Introduction: Split-Screen Computer

Picture of Split-Screen Computer

This is one of the simplest and cheapest (for free if you know where to go) things for your computer.

Basically, this creates an extended desktop to drag and drop other browsers or programs allowing you to do multiple things at once without clicking back and forth

especially helpful for doing things and watching youtube or a movie at the same time

Step 1: Find a Monitor

Picture of Find a Monitor

You'll need a computer already with a monitor and then need to find a separate monitor.

in my case, my dad was throwing out perfectly good (very dated and huge) monitors that are basically obsolete compared to a high res flat screen of today.

Either find someone who's doing the same by throwing out a bunch of dated monitors

-Dumpster diving

- Or just buy a monitor (anything really, your preference)

Step 2: Setup

Picture of Setup

Setup your new (or old) monitor next to the monitor (or laptop in my case).

Wire the power cable to a plug and wire the video cable to the computer or laptop.

Try to setup the monitors almost touching, you'll understand in a minute

Step 3: Program the Monitor

Picture of Program the Monitor

Right-click and go to graphic properties

my computer had it's own program and i cannot promise you yours is the same. Anyways, go to graphic devices and you should see boxes and monitor settings. Find multiple display and check the box of extended desktop. In the drop down arrow select monitor.

Here is where your preference comes into play. Depending on which side you put the extended monitor you want to place the boxes ( you should see some boxes to the right with numbers in them) in the right places. Mess around with it until you get it right but for me, I have my new monitor on the left and therefore I placed in the the number 2 box to the left of the number 1 box.

The size of the box may be adjusted as well and that is your preference.


frostybob (author)2011-09-24

What if u only have one screen jack and ur using a desktop

TyMan210 (author)2009-12-03

 I might try this once I get a new monitor. Ubuntu has a very similar program.

gmjhowe (author)2008-03-26

Dual screening is the future! However i am beyond this and often use a Tri-screen set up - i mite make an instructable on it! im awaiting my replacement 3rd screen, so would be a great oppurtunity!

Derin (author)gmjhowe2009-06-28

When I secure my own source of money,I will do quad and pass you.

gmjhowe (author)Derin2009-06-28

Meh, i can already do quad..

Derin (author)gmjhowe2009-06-28

Dang..... I once tried to hook up both DVI and VGA to the same monitor.The screen fuzzed the image,the hue got messed up and I was like O.O

Weissensteinburg (author)gmjhowe2008-03-26

At one of the University of Florida College of Journalism computers labs, each computer has dual monitors, there's one computer with four monitors that is only used to have a different news website on each monitor. It's ridiculous some of the stuff they've got.

One school that I saw had double mac monitors. My school barely affords a few DELL computers... meh.

casper.707 (author)A good name2008-06-08

Did you know that mac is made by sony?

snowpenguin (author)casper.7072009-02-27

Do you think you are special or something? Mac is made by Apple, not Sony. Apple! Sony makes Sony, Apple makes Apple. The End.

awkrin (author)A good name2008-05-17

if u'r schools' students study hard, it's WAY better than mine-I live in Ireland(but I'm romanian), and go to decent school. we even have laptops, because the teachers a struggling to make the students study at all. it's really boring for me and my classmates can barely type with ONE hand. the school's overall network is very advanced. it has a server, computers with projectors, dvd players(well that's really too much) and a sound system. some even have a touchscreed, but homemade, webcam based touchscreens are way cooler whan those.

ross353 (author)awkrin2008-06-04

that kinda sounds like my school. i live in ireland 2. what school ya in?

awkrin (author)ross3532008-06-04

Marino College community school, in fairview

ross353 (author)awkrin2008-06-05

ah rite im up in A.S.R. never thought i'd see someone form marino on here. well hello nyways

awkrin (author)ross3532008-06-23

I didn't manage to find out what's asr.. can u tell me plz?

ross353 (author)awkrin2008-06-24

ard scoil ris. its up on griffit avenue

gmjhowe (author)Weissensteinburg2008-03-26

If you max out the Apple Mac Pro, you can run like 8 x 30inch monitors off it! crazy! I only tend to use 3 when working, one for artwork, one for palletes, and one for the fun stuff (itunes/msn etc) Most the time i manage one, specially with spaces.

Weissensteinburg (author)gmjhowe2008-03-26
They also had a mac with dual 30 inchers and while I was there, they had just gotten a new mac with a multiple terabyte HDD and hundreds of gigs of RAM.


  • They justified buying a wii just because of the world news feature (only used it for games)
  • 8 Giant plasma screen TVs each tuned into a different news station

All of this in one room.
gmjhowe (author)Weissensteinburg2008-03-27

yeah! u can max out the mac pro with like 32gb of ram! but mac os x can theoretically handle 4 terabytes of ram! just no hardware yet.

bumpus (author)gmjhowe2008-04-05

4 terabytes?!? holy crap

Weissensteinburg (author)bumpus2008-04-05

The real kicker is that when they found out the computer wouldn't do what they bought it for. They just said, "Oh well."

lmao nice

awkrin (author)Weissensteinburg2008-05-17

so in university of florida, there's no one that can make better deals than that?????

Weissensteinburg (author)awkrin2008-05-17

You can only get so much of a deal.

lol nice windows own

awkrin (author)Weissensteinburg2008-05-17

and where's all of that?

Weissensteinburg (author)awkrin2008-05-17

University of Florida, College of Journalism.

pbpenguin5 (author)gmjhowe2008-03-26

i'd love to see that one =]

gmjhowe (author)pbpenguin52008-03-27

i will write it up then! if only just for you. I will point out that u dont need a fancy graphics card. but it does need to be a mac!

baneat (author)2009-03-04

step one : plug in your first monitor step two : plug in the other with the slot provided

Shinta786 (author)2009-01-25

Nice, I have 3 screen next to each other. I did need the video card of my laptop, because else it wouldn't work. center laptop 15" and left and right two identically the same 15" lcd screens. But Its not like I can do 3 things at once. I just have a wider screen. Resolutions is 3072x768. Pretty cool. Never knew you could hook up two screen without video card. GREAT

bf4cb4 (author)2008-12-23

There is also a program called MultiMon Taskbar. It extends a task bar to the other monitor, so you can minimize it to that monitor. It also puts little buttons up top, next to the minimize key, so you can click those and send the window to the other monitor, so you don't have to drag it over.

pbpenguin5 (author)bf4cb42008-12-24

that's actuallly very helpful, i did away with the second monitor due to a space shortage but if i still had it i'd give it a try

willynillyzebra (author)2008-10-15

I have a problem about "Split-Screen Computer". I can't find a dialogbox that provide options for Program the monitor ,Is there any special software for this settings?

right click
graphics properties

right click
settings advanced button
some sort of driver menu graphics properties button
beyond that, yes it is possible that you do not have to same or even at all the software to my knowledge =\
but i'm pretty sure that everyone has some sort of program to enable/disable monitor settings.

hope that helps =\

keefurxxcore (author)2008-05-12

What wires do we need to connect the moniter to the laptop? Mine came w.o wires :(.

pbpenguin5 (author)keefurxxcore2008-05-19

hmm good question,
I'm sorry i can't be of more help here but try a computer store near you and just explain what's missing ( I honestly don't know the name of the cord, i'll guess it's the video input =])


keefurxxcore (author)pbpenguin52008-05-19

Ok, thanks!

awkrin (author)2008-05-17

u call this an instructable??? this is the easiest thing to do on any computer with two video cards. the laptop in the church I'm going to has a projector(for songs' lyrics) as the second display, so u can first set up, then project.. oh and ALL new laptops have the video driver which allows u to do this thing installed, plus, u can do it simply by rightclicking the desktop, properties, settings, click display #2 and check "extend desktop" but remember, this will significantly decrease your computer's performance.

keefurxxcore (author)awkrin2008-05-19

Shut up, its better than anything you've done.

pbpenguin5 (author)awkrin2008-05-19

Yes, in fact, I do. Have you see other instructables and what they're about? Look down this comment page and quite a few found it completely new to them and that's why I put this up. Don't put comments on other instructables saying how simple it is, you don't make yourself look any better or smarter. ~penguin

cavingboy92 (author)2008-05-10

where can you find software compatible with xp desktop computers

Jakeg (author)2008-05-08

I did this on my laptop and it works great. I need to find a flat screen for cheap. Woo Hoo

Jakeg (author)2008-04-25

where can you get the software for this compatible with XP?

pbpenguin5 (author)Jakeg2008-05-06

to my knowledge, there is no software required for this =]

but that is to my knowledge so.

Lftndbt (author)2008-03-26

Wire the power cable to a plug and wire the video cable to the computer or laptop.

Ok you lost me at wire the video cable to the computer.

How would I wire it to the computer? Do I need a secondary input?

pbpenguin5 (author)Lftndbt2008-03-26

plug it in lol there should be a spot for it, however i'm working from a laptop that has an input and i do not know if all computers have two plugs to put two monitors.

PKM (author)Lftndbt2008-03-26

Your computer does need two video outputs to do this. A laptop will probably have a single VGA or DVI port for a secondary monitor, which you just need to plug the monitor's signal cable into (if they don't match up you can get a DVI to VGA convertor pretty cheap), or if you're using a TV your laptop may well have a TV out port. A desktop computer using onboard graphics may only have one monitor port, but any worthwhile PCI-E or AGP graphics card (again, basic ones are pretty cheap and well worth it) will have two monitor ports and a TV-out.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-26

Awesome! I have another computer right next to me that isn't being used as much anymore (brother got in trouble). My parents use it often though, but awesome job, I look forward to doing this! Now I won't have to do so much work. ;-)

scotty3785 (author)2008-03-26

Thank God there are Rocket Scientists like you out there to tell me how to do these things.

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