Home » Guides » Personalization »

Published on 02.06.09 by Brent Trahan

Show the Desktop Only on One Monitor

Learn how to show the desktop only on one monitor in Windows 7.

Show Desktop on One Screen

  1. Open the Control Panel from the Start menu.
  2. Open Display in the Control Panel.


    Note: If Display is not available, change View by to Large icons at the top right of the Control Panel.

  3. Click Change display settings in the Display window.


  4. Set the Multiple displays drop-down box to Show desktop only on 1 (or any of your other multiple monitors) and then click OK.


  5. If everything looks OK, click Keep changes.


Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

Related Guides:

8 Responses to “Show the Desktop Only on One Monitor”

Subscribe to this guide's comments RSS feed.

  1. Justin says:

    This works for me, but when I close my lid and later re-open it, it reverts back to showing desktop on both monitors — but using only the lower resolution of my built-in LCD, so my large display jumps back to 1440×900. I can go back in to Display Control Panel, change it back to only display on monitor 2, go to 1900×1200. Close my laptop lid, everything is fine. But the next time I open my lid, it all reverts back (I have to leave my lid open while gaming or I overheat).
    Anyone know how to make this “stick”?

  2. human77 says:


    I tried this with a notebook and an extra LCD monitor and everything is working fine. I set the notebook as the main display (with the windows START button) and LCD monitor as the extension. This setup is working fine.

    Problem happens if it is set the other way. I set the LCD monitor as the main display and Multiple displays set to Show desktop only on 2. Which means I am only using the LCD monitor and you can’t see anything from notebook.

    I shut down the pc (of course from the LCD monitor as it is the main display). I removed the LCD monitor video cable. When I turned on the notebook again, there is no display at all.

    Is this a bug on the Windows 7? It should detect that the LCD monitor (as the main display) is not connected and it should set the main display automatically to the Notebook.

    Thanks for your help!

  3. justin says:

    Unhappy :(

    I was looking for a way to make “Show Desktop” only apply to one of my displays so the windows on the other will never get minimized.

  4. Jay says:

    From your screen shot, I do not see the Orientation or Multiple Display options in my Display selection. Is there a switch that needs to be turned on so that these are visible?


  5. rose says:

    earlier when i connected my laptop to tv, i changed the “multiple displays” to “show only on desktop 2”. Now everytime i plug in my hmdi cable to my laptop, my screen goes black. How do i change in to “only show only on desptop 1” without plugging in my hdmi?

    i tried changing it back, but it doesnt show me the “multiple displays” tab

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to this guide's comments RSS feed.

Microsoft Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Corporation in no way endorses or is affiliated with MAXIMUMpcguides.com. All other products mentioned are registered trademarks of their respective companies. MAXIMUMpcguides IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for any damage or data loss to your computer from using this web site. All information on MAXIMUMpcguides is provided on an AS IS basis with NO WARRANTIES.

Copyright 2006-2019 Brent Trahan. All rights reserved.