Remote Desktop Multiple Monitors Windows 10 Setup – Guide

The remote desktop connection feature in windows allows you to remotely connect to a computer and use it as it is your local computer. This article guides you on how to use dual monitors with Remote desktop connection on windows 10 and also remote desktop multiple monitors Windows 10 operating system.

This can be useful for lots of reasons, but if you are a system administrator, that has a dual monitor and would like to remote desktop, multiple monitors, it is very easy (Depending on the OS on the Host and Client PC).

Remote-desktop-multiple-monitors

Remote Desktop Multiple Monitors Windows 10

Before you can remote desktop multiple monitors on windows, there are few things that come into play for you to be able to use dual monitors in RDP sessions on Windows 10.

You want to make sure that windows is detecting your second screen, if it’s just black use this guide to fix a screen not being detected by windows.

So, I am assuming that you have the following setup:

  • You have a computer in a remote location that has two monitors connected to it
  • Have dual monitor setup at home (or wherever you are trying to connect to the remote computer from)
  • You are trying to remotely connect to the remote computer using RDP client and use both of your monitors as you would on your local computer
  • If your scenario is different reach out to me in the comments

1. Remote Desktop With 2 Monitors In Windows 10

Once you are sure that the remote computer supports multiple monitors in a RDP connection, lets see how it is done.

  • Go to “Start” or press the Windows key on your keyboard
  • Search for “RDS” or simply type in “Remote Desktop Connection”
    opening-remote-desktop-connection
  • Hit the enter key and this will take you to the remote desktop connection application
  • Enter the computer’s name or the IP address, but before you press the “Connect” button, click on the “Show Options” button.
  • Now a new window opens up with a bunch of different options like General, Display, Local Resources, Experience, Advanced
  • Click on the “Display” tab and tick the “Use all my monitors for the remote session”.
  • Now if you connect to the pc and go full screen, this will use both of your computer’s monitors
    selecting-dual-monitor-in-remote-session

So, that’s how you can use dual monitors in a remote desktop session.

2. Remote Desktop Multiple Monitors In Windows 10: 3+ Monitors

What to do if you have more than two monitors and would like to manage your workspace differently? There are applications that might help you achieve this, but with the trick mentioned below, you might want to uninstall that clanky windows 10 app you’ve been using.

If you have a triple monitor setup and only want to use two monitors for remote desktop and the third one for your local system. That is easily achievable as well.

You can also alter the setting if you have a dual monitor setup. I personally use my second monitor for the remote desktop connection and leave the main monitor for my local PC.

Before we start to change the settings as we prefer, we need to know how your system detects these monitors.

  • Go to Start and type “RUN” or hit the “Windows” + “R” key together. This will bring up the Run application
  • Type in mstsc /l and hit enter
  • You will see a dialog box with all the monitors connected to the system represented by a number
    finding-the-monitors-numbers
    In the above screenshot, 0 is my main monitor and 3 is my second monitor.
  • Right-click on the desktop and open display settings

This part might be tricky if you have more than two monitors. We now will try to exactly match the numbers to which monitor they represent.

Lowest number on the RDP = Lowest number on the display settings.

Let me explain.

In the screenshot above 0 is 1, and 3 is 2.

Once this is sorted, we can begin arranging the remote desktop settings the way you prefer.

  • Click on Start and search for “Remote Desktop Connection” and open the Remote Desktop Connection app. Alternatively, hit the Windows + R key together on the keyboard to bring up the run, type mstsc, and hit Enter.
  • Type in the Computer name or the IP address that you want to connect remotely
  • Click on “Show Options”, click on the Display tab, make sure you check the “Use all my monitors for the remote session”
  • Go back to the “General” tab, click on “Save As…” and save it in a location that you can remember later on

2.1 Use two monitors for Remote Desktop Connection and third one locally

If you have more than two monitors, want to use two for remote desktop and the rest for local use, let’s see how it’s done. You can use this trick to split screen on remote desktop in Windows 10

Running multiple monitors on a system is quite heavy task, and if your system is laggy you might want to look into ways to improve the performance of your system.

  • Open notepad application. Open the start menu and type in “notepad”
  • File open > Select all file types > Open the remote desktop connection profile we saved in previous steps
  • This opens the file and you can see a bunch of text. Scroll to the top and type in the following command.
selectedmonitors:s:a,b,c

a,b,c – Depending on which monitors you would like to use for the remote desktop connection, replace these with the numbers for the monitors that we found using the mstsc /l command.

That is how to use multiple monitors for remote desktop connection and select specific monitors that you would like to use for the Remote desktop connection.

This opens up a variety of ways you can use the Remote desktop client. especially if you have three or more monitors, you can use two for RDP and others for playing YouTube videos or choose songs from Spotify.

3. Limitations

Windows version on the remote client: The remote computer you are trying to connect and use multiple monitors on, should have the right version of windows that supports dual monitor setup on a remote session.
Yes, not all windows support this feature. I have made a chart below that will help you decide if you are able to do so on the remote computer you are trying to connect.

3.1 Which version of windows supports dual monitors in RDP session

Remote-desktop-multiple-monitors-windows-10

Video Tutorial : Remote Desktop Multiple Monitors Windows 10

Finally,

One thing that I would suggest though, is saving this connection setting to an RDP file so that you can just load it every time you use it.

To do this,

  • Once you have selected the “Use all my monitors for the remote session” option, go back to the General tab.
  • Now on the bottom, you should see “Connection Settings”, Click on “Save” to save this new connection setting or you can “Open” a previously saved remote connection profile settings.

That’s it, folks. Let me know if you guys have any more issues to use dual monitors or remote desktop multiple monitors Windows 10 setup.

35 thoughts on “Remote Desktop Multiple Monitors Windows 10 Setup – Guide”

      • Thanks for getting back to me. I was trying to figure out how to setup dual monitors when accessing remote desktop through a secure portal. Turned out that I think the access is restricted through the managed portal, and there is nothing I can do.

        Reply
  1. I can use 2 monitors easily without RDP, but as soon as I connect to the remote computer, only 1 monitor is working. How do I correct this?

    Reply
  2. Hi, I have a computer on a remote location but only one monitor is connected. I have dual monitor setup at home. I selected the “Use all my monitors for the remote session” option and launched the Remote Desktop. However, I am still unable to use two monitors in the Remote Desktop. Anyway to fix it?

    Reply
    • Hi K,

      like I have mentioned in the article do you know which version of windows does your Remote computer have?

      Reply
  3. This worked like a charm. Thank you for sharing this. But I have three monitors and when I tick the option I get three screens. Two is enough! Do you know if there is any way I can use RDP from my triple-monitor system but only use two of the monitors for the RDP session? That way I can keep one monitor looking at my local machine for my emails.

    Reply
  4. Hey Hello and thanks in advance.
    My set up is a Surface and an additional monitor — at home.
    At work, my remote desktop has two monitors — and I’m able to use that just fine with this current set up — (i.e. set up to use all monitors on Remote Desktop.)
    What I want to do sometimes is to have my extra monitor display my desktop at work (remote) but to have my laptop monitor display ‘itself’.
     
    So, essentially, I have three screens?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  5. Your tutorial uses “Dual” monitors, and I have made it work with Triple. but now I am playing with 5 and I can’t get it to work! I just get a black screen on on 5 monitors!

    What I am trying:

    Surface (self screen 1)
    Surface Mini-Display Port (Screen 2)
    USB 3.0 Dock with Triple Display ports (only getting 2 working – screen 3 & 4)
    ASUS USB 3.0 15.6″ travel monitor (screen 5)

    Just using the Surface, all 5 screens work beautifully, but when I RDP to my workstation, all I get is solid black screen on all 5 monitors. Is there some other limitation that keeps all 5 from working?

    My workstation is also my Virtual Machine host – so I could run Single Screen RDP sessions to the primary Desktop and separately 3 VM’s, and move them around the 5 screens, but I was hoping to use all 5 as if I had all 5 connected to the desktop.

    I was trying to keep this set-up flexible – for example substitute my laptop for the Surface in the same configuration, or quickly plug directly back into the desktop for 4 screens (which is how I have been working up to trying this today)

    The 5th screen being the laptop or Surface built-in screens.

    Reply
  6. I have three monitors at home. And only want to dedicate two of them for my RDP session with work. I can do all three. I can do one. If I unplug 1 I can do two without problem. But I want to keep one for using for my local e-mail and web apps. I’ve tried using /h:3840 /w:1920 and played with the /span /fullscreen and multimonitor options but not getting what I want.

    Reply
  7. Hello,
    If a have Windows 10 Home installed on my laptop instead of Windows 10 PRO or Enterprise, will i have issues in my remote connection.

    Reply
  8. hi there i have win10, did the setup for RDT like mentioned above and it duplicated my screen and not allowing me to display different things on each

    Reply
  9. Anyone tried this with iMac with two monitors accessing a Windows 10 machine with 2 monitors via Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac – or better still, an iMac with two monitors connecting to a Windows 10 machine with 1 monitor and extending the display is such a way that the Windows 10 desktop extends across the 2 monitors of the iMac?

    Reply
  10. Is there a way to do this using the other Remote Desktop app built into Windows 10? I see a resolution option in there, but nothing to use multiple monitors. So I have to have my users use the old RDP application that you show in your instructions.

    Reply
  11. I have three monitors locally. My remote desktop connection always uses the main monitor to show the remote desktop. Is there a way to set it open on a side monitor? I tried checking “Use all monitors” and also set “selectedmonitors” to be the one I want but that didn’t work.

    Reply
  12. I have a remote laptop I am remoting into from a PC. Both systems currently have one monitor. I am thinking of adding two more monitors to my PM for a total of three monitors.
    Can I remote into the laptop and extend the remote session to the 3 PC screens?

    Reply
  13. I had a laptop/second monitor setup connecting via remote desktop. Worked for over a year with no problems…until I got a new laptop.
    Now it doesn’t work right. I can see content on both screens, but when I switch between tasks on different screens, the monitor I am switching to won’t “wake up.”
    The only major difference I can think of is that the old laptop/monitor was connected via VGA cord, new setup is connected via HDMI. First it was set up with a VGA to HDMI adapter and I thought that might be the problem. Then I actually got a new monitor and connected HDMI port to HDMI port, no adapters…same problem.
    I am tearing my hair out trying to figure this out. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • What do you mean when you say it does not “wake up”?. Is the content duplicated on both the screen or do you see separate content on both the screens? Also does the second monitor “sleep” just when you try to drag a windows to another monitor? Sorry, I am not getting a clear picture here. If possible, mind sharing a quick clip of your issue and ill get a better picture?

      Reply
      • By “its not waking up,” I mean the image is frozen, but when I click on things, they are responding, but the image isn’t refreshing to show me what’s happening on the screen. I am able to “wake” it up by clicking the “connection” info on the remote desktop toolbar. In searching for solutions to this online, and after talking to our company’s help desk who won’t help me because I’m using my own personal computer and not one of theirs, this is a known issue with Citrix. Also, my laptop runs on Windows home edition, maybe that is a limitation with home edition. I’ve tried every suggested fix I could find…hardware acceleration is disabled in browser…bitmap caching turned off in RDP…all monitors set to same resolution and scaling. Nothing fixes it.

        Reply
        • HMM.. sorry i have never used citrix so don’t have a clue. Cannot be of much a help here, and your company should look into hiring a new helpdesk team!

          Reply
  14. Hi,

    I am using WVD (Windows Remote Desktop Client) to remote into my work environment and complete work tasks. On logon, the WVD usually snaps into dual screen, when working from either a BYOD or work device – This is how it has been configured.

    Now, it is only showing on the a single monitor for me and i can not appear to find any settings which suggests it needs to me set to dual.

    We work on Windows 10 WVD. We have a web client and a desktop client (I use the desktop client), and I have confirmed the web client does not allow dual monitors to work.

    Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Are you able to change the settings before connecting to the remote computer? Do you have RDP file saved on your desktop or something?

      Reply

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