Second Monitor Detected But Not Displaying (How To Fix It)

When you find that the 2nd monitor is detected but not displaying, there are two possible causes for it i.e issue may be within the computer or the monitor itself.

With a computer, the reasons could be issues with graphics card, display settings of the second monitor, virus, or recently installed Windows updates.

On the other hand, the second monitor can also have internal problems. The second monitor may be faulty hence affecting its display.

In this article we will talk in depth about how to fix 2nd monitor detected but not displaying issue.

Before we start talking about how to fix 2nd monitor detected but not displaying issue, lets take some preliminary steps.

1. Is This the First Time Using The Monitor?

Is it the first time to connect the second monitor to the computer or have you previously connected it? If the second monitor has displayed previously, what is the recent activity that you performed on your computer?

Maybe you upgraded your Windows operating system, or installed a new software application or device driver. Perhaps a system restore will help.

2. Restart Your Computer

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Works 99% of the time

3. Test With An Alternative Configuration

Have you tried replacing the second monitor with another monitor to see if it may work out? I know not everyone has a spare monitor lying around.

How about, does the second monitor function when it is the only display connected to your PC? If it works, then most likely the issue is not with the display but with the computer/drivers/settings.

If the second monitor does not work even if it is the only display connected, then try connecting it to a different computer or connect it via a different port. We are just trying to narrow down where the problem lies i.e the hardware or the software.

Also, if you have multiple monitors in a daisy chain configuration then try connecting just a single monitor to see if it works.

Related: Can Monitors Be Connected Using A USB Cable?

4. Are the Drivers Updated?

Are your device drivers updated to their latest version? You have to check both the display drivers i.e for dedicated graphics card – by NVIDIA or AMD IF YOU HAVE ONE, as well as the for Integrated Graphics Card that comes built in with the processor i.e Intel HD 630.

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5. Have You Checked for Viruses?

Do you have an anti-virus or anti-malware software installed on your system? When was the last time you scanned your system for virus?

Although it is highly unlikely that the virus could be the culprit, this could be your last course of action if nothing else works, you should at least give this step a try.

Having asked yourself such questions, follow the following steps to identify the cause of problems that may make your second monitor not to display.

Troubleshooting Steps: How To Fix 2nd Monitor Detected But Not Displaying

Given that you have gone through the preliminary steps above, let us now talk about how to fix 2nd monitor detected but not displaying issue in detail.

Step 1: Change The Dual Monitor’s Display Settings

Assuming You are on Windows 10:

Related: How To Setup A Vertical Monitor

Solution 1: Try Detecting The Monitor AGAIN

  1. 1
    From your first monitor, right click on empty area within the desktop and choose “Display Settings”.
  2. 2
    Under the Multple Display heading, press “Detect”. The windows will then attempt to detect the monitor.

Solution 2: Device Manager

  1. 1
    Press Windows Key + X, this will open a a quick short cut bar.
  2. 2
    Select Device Manager
  3. 3
    The two tabs of concern to you are “Display Adapters” and “Monitors”. Here you need to make sure that,
  • Your graphics card is being detected by the OS, this is especially important if you are using a dedicated graphic card. NOTE: NOT ALL COMPUTERS HAVE A DEDICATED GRAPHICS CARD. MOST HAVE INTEGRATED GRAPHICS CARD i.e INTEL HD GRAPHICS 630.
  • Check for any errors with yellow caution sign. This means that something is wrong with the drivers.
Device Manager

Step 2: Check And Test The Hardware

Here are few things to consider here.

  1. 1
    Have you tried using your second monitor as the primary monitor? does it work when it is the only monitor connected? If so, the problem lies either with Windows settings, or with the hardware, this could be as simple as an issue with a video Port.
  2. 2
    Have you tried replacing the second monitor with a different one? If a new second monitor works well when connected to the computer, then the old one may need to be replaced. Like any other electronics, monitors don't last forever. If the new second monitor does not display but is detected just like the old one, then the problem may be within the computer.
  3. 3
    If you have another PC lying around, try connecting both of your displays to it and see if they both work. It’ll be worth calling in a friend with a laptop/PC to help you out if you don’t have a spare system lying around. This is just to make sure whether the issue lies with the monitor or the computer.
  4. 4
    Have your tried changing the cables?
  5. 5
    Have your tried using a different Video Out port from your computer?
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Step 3: Reinstall Or Update Graphics Driver

Assuming that you have checked your hardware and you are certain that the second display has no hardware defect and that it works fine when connected as the primary display, then the software could be the culprit.

A graphics driver is responsible for enabling the operating systems and software programs on your computer to use the graphics hardware. For better performance of the computer, the graphics drivers should be updated.

Graphics driver is not only used for gaming purposes but also in projectors and external displays. To update a graphics driver on Windows 10:

Solution 1: Check for Updates Via Device Manager

  1. 1
    Press Windows Key + X, this will open a a quick short cut bar.
  2. 2
    Select Device Manager
  3. 3
    Click “Display Adapters”
  4. 4
    Right click on the graphics card and choose Update Driver. You may need to do this for both integrated and dedicated graphics card if you have a dedicated graphics card installed.

Solution 2: Check For Updates on Official Websites

  1. 1
    If you have a dedicated graphics card like AMD or NVIDIA, then visit their website to download the latest drivers
  2. 2
    Restart the computer after you install new drivers.

Solution 3: Check for Windows Updates

Update your operating system. To Check for Updates, you need to open Windows Update and let it search for updates while connected to the internet. On Windows 10 it is quite simple

  1. 1
    Go to Windows Search available in lower left corner of the task bar.
  2. 2
    Type “Check for Updates”
  3. 3
    Press the “Check for Updates” option
  4. 4
    A window will open. Let it search and install the updates from here.
Check for Updates

Ensure you are connected to internet and then choose search automatically for updated drivers.

If you are unable to find the drivers, you can then go to the computer manufacturer’s website for further instructions on how to download and install the graphics driver. If this does not work, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Perform System Restore

If you recently installed a software, device driver or Windows update, the process may have affected your computer from working well.

Therefore, you need to perform system restore to previous state when the computer was displaying the second monitor (if it displayed). There are several recovery options, depending on the problems that you are facing:

  1. 1
    The computer stopped displaying the second monitor once you installed a software application: Choose restore point and restore the system.
  2. 2
    The computer stopped displaying the second monitor once you installed an update: Delete the recent Windows update.
  3. 3
    The computer stopped displaying the second monitor once you installed a driver, software application or update: Reset the computer
  4. 4
    You want to reinstall the Windows operating system: Go to previous version of installed Windows.

Choose one of the options that works well depending on your situation, follow the steps and then let the Windows do the rest. Test the display of second monitor to see if this works and if it doesn’t, try the step below.

Here is a helpful video on how to perform a system restore:

Step 4: Update Your Windows Operating System

If your Windows operating system is up to date, ignore this step. Otherwise, follow these steps to update your Windows.

Depending on the OS that you are using, you can find the Windows Update option in control panel, or simply through Windows Search.

Ensure that you are connected to the internet so that the updates can be downloaded. Once the updates are downloaded, install them and restart your computer.

Windows update are important as the help you to protect your system or remove bugs that may affect the system. Besides, the driver updates are downloaded and installed during the process. Since latest drivers are installed, the newly updated graphic drivers may also affect the display of the second monitor. If the Windows update does not help with display, proceed to the step below.

Step 5: Scan Computer For Viruses

This is a long shot, but this can also be the culprit.

Some viruses or malwares can corrupt some system files and thus may be the cause of issues with second monitor not displaying.

If you do not have an antivirus software, you can try to install one and then perform full scan on your system.

If you are using Windows 10, the Windows Defender is a great anti-virus software that is available to you without any cost. Just make sure that it is updated.

Other than that, there are several antivirus software that you can try for free for a limited time.

Step 6: Reinstall Your Windows Operating System


If you are absolutely sure that nothing is physically wrong with your second monitor and that you have tried to configure the settings properly, then this could be your last resort.

I would advise that you seek professional help before wiping out your windows. Also, make sure that you have backed up all your media before performing this step.

To reinstall the Windows, you can either use the installation media (DVD or USB drive) or reset computer from the updates and security option in the control panel.

I would recommend the clean install where you install from the bootable disk or USB drive.

Related: Computer Turns On But No Signal To The Monitor