HomeTechnologyNewsHow to move a game to an external monitor in Windows

How to move a game to an external monitor in Windows

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You can often move a game to another monitor in Windows by choosing a different monitor in that game’s graphics settings. You can also press Windows+Shift+Left Arrow or Windows+Shift+Right Arrow to move apps between screens. Also, you can disable a display with the projection options built into Windows.

If you have two monitors or an external monitor with a laptop, some video games may start on the wrong screen. It’s not a big deal, is it? Except it’s not always obvious how to move a full screen game to another monitor.

Change target screen in game

Most modern games are designed with the knowledge that multi-monitor setups are common. That means you’ll likely find a setting in-game where you can specify which screen you want the game to be on.

Cyberpunk Target Monitor 1 Video Setup

You’ll usually find this option in the “video” section of the game menu instead of “graphics”, although some games may combine these sections.

Use a keyboard shortcut

Windows has a universal keyboard shortcut for moving an app from one screen to another. Just press and hold Windows+Shift+Left Arrow or Right Arrow. This will move the active application to the monitor to the left or right of the current monitor, depending on which arrow key you press.

Disable a screen temporarily

The keyboard shortcut above does not have a 100% success rate in our experience, but what it does you are disabling the monitor you don’t want the game to display on. This may sound like a chore, but Windows makes it easy.

Press Windows+P and you will see a menu with different display options.

Windows external display options

Here you can choose to display the desktop on one monitor, clone it to both monitors, or extend your desktop across your monitors. Choose the option corresponding to where you want the game to be, and the other monitor will go dark.

Once you’re done playing, you can simply use the shortcut to turn your monitors back on.

RELATED: 30 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 10

Set target screen as primary

When you have multiple monitors, Windows designates one of them as the primary monitor. Applications must be open on the primary monitor. You can manually change which monitor is primary.

Right-click on the desktop and select Display settings.

Shortcut to Windows display settings

Scroll until you see the diagram of your connected displays. Select the monitor you want to make the main screen.

Windows 11 display settings Home screen change

Then check the checkbox marked “Make this my home screen”. Then click apply and try starting your game again.

RELATED: How to control what multiple displays do in Windows 10

Switch your game to borderless windowed mode

Most of the issues people have getting a game moved to the correct monitor stem from running the game in full screen mode. There are performance benefits to running a game in full screen-only mode, but it makes regular window management a bit more difficult.

Most modern games have the option to run in full screen mode, windowed mode, and borderless windowed mode. Borderless windowed mode appears in full screen mode, but the game runs in a window, making switching between apps quick and easy.

Cyberpunk Borderless Window Setting

The downside is that you may lose access to features like HDR, variable refresh rate, and experience a slight drop in performance. However, moving the borderless window to another screen is just as simple as moving any other window, so it’s a good last resort if no other method gets the game to move to another screen.

RELATED: How to use multiple monitors to be more productive


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