Newsletter Archives

  • Sadly, Windows 11 still isn’t great at multiple monitors


    Josh Hendrickson

    By Josh Hendrickson

    Microsoft promised that Windows 11 would finally make using multiple monitors a better experience. But for every improvement, there are still too many glitches.

    In fairness, I’ll admit up front that I’m an extreme case. My multi-monitor setup may not be the most extravagant in the world; but as you can see, I have a pretty fantastic setup.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.33.0, 2023-08-14).

  • “Windows 8 All-In-One For Dummies” addendum: Multiple monitors

    Reader G Jones in Windsor, UK, posted a pointed inquiry on the Amazon UK order site:

    I only received this book today and went straight to the index for references to Windows 8 support for multiple monitors (one of the key features of interest to me as I have a 3-monitor setup).

    There were only two page references (bad start). I looked up one and could find no reference to multiple monitors at all. The other page talked briefly about Windows 8 improved support for multiple monitors but referred the reader to Section VI Chapter 2. I have skim read the entire chapter and again can’t see a single reference to multiple monitors? For example there is no mention of the “Span” option which allows a single image to span multiple monitors. It is completely omitted from the list of described options which makes me think the author has either forgotten the feature exists or his book is based on an earlier version of Windows 8 that didn’t have the feature???

    I will examine the book more thoroughly over the next few days but for now I am extremely worried that Mr Leonhard has put a placeholder in there where he meant to cover multiple monitors but in the rush to get the book out has omitted the section? It makes me wonder if there are any other features missing?

    If this purports to be a Windows 8 guide the least you would expect is that it covers all the features???

    If anyone has got this book please can they point me to the relevant section?


    Here’s the response I posted:

    Microsoft changed details of its multiple monitor support so many times that I couldn’t nail it down before we had to ship the book.

    The official report has descriptions of features that changed in the interim. As recently as today, Engadget posted a report on severe mouse problems while using multiple monitors, so the situation’s still evolving.

    Arguably the best use for a dual monitor setup is to put the Metro interface on one, and the old-fashioned desktop on the other.

    Basic setup for Windows 8 is the same as Windows 7. The primary difference is in the ability to personalize each screen separately, or spread wallpaper over both (or all) screens. You can change the background on one screen by right-clicking on it and choosing a new wallpaper. You can also have a background slideshow choose the “best” pics for each screen independently, taking into account resolution, aspect ratio, and orientation. All of those settings are in the right-click, Personalize, Desktop Background applet.

    You can also choose to have the taskbar appear on either or both screens: right-click the taskbar and choose Properties.

    And of course you can change the resolution for each monitor independently with a right-click Screen Resolution – same as in Windows 7.

    NVidia doesn’t seem to play along with the “usual” Windows settings; at least the higher level NVidia graphics cards require you to use their proprietary Control Panel, which works differently. Check with the NVidia site for details .

    I still haven’t played with what’s likely to be the best dual-monitor setup: Metro on a touch sensitive screen and the traditional desktop on a non-touch screen. I’ll put the combination together one of these days (if I can find a reasonably priced touch sensitive screen!), and talk about the results on

    Any other questions, shoot me mail! Yes, that’s my real email address.