Fix: Third Monitor Not Detected in Windows

Some users are reportedly unable to use a third monitor on their Windows 10 PC. Most affected users report that they can only get two monitors to display while the 3rd one is not detected. The problem does not seem to be exclusive for Windows 10, but the frequency is higher especially with older monitor models.

If you’re struggling to connect the 3rd monitor on your Windows 10 PC, this article will provide you with some troubleshooting steps. Below you have a collection of methods that other users in a similar situation have used to resolve or circumvent the issue. Please follow the potential fixes in order until you stumble upon a method that resolves the issue for you – This guide also applies to the following related issues.

  • 3rd Monitor is Detected but not Displaying: This is when you see the monitor detected, but it wont display anything.
  • Windows 10 Triple Monitor not Working: This is when two or more of the monitors won’t work.

Method 1: Reconnect all monitors in order

This might seem like a superficial fix, but a lot of users that are already using a three-monitor setup have to reconnect all monitors in order to re-enable the third one back up.

Apparently, this is the result of a glitch that tends to happen on setups that use more than one DVI to Display ports. The fix involves unplugging and plugging back in the monitors in order (not just the one that is not working).

Note: It seems important to disconnect the monitors in the order that is displayed in the Advanced Display Settings window.

After doing this a few times, users report that the auto-detect feature will kick in and the 3rd monitor will get detected. If this method is not effective, move to the next method below.

Method 2: Using the Extend Desktop to Display option on the 3rd monitor

A lot of users have managed to resolve the issue by changing the display settings in a way that extends the screen to the 3rd monitor. This occurs because on Windows 10, when you connect the 3rd monitor, it will get displayed inside the Display screen but it won’t work because its status is Disconnected.

Luckily, this issue can be resolved by a simple modification inside the Display adapter. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run command. Then, type, “ms-settings:easeofaccess-display” and hit Enter to open the Display tab of the Settings app.
  2. In the Display tab, scroll down and click on Additional display settings.
  3. Scroll down to see the list of your screens and click on each one to see which one is disconnected.
  4. Once you identify the monitor that is disabled by default, select it and use the drop-down menu below to select Extend desktop to this display option.
  5. Upon clicking the Apply button, you should be able to use all your monitors.

If this method hasn’t enabled you to use your 3rd monitor, continue down with the next method below.

Method 3: Enable “Set Up Multiple Displays” From Nvidia Graphics (if applicable)

Some users that had Nvidia graphics cards have managed to fix this particular issue by going into the Nvidia Control panel and set up the displays manually. As it turns out, there is an issue with some Nvidia drivers that have been since addressed on the latest driver releases.

Note: This method is not applicable if you don’t own a Nvidia Graphics card.

Before you start following the fixes below, update your graphics driver to the latest versions and see if the issue is resolved automatically. You can use Nvidia’s automatic updater (here).

If you can’t afford to update to the latest available version or your GPU is outdated, start following the steps below:

  1. Right-click on a free space on your desktop and click on Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Inside the Nvidia Control Panel, click on Set Up Multiple Displays and check every box associated with the monitors that you want to use.
  3. Save the changes, reboot your computer and see if the 3rd monitor gets recognized at the next startup.

If this method was not effective, continue down with the next method below.

Method 4: Disable Integrated Intel card (under Display Adaptors)

Other users have managed to resolve the issue and connect the 3rd monitor by disabling the Intel Integrated GPU driver under Display Adaptors via Device Manager. This driver is known to create conflicts with the dedicated graphics drivers in instances where the system is also equipped with an Intel dedicated graphics card.

Here’s a quick guide on disabling the Intel card to resolve the 3rd monitor issue on Windows 10:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run box. Then, type “devmgmt.msc” and hit Enter to open Device Manager.
  2. Inside Device manager, expand the Display Adaptors drop-down menu.
  3. Next, right-click on the Intel graphics card and choose Disable device.
  4. Re-connect the third monitor and see if the issue is resolved.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.