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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


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?

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