Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: How do I access my main monitor if broken in a multi-monitor setup?

16 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7 RC
How do I access my main monitor if broken in a multi-monitor setup?

I have a setup with 6 monitors. Today my main monitor broke and I couldn't find a way to shut the PC down since I couldn't access the main desktop to get to the Start menu.

Is there a way to change which monitor is the main monitor without having access to the current main monitor?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate

Unplug that monitor and reboot? (power button)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

If you physically unplug the video cable, windows may shift the primary to one of the other screens right away, if not, then just reboot or shut down and power back up.
Windows Key then Right Arrow and then press enter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jul 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


If it's essential to change main display without disconnecting the broken one (?), repeat these steps exactly as told:
  • Right click desktop on any of the working displays, choose Screen Resolution
  • Press and hold ALT, press SPACE, release both keys
  • Press the DOWN ARROW key once, press ENTER
  • Press the UP ARROW key once (any arrow key is OK, but let's say UP ARROW to keep instructions simple). This step "glues" the window to the mouse, letting you move it without holding down a mouse button
  • Move your mouse to the direction of a working monitor until you can see the Screen Resolution window. Notice please: do this step without pressing any of the mouse buttons or keyboard keys before you can see the window
  • Press a mouse button, move windows where you want to
This trick also works if an application or folder window opens on a phantom display, out of visible range.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9

Or just press the power button on the PC, which will initiate shutdown....
Then unplug the bad monitor and move on.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2010   #6

Windows 7 RC

Thanks guys. Great tips! These solved my problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I access my main monitor if broken in a multi-monitor setup?

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Multi Monitor environment resets to over under setup not side by side
So my issue is that when I log into my computer it will some times (not all the time) revert from a side by side multi monitor setup to a over under setup. Like if you go into screen resolution settings I will have it set to monitor 1 on the left, and monitor 2 on the right, then when I lock the...
Hardware & Devices
Totally give up 2nd monitor setup steals main focus
I've been running 2 extra monitors - VGA (737 CDU) and a LCD 12.1 I turned my monitor on this morning and my main was blank but its was on and my LCD was blank. I unplugged both monitors and my main came back on. So i figured out its my LCD 12.1 HDMI thats stealing my main monitor. I have tried...
Hardware & Devices
Broken cursor on main monitor
Hey guys. I have a problem. Sometimes (randomly) when I move my mouse from my second monitor on to my primary, my mouse pointer gets "broken". I've added a photo of what the cursor now looks like on the primary monitor. (had to take it with my cell) The pointer is always standard icon...
General Discussion
Multi Monitor Setup
I have three monitors connected to my rig, 2 x 20" in portrait on the sides and a central 27" in landscape. For months I have been using this without issue, today however when I woke up the 'main display' (i.e. where the start button and taskbar is) has shifted to to the left display. Nothing I do...
Graphic Cards
Multi-Monitor setup
Hi all Recommendation on Video Cards required for Multi Monitor setup. I'd like to have 4 monitors connected simultaneously with independent controls (for using Photoshop CS4 etc). Do I need video cards with Multi monitor input or several different video cards installed (even if this IS...
Hardware & Devices

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 17:16.
Twitter Facebook Google+