How to Change the Primary Monitor on Windows?

All versions of the Windows Operating System that are currently supported by Microsoft have dual monitor and even multiple monitor support. This means that you can have more than one monitor not only connected to your computer but also display whatever you want it to display in order to increase productivity and improve ease of use. Windows 10, the latest and greatest in a long line of Windows Operating Systems, also has multiple monitor support. In fact, Windows 10 is rather good at handling more than one monitor. Multiple monitor support is a godsend for power users as most power users out there have more than one monitors connected to their computers.

When you connect more than just one monitor to a computer running on the Windows Operating System, Windows makes one of the monitors the primary monitor (in almost all cases, this is the monitor that was connected to the computer first) and the rest of the monitors the secondary, tertiary and so on monitors. The primary monitor is the default monitor Windows displays everything on, which is why being able to determine which monitor connected to your computer you want to be the primary monitor is immensely important. Thankfully, Windows 10 not only allows users with multiple monitors to choose their primary monitor at any given time but the process used to do so is also pretty simple.

For Windows 7 

To change the primary monitor on a computer running on Windows 7 with more than one monitor connected to it, you need to simply:

  1. Right-click on an empty space on your Desktop.
  2. Click on Screen resolution.
  3. In the space underneath Change the appearance of your display, all of the computers connected to your computer will be visible, each represented as a screen with a number in the middle. The screen that has the number 1 at its center is the monitor that is currently configured as your computer’s primary monitor. Click on the monitor that you would like to make your computer’s primary monitor to select it.
  4. Check the checkbox beside the Use this device as the primary monitor option (or the Make this my main display option, depending on the iteration of Windows you are using) to enable it. Doing so will tell Windows 10 to change the primary display to the monitor you have just chosen.
  5. Click on Apply, and the change you have made to your computer’s display configuration will be applied.
  6. Click on OK and close the Screen Resolution window.

For Windows 10

In Windows 10, the steps are slightly a little different. Some names are changed here and there but the main method is the same.

  1. Right-click anywhere in the Desktop and select Display Settings.
Display Settings in Windows 10 homescreen
Display Settings – Win 10 home screen
  1. Here all the displays will be shown in graphical shapes. You can easily distinguish the screens from one another. Now select the display which you want to set as the primary display. Now navigate down at the screen and select Make this my main display.
Settings screen as primary display in Windows 10 settings
Settings screen as the primary display
  1. If you see the Make this main display greyed out, it probably means that the current monitor which you are trying to set as the primary display is set already.

Note: If you have graphics hardware installed on your computer, it is likely that the graphical application’s settings are overriding the system’s default display settings. In that case, open the application and select the primary display from there in the settings.

Primary display in graphic settings in Windows 10 AMD
Primary display in graphic settings – AMD

Furthermore, you should also make sure that the displays are extended. If you have not extended the displays, there will be no option of making a primary monitor as all monitors will be treated alike. You can change the setting to Extend these displays from the display settings in Windows 10.

Extending screen in Windows 10 settings
Extending screen – Win 10 settings

Note: Try to Connect your HDMI cable to the monitor which you want to use as primary because some users have reported that the monitor that is connected using the HDMI cables is actually recognized as the primary monitor. This might not be the case with all of you but it might still help some people.


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.