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How to change the primary monitor in Windows 10?

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Having dedicated peripherals for a particular purpose can significantly increase your productivity. A mechanical keyboard for typing will fare much better than the membrane or chicklet type keyboard on your laptop, so will a mouse compared to a trackpad. Similarly, having a second monitor, or even a third one, can be a great way of getting more work done.

The difference here is that your main monitor is the reference point for your computer to decide where other monitors go in terms of placement. Your primary monitor is also the one where applications (unless you’ve explicitly set them to launch on the second monitor) and games launch.

All the important taskbar icons such as network, battery sound and the icon for the notifications shade also go on the taskbar on the primary monitor.

In this article, we’re going over how you can change your primary monitor in Windows 10 if you have more than one monitor hooked up to your setup.

Also read: How to have different wallpapers for dual monitors?

Swapping monitors

The settings for selecting which monitor goes as primary is somewhat hidden but still not very difficult to find. Here’s what you need to do.

Note that you must have set your displays to be extended to choose a primary monitor. If you’re duplicating the displays or only using one, there’s no option to set a display as primary.

Step 1: Right-click on an empty space in your monitor and click Display Settings.

How to change the primary monitor in Windows 10?

Step 2: The display settings will open where you can change various things to monitor resolution and placement. Just select the monitor you want to set as primary, scroll down and check the Make this my main display option.

And that’s how you can change your primary monitor. Note that for people running PCs (or laptops) with dedicated Nvidia or AMD GPUs, you may or may not see the option to change which monitor is used as the main one in their respective setting tools. This method, however, works universally.

Also read: How to connect a laptop with a broken screen to an external monitor?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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