Home > Windows10 > Adding 3 monitors on Windows 10

Adding 3 monitors on Windows 10

I’m currently using an HP EliteBook 9470m, and am trying to set up Windows 10 after some problems with my existing Windows 7 installation. Unfortunately, it’s not all plain sailing.

The last issue I just tackled is using more than two monitors. I have three – my main laptop display, and then two 1920×1200 HP monitors that are orientated in portrait mode, and then sat side-by-side.

This is quite a complicated concept, since not only more than two monitors, but one is 90′ rotated, and the other is 270′ rotated. They are also set up in virtual space to match the physical arrangement – if I move my pointer off the top of my laptop screen, it slides onto the bottom of my external screen – which is the left if you turned the screen back to landscape.

To top it off, one is running off Displayport, the other off VGA, off the internal Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip.

Laptop with two portrait screens

It’s weird, but it works

So – once Win10 was installed, naturally it just cloned to one of the two displays, in Landscape. My battle was then to get my setup as it was before, described above.


The first issue, is that it only seems to recognise two displays in any of the display settings. The default driver from Windows is, dated 10/07/2015.

2015-08-14 19_55_57-Start

Going to the Intel website finds a slightly later driver, v15., dated 27/7/15. Aalthough not certified by Microsoft WHQL, I installed this, rebooted, and then got some recognition of my three displays in the native windows config screen.

Given the same end build number of 4252, I wonder if perhaps it’s the same driver as was installed previously, and changed nothing. I wonder this, because even after the reboot, the main Intel HD Graphics Control Panel only let me use two displays. I could now choose from all three displays – it listed them all – but I could only select any two to be active.

2015-08-14 20_00_37-Intel(R) Graphics Control Panel

Eventually, I managed to tease Windows into admitting I had three displays. I couldn’t find any way to do this within the (usually more powerful) Intel Control Panel, but did so from the right-click menu on the background, and went for a Clone Display option, choosing both the external displays

2015-08-14 20_02_19-

I kept juggling with these options, and then in the Control Panel, until I managed to get all three displays lit up at the same time. I was then able to configure each display in turn for orientation and resolution, and finally, position, to get the setup I wanted.

2015-08-14 20_05_13-New notification

All this was generally much harder than with Windows 7 – mainly because the Intel Command Centre has various screens and options hidden in single panes, making it harder to quickly fire off a flurry of different changes. Doing so in the alternative interface, the native Windows background menu options, would have been laughably awkward to do, having to reopen the menu for each individual change.

2015-08-14 20_08_01-

Anyway, it all seems to be working so far, so on to the next issue.



Categories: Windows10
  1. August 15, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Nice job. Love to see a shot of the actual setup

    • damo
      August 16, 2015 at 2:15 am

      I’ve added this to the post. The nice thing is that it uses less horizontal space than a large landscape screen, but by using a tool to snap windows to the top or bottom half (I use WinSplit Revolution), you effectively have 5 screens that are roughly square (800×1200), great for document work. It’s also great for displaying PDFs a page at a time.

      (It’s currently linked to a photo sharing site, so this may disappear at some point unless I move it to WordPress)

  2. skippo95
    September 30, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Hello, I recently gained another monitor, I was using just my laptop and another monitor before, I wanted to add the third monitor in but I can’t exactly figure out how, I have Intel Hd graphics 4000 as well, I have everything plugged in, I just can not get it to work I’ve updated the drivers just like you, but still see no way to get the third monitor to light up, if I turn my laptop monitor off it dose, but that defeats the purpose. You seem to have found the solution could you please share?

    • damo
      September 30, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Hi – it depends. Like I say, it doesn’t support two DisplayPort simultaneously – one must be VGA

  3. skippo95
    September 30, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I’m not even using a display port, I’m just using one hdmi and a vga.

    • damo
      September 30, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      That’s interesting. I’m afraid I don’t have any other ideas. I did find that sometimes I really had to play with the config to get it to recognise both at the same time, but in those cases, it would at least mirror to all screens to start with.

  4. skippo95
    September 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    All monitors appear in all configs It just has no option to use all three at once, I can use any combination of two, I find it really strange, some other sites i checked said that it was because I am not meant to be able to use my hdmi and my vga at the same time but, it appears i can, I just can not use all three monitors at once. Could you recommend any configs to check?

    • damo
      September 30, 2015 at 9:33 pm

      Hmm. Maybe it supports DisplayPort and VGA, but no HDMI. Do you have DisplayPort too?

  5. skippo95
    September 30, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    No I do not.

  6. Brad
    December 22, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I am having the exact same issues as you describe. I can choose from any three monitors, but only two can be actively displayed. I tried juggling the clone/extend options from the desktop, but I cannot seem to get all three to light up at the same time. Did you have any sort of method when doing this or just completely random button pushing between the options?

    • damo
      December 22, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      I can’t quite remember, but I do think it was a lot of trial and error. I couldn’t find the real reason behind it.

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