How to Change Main Monitor Detailed Guide In 2023

The main monitor is the one, that you have designated for the start menu, taskbar, and desktop icons. When using a multi-monitor setup, one can change his main display to the external monitor for any number of reasons.

Multi-monitor setups are used to increase the productivity and efficiency of your work. Professional gamers also use this setup to enhance their gaming experience and stay on top of their game.

However, what should one do when he needs to change the main monitor to an external one. For example, you have a window in full-screen on your primary display which you don’t want to minimize again and again to access the start menu or other icons. In that case, you can change your main monitor and shift it to an external display.

There are two quick and easy methods that you can use to do this:


Method 1: From Display Settings

The question “How to change monitor 1 and monitor 2” can be easily resolved with a few clicks of your mouse. You can go to display settings, select the display you want as your main monitor, and change to it.

Still confused?

We will provide you with detailed steps on how you can change from monitor 1 to monitor 2.

Right-click on your monitor screen anywhere on empty space and click on display settings from the drop-down menu.


Right-click on your monitor screen anywhere on empty space and click on display settings from the drop-down menu.


On the opened window, you will see your multiple monitors with numbers, as number 1 is your main display.

Click on the display you want to select as your main display. You can obviously have more than one display in your extended setup, so select the required one.

Then scroll down to the check box “Make this my main display” and click on the check box.

Click on Apply, and your main monitor will shift to your selected screen.

Method 2: Graphics Settings

If you are facing some issue with your display settings menu or if you are just wondering whether there is another method that will allow you to change your main monitor, the answer is yes.

You can also change your main monitor from the graphics settings of your NVIDIA control panel.

The process is pretty much similar; however, a step-by-step guide will make it easier for you to understand.


Open the NVIDIA Control Panel by right-clicking anywhere on the empty space or by clicking on the Up-arrow icon in the taskbar and clicking on the Nvidia icon.

Once you have opened the control panel, you will see multiple options in the left tab that could be expanded.

Click on the + sign behind the Display to reveal a drop-down or expand it.

From the listed options, select the last one “Set up multiple displays”

In the left window, you will see your multiple displays listed. The display that has an asterisk (*) with its number is your current main display.

Right-click on the display you want to select as your main monitor and click on make this my main monitor.

You can change main monitor accordingly

Click on Apply. Then on Ok. The settings are confirmed and now your selected monitor is your main monitor. You can change them again by using a similar process.

The settings on AMD Catalyst Control Center are also similar so the steps can be generalized. You can use these similar steps to change the main monitor with AMD graphics as well.

How to Change Primary Monitor in Windows 7?

If you are still using the older operating system Windows 7, the process will be a bit different for you, as the settings are named a bit differently, however, speaking in the broader sense, it is pretty much the same.

Well, you might be thinking it won’t be as easy as Windows 10; but that’s not the case. Windows 7 was pretty comfy to use and hence the method is also very simple.

Here are the steps:


Right-click anywhere on the empty screen and click on the option Screen Resolution from the dropdown list.

You will have your displays monitors numbered in front of you.


Select each monitor and click on Identify to confirm which monitor is which. You will see a number displayed on your actual monitor for confirmation.

Select the monitor you want to select as your main display, and click on the option Make this My Main Monitor in the settings below.

Click on the apply button, and Windows 7 will show you a dialog box that will ask whether you want to keep these changes or revert them back.

Click on the keep these changes option and it’s done. Now, you have your desired main monitor.

How to Change Primary Monitor on Mac?

If you are using an Apple system, the process will be different for you, because the whole interface will be different. So, if you have a multi-monitor Mac setup, then you need to follow these steps to change the primary monitor.

First of all, you have to open the System Preferences from the Apple Menu.


You will see multiple icons in front of you. Click on the Display icon and a dialog box will appear.

There will be three tabs on the top horizontal row. Select the middle one named Arrangement.


The main monitor is the one that has a white bar on it. You can detect displays to see which monitor is which.

Once you have decided which monitor you want as your primary one, click and drag the white bar to that screen.

As you are moving that white bar, you will see a red border appearing to confirm that you are making this new screen your primary screen.

Once you are done, you can close the System Preferences and Mac will automatically save the settings.

The dragging function is really fun and it allows you to quickly shift your primary monitor to any display you want.

Facing Problems?

You might be facing irritating problems like being unable to change your main monitor or the external monitor not appearing in settings. Well, there are certain steps you can take to ensure it never happens.

Make sure the external monitor is connected to a power supply, the switch is on and it is properly connected to your desktop.

Also, the Extended Display Setup must be selected in order for you to change your main display to a different one.

Also, check that both your monitors or all of them have the same orientation in the display settings.

You can use the Troubleshooter in order to detect problems in your display settings.

Although there is no shortcut to change your main monitor, you can use keyboard shortcuts to switch between the multiple monitors quickly.

Press the left Ctrl and Windows key, and then you can use the Left and Right arrow keys to quickly switch between the multiple monitors.


  1. Can I shift my primary screen to an external display from my laptop?

    Yes, you can easily do that. Simply go to the display settings and change the main monitor to a different screen. You can also change the main monitor from the graphics settings; Control Panel or AMD or NVIDIA.

  2. How many external displays can I connect with my PC?

    Well, that depends on the number of graphics cards you have on your PC. The graphics card will provide you with ports that will allow you to connect the displays. The display quality and resolution also depend on the graphics card.

  3. Why can’t I change my main monitor to an external display?

    Make sure your external monitor is properly connected to your PC and is turned on. Also, in display settings, make sure you are using the extended mode of display. If you are still facing problems, you can run the troubleshooter.


In this article, we have shared a detailed guide with a number of methods that you can use to change your primary display or main monitor. Changing the main monitor will shift your start menu, taskbar, and icons to a different screen.

The extended display will increase the productivity and efficiency of your work. Let us know in the comments if the guide helped you solve your problems or if you are still facing some.

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