Monitors

When scrolling large texts, vertically using one of your monitors might make a tremendous impact. If you’re a player, you’ll understand how beneficial three or more displays can be in games that enable multi-monitor setups. You may even utilize your TV as a second display for your PC!

However, before you get started, think about your multi-monitor setup. This tutorial will help you How to Set Up Three Monitors.

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What Is A Triple Monitor Setup?

Defined, a three monitor setup is when three monitors are linked to a computer or laptop to display a single image. HDMI, VGA, Display Port, or Thunderbolt 3 cables connect the three displays.

The monitors may display a wide range of things of interest. A multi-monitor arrangement may be utilized for gaming or professional or business-related activities like trading, programming, or graphic creation and editing.

This configuration is one of the most effective methods to boost productivity while making computer use more enjoyable. Told, it is a really handy and enjoyable way to utilize your computer.

Before configuring a multi-monitor setup

Ensure that all relevant connections are connected to the displays and the computer before configuring multiple monitors on your device. This involves utilizing VGA, DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort (preferred) cables to connect power and video signal.

If you’re unsure, check the monitor’s brand and model (typically found on a label on the back) and look for the manufacturer’s handbook online to learn more about connecting the display.

How do rearrange multiple displays on Windows?

While you may connect a monitor to any available video port on the graphics card, connecting them in the wrong sequence when setting up a dual-monitor or triple-monitor system is simple. They’ll still operate, but you could have trouble using the mouse or executing programs until you reorganize them properly.

How to Set Up Three Monitors

Follow these procedures to rearrange your displays in Windows:

  • Open Settings->System->Display.
  • Drag and drop each display in the “Select and rearrange displays” section to rearrange them according to their actual arrangement on your desktop.
  • Click the Apply button.

After completing the instructions, Windows will remember the physical arrangement, allowing you to work across several displays and run programs without any problems.

If you’re unsure which monitor to choose, use the Identify button. If one of the monitors doesn’t appear, check sure it’s powered up and connected properly before pressing the Detect button. If you’re still having issues, try resetting their connections (or restarting the computer) and pressing the Detect button again.

How to adjust display scale and layout on Windows?

Windows do a fantastic job of recognizing and customizing the best settings when connecting one or more monitors to a computer. However, depending on your needs, you may need to alter each monitor’s Scale, Resolution, and Orientation.

When setting up several monitors of differing sizes and screen resolutions to make text, programs, and other objects seem the same size across the displays, Windows features scaling settings.

Adjusting the scale settings on a 4K display, for example, can help make objects larger and more readable.

Use the following procedures to get the right scale setting for your needs:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select the Display option.
  4. Select the monitor you wish to change under the “Select and rearrange displays” section.
  5. Select the appropriate scale option from the drop-down menu and change the size of text, applications, and other things.
 Select the proper scale

You may need to repeat steps 4 and 5 to modify the scale settings on the additional displays and then select the Sign-out option to save the changes.

While you may modify the scaling settings per monitor, utilizing the same brand and model of monitors with the same setup wherever feasible is recommended. Otherwise, you can have complications, and Windows might have difficulty scaling things.

Custom scaling

Follow these procedures to provide a custom scaling value:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select the Display option.
  4. Select the monitor you wish to change under the “Select and rearrange displays” section.
  5. Select Advanced scaling settings from the “Scale and layout” section.
  6. Set the scaling size between 100 and 500 percent in the “Custom scaling” section.
  7. Then press the Apply button.
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Sign out of your account and back in to test the changed settings after completing the steps. If the new scaling configuration doesn’t seem right, repeat the process with a different number until you discover one that works for you.

 Select Advanced scaling

You must turn off custom scaling and sign out before switching to the default scale settings. If you don’t do so, the choice will be greyed out.

Selecting correct Resolution

Normally, Windows will establish the suggested pixel resolution automatically when attaching a monitor, but you may adjust it manually by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select the Display option.
  4. Select the monitor you wish to change under the “Select and rearrange displays” section.
  5. Use the Resolution drop-down menu in the “Scale and layout” section to choose the suitable pixel resolution.
Resolution drop-down menu

Repeat steps 4 and 5 to adjust the Resolution on the remaining displays once you’ve completed the procedures.

If you want to make text and other elements on the screen larger, change the scaling settings rather than the display resolution.

Selecting correct Orientation

You may also rotate the screen horizontally or vertically in Windows, which is beneficial if you have monitors with rotating stands that you wish to use at a different angle for reading or coding.

Follow these procedures to adjust the Orientation of each monitor:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select the Display option.
  4. Select the monitor you wish to change under the “Select and rearrange displays” section.
  5. Select the mode from the Orientation drop-down menu under the “Scale and layout” section: – Landscape – Portrait – Landscape (flipped) – Portrait (flipped)

When you’ve finished all of the steps, the display will change to the Orientation you choose.

How to Set Up Three Monitors On One Computer?

A triple monitor arrangement is a terrific method to multitask while also getting a new perspective on your computer. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on setting up many monitors horizontally or vertically in your home or workplace.

  1. Check if your computer supports triple monitors
  2. Buy extra hardware if it doesn’t
  3. Check if you have the required cables
  4. Configure your display settings
  5. Update the drivers for your monitors

Let us go through each step only by one:

Step 1: Check if your computer supports triple monitors

Triple monitors aren’t supported by all computers, especially older or less expensive. Ones Look at the video ports on your computer to see whether it has them.

video ports

You’ll need at least three video ports that can be utilized simultaneously to operate triple monitors.

To inspect your video ports, go to:

Check how many monitors your desktop supports

Your computer’s video ports will be on the rear. Count the number of each category and note how many you have.

The next step is to test if all of the ports you see can be utilized simultaneously. There are two points to consider here:

1. Using integrated graphics AND a graphics card simultaneously is generally not good.

Many computers include a video connection on the motherboard (known as ‘integrated graphics’) and a video port on the graphics card. You’ll see two groups of video connectors if your PC is set up this way. But don’t be deceived by the abundance of ports. 

Although you can use your integrated graphics and graphics card to power several displays simultaneously, you definitely wouldn’t want to. Things will become quite sluggish, especially if you switch between displays.

Instead of using integrated graphics, utilize that if you have a separate graphics card. (Alternatively, you could utilize the integrated graphics solely, although this isn’t recommended because the graphics card will perform better in Resolution, quality, and responsiveness.)

If you don’t mind latency and want to utilize both integrated graphics and your graphics card simultaneously, you’ll need to go into your PC’s BIOS and permanently activate integrated graphics.

(Go to Configuration > Video > Integrated graphics device > Always enable to do this.) Your menu selections may differ somewhat.) Any displays linked to your integrated graphics (motherboard) will stop operating as soon as you attach a monitor to your graphics card if you don’t do this.

2. You can’t utilize all ports simultaneously on some graphics cards (and some motherboards).

Some graphics cards have so many ports that you can’t utilize all of them simultaneously. For example, yours may have three ports, but you may only be able to utilize two at a time.

You’ll need to check the documentation for your graphics card to see how many ports you can utilize at once. You may also Google it and type in the manufacturer and model of your video card and the number of displays you wish to use. (For example, “three Nvidia GTX 570 monitors”).

The same may be said of motherboards. If you don’t have a dedicated graphics card and your motherboard has three ports, you may only be able to utilize two of them at once. As a result, you’ll need to consult the motherboard’s documentation to figure out what it supports.

Check how many monitors your laptop supports

If you’re using a laptop, chances are you have one video port on the left or right side of your computer: you could have two, but three is quite unusual. As a result, you won’t be able to use triple monitors unless you purchase additional hardware, as detailed below.

Don’t give up if your computer lacks the necessary ports to operate triple monitors. You might still be able to pull it off. To find out how to go to Step 2 below…

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You can move to Step 3 if your computer has the appropriate ports to operate triple monitors.

Step 2: Buy extra hardware if your computer doesn’t already support triple monitors

Even if your computer doesn’t have enough video ports, you can still use three monitors! You’ll need to purchase one of the following items to make it happen:

Go ahead and read about the gadget you want to learn more about.

  • A new graphics card is required.
  • A multi-display adaptor that may be used externally
  • A USB to HDMI converter is required.
  • The use of a docking station

You can’t just connect three monitors to a standard video splitter since it would just reflect your laptop’s image across all three displays.

A new graphics card (desktop PCs only)

If you have a desktop computer, you may upgrade to a graphics card that supports three monitors. This is impossible on a laptop since most laptops have an integrated graphics card permanently bonded to the motherboard.

For example, the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti should be available for around $150.

However, before you go out and buy a new graphics card, keep in mind that not all graphics cards are compatible with your computer’s motherboard. Check your motherboard’s PCI Express slot, the size of your selected graphics card, and the power requirements to verify if a graphics card is compatible with your PC.

Check the PCI Express slot on the motherboard.

PCI Express slot on the motherboard

On a motherboard, there are many sorts of expansion slots. A PCI Express x16 slot is required to connect a graphics card. The simplest approach to see if you have this slot is to Google the manufacturer and model of your motherboard.

You may also verify if you have the slot by opening your computer casing. The PCI Express x16 slot on the motherboard should be the longest.

Check the size of your chosen graphics card.

You’ll need to ensure your computer case has adequate space for the new graphics card, which is frequently very large due to the cooling fan.

If you’re unsure about the size of your graphics card, check with the manufacturer or merchant.

Check how much room you have where the card will go after knowing how big it is. To put it another way, find the PCI Express x16 slot and picture insert something like this into it.

Check the power requirements.

A graphics card that supports three monitors will consume significantly more power than one that supports one. E.g., A typical graphics card requires 100 to 300 watts. However, a card that supports triple monitors may require 600 watts.

When you install a new graphics card, if your PC doesn’t have the power to handle it, it may shut down abruptly or fail to turn on.

Check your computer’s specs to determine how many watts the power supply unit (PSU) can deliver. If you can’t locate any specs, the output of your computer’s power supply should be visible.

A multi-display adaptor that may be used externally

With an external multi-display adapter, you can operate three separate displays even if your PC only supports one monitor output.

A new graphics card should be more expensive than an external multi-display adaptor, which costs around $150.

They’re also considerably simpler to set up: connect one of the included cables to your USB port (which powers the adapter) and the other to your Mini DisplayPort or USB Type-C connection (this sends the video signal from your computer to the adapter).

A USB to HDMI converter is required.

USB to HDMI converter

You can buy USB to HDMI adapters if you don’t have the money for an external multi-display converter. One adapter is required for each extra monitor, so if you already have one monitor, but two of these adapters into your PC’s USB ports, connect a couple more monitors to the other end, and voila! You’ve got a three-monitor expanded desktop!

These adapters are great if you want three monitors for a low price (about $50), but they don’t perform as well as a strong graphics card or an external multi-display converter. As a result, they’re not ideal for gaming or watching HD videos.

The use of a docking station

docking station

You may connect up to three different displays to your computer via a docking station. Use the USB host cable to connect your computer to the docking station and connect your additional displays to the docking station’s DisplayPort and HDMI connections.

One of these docking stations will set you back roughly USD 150.

The lack of cooling fans in a docking station like this is a disadvantage. Some users say it warms up rapidly, so it may not be appropriate for long-term or away-from-home use.

Step 3: Check if you have the required cables.

After you’ve established that your computer has the requisite video ports to handle triple monitors (or that you’ve purchased additional hardware), double-check that you have all the necessary connections to connect everything.

Recall the video ports you discovered in step 1 on your PC. For example, to connect three monitors, if your computer has two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort, you’ll need two HDMI cables and one DisplayPort cable.

The next step is to inspect the ports on your displays. For example, if you’re connecting to a computer with two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort port, you should have two HDMI displays and one DisplayPort monitor.

If you don’t have the required cables

You may purchase the cords you require if you do not already have them. The majority of cables will be less than USD 10.

If the ports on your monitors don’t match those on your computer

DisplayPort-to-VGA

Don’t worry if the ports on your displays don’t match those on your computer. Purchase an adapter or adapter cord.

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For example, if your computer has a DisplayPort, but your display only has a VGA connection, you may acquire a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter and then connect a male-to-male VGA cable from the adapter’s VGA input to the VGA input of your monitor.

Step 4: Configure your display settings

Once you have all the essential hardware (as detailed in stages 1, 2, and 3), it’s time to set up your displays and everything is correctly connected. Here’s how to do it:

On Windows 7 or 8, change the display settings.

1. Select Screen resolution from the context menu of your desktop.

You should now see a collection of monitors, each with its number.

collection of monitors

2. Select one, then select Identify to find out which pictured monitor corresponds to which monitor on your desk. E.g., When you click on the monitor labeled with a 1, a number 1 will display on one of your desk’s monitors.

select Identify

3. If one or more of your monitors is missing, click Detect and wait for your computer to recognize it.

4. Drag and drop your mouse to adjust the layout on-screen if it doesn’t match how your monitors are positioned on your desk.

5. Select Extend these displays from the drop-down box next to Multiple displays. After that, you’ll see a single continuous display that spans all of your displays (i.e., you can drag your mouse or windows from one screen to the other).

6. To save all of your changes, click Apply.

Hopefully, your displays will work correctly once you complete this step. If any issues arise, though, updating drivers may be able to assist.

On Windows 10, you may customize your display settings.

1. Select Display settings from the right-click menu on your desktop.

 Display settings

You should now see a collection of monitors, each with its number.

2. Select one, then select Identify to find out which pictured monitor corresponds to which monitor on your desk. E.g., When you click on the monitor labeled with a 1, a number 1 will display on one of your desk’s monitors.

rearrange

3. If one or more of your displays is missing, click Detect and wait for your computer to recognize it.

4. Drag and drop your mouse to adjust the layout on-screen if it doesn’t match how your monitors are positioned on your desk.

5. You may adjust the size of text, applications, and other elements on your displays by customizing the Scale and layout. You may also change the Resolution and the angle of the image.

6. Select Extend these displays from the drop-down box next to Multiple displays. After that, you’ll see a single continuous display that spans all of your displays (i.e., you can drag your mouse or windows from one screen to the other).

Hopefully, your displays will work correctly once you complete this step.

Step 5: Update your graphics drivers and monitor drivers

You should update the drivers for your graphics card and displays to guarantee that your triple monitor configuration operates properly and avoid issues like signal loss and black screens. You can achieve this by:

Manually download and install drivers

You may manually download and install the newest drivers for your graphics card and displays by going to all manufacturers’ websites, finding the correct drivers for your device models and Windows version, and then manually downloading and installing each one.

How to show the Taskbar across multiple displays on Windows?

The Taskbar will appear only in the primary display on a multi-monitor system by default, but you may alter the settings to show it across all screens by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select Personalization from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select Taskbar from the menu.
  4. Turn on the Show taskbar on all monitors toggle switch under the “Multiple display” section.

Use the Show taskbar button on the drop-down box to pick one of the various options for where the buttons for running programs should display in the Taskbar:

  • All Taskbar.
  • Main Taskbar and Taskbar where the window is open.
  • Taskbar where the window is open.

Conclusion

There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to use three displays on a single computer. While setting up a multi-monitor setup on your computer isn’t as simple as plugging in a new monitor and calling it a day, it is doable and significantly impacts how you use your computer.

FAQ

How Do You Connect Three Monitors To A Laptop?

To begin, double-check that your laptop’s graphics card can support three displays. Then, using a dock, connect your laptop and displays, and navigate to Settings > System > Display. Scroll down to Multiple Displays and choose to Detect if you don’t see all of the displays.

Do I Need To Use Two Of The Same Monitor?

You don’t have to. As long as they can all be connected to your computer, almost any screen may be used in a multi-monitor arrangement.

Do I Need Taskbars On Both Monitors?

You may choose whether or not each of your displays has a taskbar. To alter whether the Taskbar is on one or both screens, go to your taskbar settings and scroll down to the multiple monitors’ area.

Will Running Two Monitors Affect My Pc’s Performance?

With a dual, any performance impact should be small. Most of the time, you’ll notice it if you have a low-end setup and are running demanding software. Switching from a fullscreen app to another program running on the computer will cause performance blips.
Even with a three-monitor arrangement, there should be no major concerns. However, you may need to consider decreasing the Resolution of additional displays after that.