Windows 11: How to Troubleshoot a Second Monitor Not Detected

Having a dual-monitor setup can greatly increase your productivity, but what if your second monitor not detected in Windows 11? Don’t worry; You’re not alone.

In fact, many users, including professionals, programmers, designers, and multitaskers, have encountered this frustrating issue where their computer does not recognize the additional display, despite being connected correctly.

Moreover, dual monitors are a game-changer for those who need to work with multiple applications simultaneously, reference materials side-by-side, or simply enjoy an expanded workspace.

However, issues like second monitor not detected in Windows 11 can hinder productivity and cause frustration.

Therefore, in this comprehensive guide, we will explore the possible causes behind this issue and provide you with step-by-step solutions to get your second monitor running smoothly on your Windows 11 system.

What are the common causes of Windows 11 not detecting a second monitor ?

When Windows 11 does not detect a second monitor, it could be due to a variety of reasons. First of all, let’s take a look at a detailed description of common problems that can cause this issue:

Watch the video to learn about the common issue of the second monitor not being detected in Windows 11.

Second monitor not detected in Windows 11

Display Settings

To begin with, sometimes, your advanced display settings might not be configured to detect a second monitor in Windows 11, or the second computer may not be detected. This could be due to a recent update or a configuration change that needs to be reconfigured.

Faulty cables or ports

Additionally, physical connections play a crucial role. Damaged or improperly connected cables and video ports can prevent the second monitor from being detected.

Outdated or corrupted graphics driver

Furthermore, an outdated or discrete graphics card driver can cause compatibility issues with the second monitor. Ensuring you have the correct driver and that your graphics driver is up to date is essential for monitors to function properly.

Incorrect projection settings

Moreover, the projection settings determine how the second monitor is used. If set incorrectly, it may not display anything even if it is connected.

Malfunctioning display adapter

Besides that, the display adapter is responsible for sending video signals to the monitors. If there is a malfunction, it could cause the second monitor, or the second computer, to not be detected in Windows 11.

Hardware limitations

Nevertheless, some computers may have hardware limitations that prevent them from supporting multiple monitors. It is important to check your hardware specifications to ensure compatibility.

Software conflicts

Occasionally, other software or applications may interfere with the detection of a second monitor. Running a clean boot can help identify if there is a software issue causing the problem.

Power Settings

Likewise, power saving modes or settings can turn off the second monitor to save power. Adjusting this setting may resolve the detection issue.

BIOS/UEFI Settings

Alternatively, sometimes it is necessary to configure the BIOS or UEFI settings to enable multiple displays, especially if you are using a docking station or similar setup.

Windows Updates

Finally, pending Windows updates can sometimes fix errors related to hardware detection. Making sure your system is up to date can sometimes solve the problem.

Also Check: How to fix system service exception in Windows 11 ?

How can you fix the issue of Windows 11 not detecting a second monitor ?

If you are facing the issue of Windows 11 not detecting a second monitor, there are several troubleshooting methods you can try. Let’s dig into the details:

Watch the video to fix the issue of Windows 11 not detecting a second monitor and then follow the fixes mentioned below:

Fix Windows 11 not detecting a second monitor

Basic checks

  • Firstly, make sure the second monitor is properly connected to a power source.
  • Secondly, check that the screen is on.
  • Furthermore, shut down your computer and then restart it.

Set up dual monitors

  • Firstly, let’s try the basic steps to set up dual monitors.
  • Secondly, press Windows + I keys to open Settings.
  • Next, click System in the left sidebar.
  • Then, in the right pane, click Show.
  • After that, under Multiple display options, click the Detect button.
  • Hopefully, this will help your Windows 11 PC detect the external display.

Display Driver Updates

The display driver plays a crucial role, especially when troubleshooting driver issues like a second monitor not being detected in Windows 11. Sometimes simply updating it is not enough. Let’s explore further

Update display driver

  • First, visit your PC or motherboard manufacturer’s Support Downloads web page to get your exact model number (you can find it on the label of your PC).
  • Subsequently, make sure you have the latest display driver.

Remove old drivers

  • Firstly, if necessary, use the Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) to remove the old driver (not necessary if you are using the Microsoft basic driver).
  • Secondly, consider installing the driver in Safe Mode with Networking or Safe Mode.

Check other drivers

  • While you’re at it, also check for newer chipsets, BIOS/UEFI firmware, networking, sound, USB adapter and USB drivers.
  • Moreover, compare them with the ones currently installed in Device Manager.

Intel, Nvidia and AMD drivers

  • Furthermore, when dealing with issues like a second monitor not being detected in Windows 11, compare your current version with the one offered by the Intel Driver Update Utility, Nvidia GeForce Update Utility, or AMD Autodetect Utility.

Roll back or uninstall the driver

  • Firstly, on the Display Device, go to the Driver tab and roll back or uninstall the driver.
  • Secondly, restart your PC to reinstall the driver.

Try older drivers

  • First, in Device Manager, go to the Display Device Driver tab and choose Update driver > Browse > Let me choose.
  • Additionally, check with outdated drivers version.

Adjust screen resolution

  • To begin, go to Settings > System > Display.
  • After that, adjust the screen resolution until it looks better.

Monitor driver

  • Furthermore, to address issues such as second monitor not detected in Windows 11, speed up Windows updates (including optional updates) in Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Check for updates.

Check Display Settings

  • To begin, press Win + I to open Settings.
  • Thereafter, navigate to System > Display.
  • Subsequently, scroll to “Multiple displays” and click “Detect”.

Update Graphics Driver

  • Firstly, open Device Manager (devmgmt.msc).
  • Secondly, expand “Display adapters”.
  • Then, right-click your graphics driver and select “Update driver”.

Roll Back Driver

  • Alternatively, in Device Manager, right-click your display adapter.
  • After that, go to “Properties” > “Driver” tab.
  • Finally, click “Roll Back Driver” if available.

Reconnect Video Cables

  • Firstly, unplug and replug the video cables of the second monitor.
  • Secondly, check for Faulty Cables or Ports
  • In last, try different cables or ports to rule out hardware issues.

Check Cable Compatibility

  • Moreover, ensure that the current cable versions (HDMI/DisplayPort) are compatible with your devices.

Update Windows

  • In addition, go to Settings > Update & Security.
  • Subsequently, check for updates and install any available ones.

Check for Hardware Changes

  • Besides that, in Device Manager, click “Action” and select “Scan for hardware changes”.

Restart Your Computer

  • Finally, a simple restart can sometimes resolve detection issues.

Also Check: How to map a network in Windows 11 ?

Why Windows 11 does not detect HDMI monitor ?

If your Windows 11 system is not detected a second HDMI monitor, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to fix the issue. Let’s dig into the details:

Hardware Troubleshooting

Power and connection check

  • Firstly, make sure the monitor is plugged into a power source and turned on.
  • Secondly, restart your computer to refresh the connection.
  • After that, please confirm the signal cable connection between your device and the screen.
  • Subsequently, find the controls on the screen and switch to the correct input port.
  • Furthermore, disconnect the video cable from both ends and reconnect it after one minute.
  • Additionally, try using a different video cable to rule out cable problems.
  • Moreover, if your monitor and graphics card have different ports, consider changing the ports.
  • In addition, please note that DisplayPort and HDMI cables have different variations, so make sure you use the correct cable.
  • Alternatively, connect the monitor to another computer to check if the problem is with the monitor itself.
  • Similarly, connect another working display to make sure the problem is not related to the graphics card.
  • Disconnect any other USB devices (printers, cameras, etc.) to rule out conflicts.
  • Finally, in rare cases, updating the external monitor firmware can help fix bugs and compatibility issues.

Software Troubleshooting Using Settings

  • Firstly, if second monitor not detected by Windows 11, try the following steps within Windows 11 Settings.
  • Secondly, press Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  • Next, click System.
  • Then, scroll down and click Show in the right panel.
  • After that, under Multiple Displays, click the Detect button to manually detect the second monitor.
  • Finally, remember that these steps will help you fix issues related to external monitors that Windows 11 is not detecting.

Set same refresh rate

Setting the same refresh rate for both monitors can sometimes resolve the issue of a second monitor not being detected in Windows 11.

This is because if your second monitor has a different refresh rate than the first, Windows may not detect it properly. To ensure that this isn’t causing the issue, you can follow these steps:

  • Firstly, right-click on your desktop and select Display settings.
  • Secondly, scroll down and click on Advanced display.
  • Next, from the “Select a display to view or change its settings” tab, choose the display for which you want to change the frequency.
  • Then, set the refresh rate to match the primary monitor.

This process can help Windows to recognize and detect the second monitor if the discrepancy in refresh rates was the problem.

Also Check: How to factory reset Windows 11 ?


Troubleshooting second monitor not detected in Windows 11 can be a frustrating experience, but with the right steps, it can definitely be fixed. First and foremost, we’ve covered a variety of possible solutions, from basic checks to advanced driver software updates and hardware compatibility checks.

However, remember, patience and a systematic approach are key. If one method doesn’t work, move on to the next until you find the solution that works for your specific setup.

Moreover, don’t hesitate to contact technical support if you still have problems. Ultimately, with a little perseverance, you’ll be able to enjoy the productivity benefits of a dual-monitor setup in no time.


Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s)

Why doesn’t my computer detect a second monitor ?

Ensure the monitor is powered and connected correctly; if issues persist, try updating your graphics driver software or using the “Detect” option in display settings.  

How do I activate a second monitor in Windows 11 ?

To activate a second monitor in Windows 11, connect the monitor and press Windows key + P to select a display option. Then, go to Settings > System > Display and configure your setup.

How do I force Windows to detect a second monitor ?

To force Windows 11 to detect a second monitor, go to Settings > System > Display, and click the Detect button. If that doesn’t work, check your hardware connections and update your graphics drivers.

Content Writer

Smith Ron, the writer at Assistme360. He has extensive experience in crafting straightforward, step-by-step guides for technical issues. His broad knowledge ensures accurate solutions. Kindly spare a moment to drop a comment down and express your opinions. Your feedback can be valuable in assisting others who may come across similar problems.

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