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How to make external monitor the primary display?

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September 29, 2007 2:29:19 PM

When extending the windows desktop in display properties, I assume "primary monitor" refers to the main monitor that displays the task switching window when pressing alt-tab, which is monitor #1 when clicking "identify" (right?)

I have a laptop (Lenovo T60) but always use my external monitor as my primary monitor, but I'm trying to use a dual monitor setup, extending the desktop onto the laptop display, with the laptop display being the #2 display

In display properties, when I select the #2 monitor (my external monitor), then check "extend windows desktop onto this monitor", I can then check "use this device as the primary monitor", however those settings don't keep, because after clicking "apply", the external monitor goes blank and the laptop display keeps the primary monitor status and stays #1.

How can I make the external monitor the primary display (monitor #1)?
March 2, 2009 2:34:38 PM

I can do this, but it may depend on the notebook you use. I have a Fujitsu S2210 running Vista with an ATI Xpress1150 integrated controller. I have to follow the following sequence to make this work:

1. Using the function key combination to swap monitors, (Fn F10 on mine), I set it so that only the external monitor is enabled.
2. Then, (as this is now the primary monitor) I use the windows display manager (in Vista you can access this through Windows key & 'X') to select the notebook monitor as my extended desktop.
3. There is no 3. It's that simple. The ATI catalyst control center (you'll like it once you get used to it, honestly!) will reflect these changes, so once you've done this you can use the CCC to make additional changes (in my case I have a Viewsonic LCD that I rotate to portrait mode and the CCC lets me do that)

Enjoy. I'd be interested to hear how well -or not- this works for others.
April 16, 2009 5:14:23 PM

Gusto said:
I can do this, but it may depend on the notebook you use. I have a Fujitsu S2210 running Vista with an ATI Xpress1150 integrated controller. I have to follow the following sequence to make this work:

1. Using the function key combination to swap monitors, (Fn F10 on mine), I set it so that only the external monitor is enabled.
2. Then, (as this is now the primary monitor) I use the windows display manager (in Vista you can access this through Windows key & 'X') to select the notebook monitor as my extended desktop.
3. There is no 3. It's that simple. The ATI catalyst control center (you'll like it once you get used to it, honestly!) will reflect these changes, so once you've done this you can use the CCC to make additional changes (in my case I have a Viewsonic LCD that I rotate to portrait mode and the CCC lets me do that)

Enjoy. I'd be interested to hear how well -or not- this works for others.


I have a IBM Lenovo T60 running Windows XP and this works fine on my setup as well when using the Function F7 key.
Related resources
June 15, 2009 6:19:47 PM

On my Dell Latitude D600 with XP, I had to hit the Advanced button in Display Properties/Settings tab and toggle the 1/2 switches of the monitor and panel under the ATi Displays tab.

Hope that helps.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b C Monitor
July 27, 2009 8:01:32 AM

Gusto said:
I can do this, but it may depend on the notebook you use. I have a Fujitsu S2210 running Vista with an ATI Xpress1150 integrated controller. I have to follow the following sequence to make this work:

1. Using the function key combination to swap monitors, (Fn F10 on mine), I set it so that only the external monitor is enabled.
2. Then, (as this is now the primary monitor) I use the windows display manager (in Vista you can access this through Windows key & 'X') to select the notebook monitor as my extended desktop.
3. There is no 3. It's that simple. The ATI catalyst control center (you'll like it once you get used to it, honestly!) will reflect these changes, so once you've done this you can use the CCC to make additional changes (in my case I have a Viewsonic LCD that I rotate to portrait mode and the CCC lets me do that)

Enjoy. I'd be interested to hear how well -or not- this works for others.


TOP!

Worked like a charme for me and it is really hard to find information on that elsewhere. Thanks Gusto!
July 28, 2009 10:10:16 PM

Thanks! Worked for me too. Fn F4 on HP Compaq 6910p.
November 17, 2009 8:11:55 PM

Following is for HP laptop with Vista installed:

1. Press “Windows icon” and “X” keys together -> Windows Mobility Center shows up

2. Click on “Connect display” -> Select “Show my desktop on the external display only” -> Apply

3. Now your display is only on external monitor (hopefully a bigger and nicer one)

4. Right click on the external monitor to select “Personalize”

5. Select Display Settings
-> Notice your external monitor becomes the “main” monitor
-> Select the “2” monitor which is your laptop monitor now and check “Extend the desktop onto this monitor” check box

6. Optional - if you want Big/External/#1 monitor on the right side of your work area, dray "2" and place it on the left side of "1"

You are all set!

PS. check ATI catalyst control center if you want
December 21, 2009 6:12:57 PM

seika7 said:
On my Dell Latitude D600 with XP, I had to hit the Advanced button in Display Properties/Settings tab and toggle the 1/2 switches of the monitor and panel under the ATi Displays tab.

Hope that helps.


Thank you very much seika
That worked great for me.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b C Monitor
February 3, 2010 11:19:28 PM

For some laptops, the "primary display" option may be greyed out. In this case, simply disable the external monitor, then press Fn - F10 (or whatever button shows "LCD/CRT") to make the external monitor the primary display, and finally extend your desktop to the laptop's display.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b C Monitor
February 4, 2010 2:48:32 AM

thanks a lot gusto. you the man! been trying for ages then gave up and searched dr google for it.

many thanks mate
March 4, 2010 10:12:04 AM

XP user / Compaq: Managed to make the external monitor to work, but some of the content (video) only shows up on the laptop display :( 

Any suggestions?

March 8, 2010 5:34:34 PM

Thanks Gusto,
I have a Lenova with an old monitor. Your sequence worked well.
Fn F11 on mine.
Then via graphic properties extended monitor
..
Actually this also solved a net meeting problem I was having when extended monitor setting was on.
May 20, 2010 2:02:11 AM

Quote:
For some laptops, the "primary display" option may be greyed out. In this case, simply disable the external monitor, then press Fn - F10 (or whatever button shows "LCD/CRT") to make the external monitor the primary display, and finally extend your desktop to the laptop's display.


After I press Fn - F10 (on my Lenovo ThinkPad T400 it's F7), then what do I do to "make the external monitor the primary display"? That seems to be the critical step, but I see no option to do it in the Presentation Director window that comes up.

If I click on Manage Schemes, I can then click Edit on "Extended display across notebook and monitor/projector." From within the Edit window, I can change the primary display from notebook to external monitor. This is perhaps the critical step that's being referred to in this thread, but it doesn't work for me. If I set the primary display to external monitor, and then try to do "Extended display across notebook and monitor/projector," I get the error "The following settings you have selected cannot be applied properly. Change the setting and try again." I still get the extended desktop, but the laptop remains the primary display and the option to change it remains grayed out in Windows Display Settings.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b C Monitor
July 9, 2010 9:17:51 PM

Thanks this worked. I have been trying for a while.
September 20, 2010 8:51:47 AM

seika7 said:
On my Dell Latitude D600 with XP, I had to hit the Advanced button in Display Properties/Settings tab and toggle the 1/2 switches of the monitor and panel under the ATi Displays tab.

Hope that helps.


I tried this out for a different problem--switching which edge of my monitor was the "extended edge" (i.e. which side my mouse rolled off onto my other monitor). It worked perfectly, and I saw the options for fixing the initial problem queried here while I was going through it. Awesome, thanks for the straightforward solution!
February 14, 2011 5:01:27 PM

Thanks Gusto,

This was driving me crazy! Your solution did the trick.
February 15, 2011 5:17:33 AM

Gusto said:
I can do this, but it may depend on the notebook you use. I have a Fujitsu S2210 running Vista with an ATI Xpress1150 integrated controller. I have to follow the following sequence to make this work:

1. Using the function key combination to swap monitors, (Fn F10 on mine), I set it so that only the external monitor is enabled.
2. Then, (as this is now the primary monitor) I use the windows display manager (in Vista you can access this through Windows key & 'X') to select the notebook monitor as my extended desktop.
3. There is no 3. It's that simple. The ATI catalyst control center (you'll like it once you get used to it, honestly!) will reflect these changes, so once you've done this you can use the CCC to make additional changes (in my case I have a Viewsonic LCD that I rotate to portrait mode and the CCC lets me do that)

Enjoy. I'd be interested to hear how well -or not- this works for others.



I have a Sony Vaio SR46GD (Vista 64 bit OS) to which I am trying to connect a Philips CRT monitor. Your method worked the first time around but after I unlocked the laptop and started it up after putting it in the sleep mode it doesn't work any longer.

Now, whenever I connect the CRT monitor to the laptop, the laptop screen keeps blinking continuously and I am unable to make any settings. Tried using the CCC (have an ATI card) but there is no way I can make any changes.

Earlier I was able to connect the CRT and use the bigger screen instead of the 13" laptop screen. Now I am unable to do that too.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Regards,
Gautam
April 6, 2011 4:00:22 PM

A> hit the Advanced button in
B> Display Properties/Settings tab
C> and toggle the 1/2 switches of the monitor
D> and panel under the ATi Displays tab.

That sounds like what I need to do.

Unfortunately, I see A and B, but where are C and D????
I have no such "switches" there.

a b D Laptop
a c 99 C Monitor
April 6, 2011 7:09:58 PM

C> is located in this location of you are using windows xp. if you are using windows 7 its in a slightly different location i think.

D> if you don't use an ati(amd) video card with catalyst software you wont have ATi display tab. you might instead have nView (nvidia) which does have a similar option.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b C Monitor
June 27, 2011 7:54:40 AM

seika7 said:
On my Dell Latitude D600 with XP, I had to hit the Advanced button in Display Properties/Settings tab and toggle the 1/2 switches of the monitor and panel under the ATi Displays tab.

Hope that helps.



Thanks Seika7!!! worked for me!
July 24, 2011 6:35:11 PM

Thank you for the answers, especially Gusto.

For those with ATI graphics, and Catalyst Control Center (CCC) you can get your external monitor to be the main monitor on a laptop setup entirely from within CCC.

Steps:

1. Connect monitor to your laptop.
2. Open CCC.
3. Find the "Display Manager"in the list at the left and select it if it is not open already.
4. Click "Detect Displays"
5. Right click the icon for your attached monitor, select "Extend Main onto monitor"
6. Right click the icon for either your laptop screen or external monitor, hover over "Swap displays" then select "Maintain per-display mode settings" on the submenu.
7. Voilà! Yay ATI & Company!

I imagine you can do something similar on Nvidia, as was mentioned previously.

Peace, :) 

Alex
November 7, 2011 12:06:22 PM

I have a Tooshiba with xp. I have tried the function key with everything from F1 to F12.. NOTHING :( 


when i try and make my 2nd monitor my primary the screen goes blank.

i go into display properties > settings > click on 2nd monitor > click use this device as primary > click apply. then the 2nd monitor just goes black...
April 2, 2012 8:37:43 PM

redss said:
When extending the windows desktop in display properties, I assume "primary monitor" refers to the main monitor that displays the task switching window when pressing alt-tab, which is monitor #1 when clicking "identify" (right?)

I have a laptop (Lenovo T60) but always use my external monitor as my primary monitor, but I'm trying to use a dual monitor setup, extending the desktop onto the laptop display, with the laptop display being the #2 display

In display properties, when I select the #2 monitor (my external monitor), then check "extend windows desktop onto this monitor", I can then check "use this device as the primary monitor", however those settings don't keep, because after clicking "apply", the external monitor goes blank and the laptop display keeps the primary monitor status and stays #1.

How can I make the external monitor the primary display (monitor #1)?



This drove me crazy, too. I ended up needing to go to TWO different "places" to fix this. First I went to the start menu and selected CONTROL PANEL, then APPEARANCE AND PERSONALIZATION, then DISPLAY. VOILA! Start here and get things set up. It still didn't work quite right, so then I right clicked on the desktop and selected GRAPHICS PROPERTIES. Then WIZARD MODE. I worked with this here, and it finally came together! So excited. And I'm just a girl.
June 21, 2012 2:10:29 PM

thank you tralala...the graphics wizard totally worked for me!!! I have windows XP so on control panel I selected my graphics hardware (in this case Intel graphics and media)...went through the wizard and selected for the external to be primary...this WAS driving me crazy...now it is solved!!! thanks!
December 21, 2013 9:09:56 AM

If for some reason like me, you like living in the stone age with windows XP on a backup laptop, moving the navigation bar from monitor to monitor is as simple as dragging it over. Just Click it, and slide your mouse to the external monitor. I doubt many people will even see this as to as of next year XP will no longer be supported, but hey, mind as well give my two cents.
January 23, 2014 7:13:57 AM

226141,0,222176 said:
I can do this, but it may depend on the notebook you use. I have a Fujitsu S2210 running Vista with an ATI Xpress1150 integrated controller. I have to follow the following sequence to make this work:

1. Using the function key combination to swap monitors, (Fn F10 on mine), I set it so that only the external monitor is enabled.
2. Then, (as this is now the primary monitor) I use the windows display manager (in Vista you can access this through Windows key & 'X') to select the notebook monitor as my extended desktop.
-----------------------------
thanks a lot for the trick with the function key, I pressed FN and then hit one after another all the f1, f2, F3 etc until one started to affect my dual monitors, (F5 or 6) And,lo + behold, my laptop screen (HP) was suddenly switched to secondary, the ext, monitor has become primary. All I had to do then was to play with activate-desactivate to wake it up from its black screen state. Now I will be able to send the primary screens image to my big screen TV or my video-recorder simply by replacing the external monitors VGA cable with the S-video cable. This is nice because all ppt-files (Powerpoint diaporamas) obstinately only show up on the primary monitor, and as long as the external monitor is not primary it was impossible to send any ppt presentation to my recorder+TV setup.
!