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Make Windows Position Your Dual Monitors Correctly

If you have a dual monitor setup and each monitor is a different size or height, it can be annoying trying to move the mouse pointer between them. Here is a quick tip that will help make the process easier.

Align Monitors

In our example, we’re using Windows 7, but the process is essentially the same in all versions, but getting to Display Settings is different. In Windows 7 open the Start menu and type display settings into the search box and hit Enter.

1monitor

In Vista right-click the desktop and click Personalize. Then from the Personalize appearance and sounds menu click on Display Settings.

sshot-2010-04-13-[20-11-30]

In XP right-click on the desktop and select Properties then in Display Properties click the Settings tab.

sshot-2010-04-13-[20-34-53]

Now here is where you can change the appearance of your monitors. In this example we have a larger 22” LCD and a smaller 19” and it can be annoying getting the mouse pointer from one to another depending where you are on each monitor.

5monitor

So what you want to do is simply move each display around to a particular height so it’s easier to get the pointer over. For example with this setting we know we’ll have no problem moving the pointer to the other screen at the top of each display.

6mon 

Of course here you can flip your monitors around, change the display resolution, orientation, etc.

7mon

If you have dual monitors where one might be larger or set up higher than the other, then this is a great way to get them finely tuned. You will have to play around with the settings a bit to settle on what works best for you.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/14/10

Comments (15)

  1. Jim

    Slick tip. This definitely helps with my laptop/raised monitor setup :)

  2. Ryan

    For those of you who want to align the monitors *perfectly* but have problems with snapping or precision, click on the monitor you want to adjust and use the arrow keys to move it.
    Hold Ctrl to make movements even more precise.

  3. Enzer Milliard

    I just use CCC to do the same thing, but my three biggest issues are:

    1) The Aero Snap stops working on the side of the screen with the extended monitor (except the bottom I assume).

    2) Because of (1) I have my monitor on the top left corner, I generally use it to just have thunderbird, IMs, and winamp open while I work on my larger monitor. The issue comes when I traverse the corner of the screen, my cursor will do strange things, mainly the tip of the cursor repeats itself downward a few times and if not moving turns invisible. The only way that I can find to prevent this is to have mouse trails on, but they irritate my eyes. It doesn’t happen too often and it’s easily fixed by moving my mouse over the corner a few times or going to the edge of an open window on the extended monitor so I guess it’s not too much of an issue.

    3) I also find that putting an extended monitor on any side other then the top or left and the corner between the two, when something changes the main monitor’s resolution, it moves the other monitors on the desktop plane to compensate and that messes up windows positions and as always desktop icons (though I’m enjoying fences, thanks for showing me the program by the way).

    I also was wondering if there was a program to take one monitor and overlay it partially on another (like your last image shows the second monitor partially over the other, I do know you’re just dragging it to the other side though). I don’t think it would be useful, but it would be interesting. Take four screens and put them in a square and then put a smaller screen in front of them in the center but make the whole thing one giant monitor kind of thing…. okay I’m just weird lol.

  4. konaing

    if can use 17” LCD?now i test no work :((i have only 17” LCD ..

  5. Peter

    This is really useful, but…

    I’m using the display orientation feature to set up my laptop display and an external monitor which, on my desk, is set up to be above the laptop (not to the side). Every time I undock and re-dock my laptop, Windows decides the orientation should be left/right. So every time I have to use Display Settings to drag and drop my external monitor display to be on top, not to the right of, my laptop display.

    Does anyone know how to get Windows to remember my preferred, vertical orientation? It’s not life or death, but after all the effort they’ve put into making this stuff work, I can’t believe there isn’t some way of remembering your preference.

  6. Aaron

    same problem as Peter here, win (xp) won’t remember my left/right configuration if I undock my laptop. Did you ever find a solution?

  7. badtz

    “Hold Ctrl to make movements even more precise.” thank you! the fine positioning was driving me nuts till I found that comment, I am now happy.

  8. bart

    yes! thank you!

  9. Janessa

    hmmm…good…I like the step by step instructions…but it wasn’t really what I was looking for….well..err…I have a xp..and…I can’t see the thing…well when I right click and I go to property’s I don’t see the 2 squares idk why..oh…and by Brother won’t help be either…hope someone here can help thanks ahead of time!

  10. Don

    That works but only till you reboot. Then it’s back to the original positioning.

  11. Marky Marc

    Great help, thanks. Another example of Mirkysoft moving a setting just for the hell of it! There are quite a few options that the NVIDIA utility doesn’t support, I sometimes wonder why it’s there at all! I have 3 monitors connected to my main PC (One each side of the main screen). The side screens are physicaly smaller than the main one so getting the mouse to glide across all three screens at exactly the same height was a challenge, but this fixed it. :-)

  12. Alex

    Thanks mate, helped me a lot.

  13. Darran

    Fantastic and so easy to follow, im no computor X so this must be easy to follow.
    Great help
    Thanks

  14. Shazza

    Thanks for this, i have the secondary monitor on my left and couldn’t figure out how to get the mouse to go there. It only went to it from the right which was very annoying.
    So just wanted to say cheers!

  15. paul

    i have extended desk top. i have a small laptop and a larger 19 inch screen. everything was fine until i leaned on my keyboard that was in my lap and all of the sudden my 19 inch screen is rotated 90degrees…..bummer how do i undo this?

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