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At my desktop PC, I have 3 displays hooked up on my Palit GeForce GTX 480 to extend my desktop:

  • DVI: Samsung SyncMaster T220 (22" 16:10, 1680x1050, as my main)
  • DVI: Samsung SyncMaster 940BF (19" 4:3, 1280x1024)
  • HDMI: Sony Bravia KDL-32D3000 (32" 16:9, 1360x768)

As expected, the GFX card can only utilize 2 of the displays at any given time, so I have to manually switch using Windows' "Display Properties" dialog, each time I want to switch between them.

I've tried UltraMon, DisplayFusion and PowerStrip (so please don't refer me to a question where those are given as solutions) but they are unable to switch monitors. Instead they can only change display resolutions and settings on the existing active monitors, with specially weird results when I've saved the monitor states and then tried to switch monitors using the saved states!

Any idea on how to bypass the awful "Display Properties" dialog and it's "confirm your change" timer?

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I'm trying to do the same. I've looked into WMI (PowerShell/VBScript) with no luck so far. I'm trying to disable monitors when remoting into my work computer from my laptop with GoToMyPC which uses desktop composition. I need to toggle between 3 montitors and just one monitor. Looking for a script or API call. Found Display API to change resolution (meant for games), but nothing to enable/disable like Control Panel => Display Properties. – yzorg Jan 5 '11 at 16:56
Have you tried this key combination: Win Key + P ? – Darius Jun 4 '11 at 21:19

[not recommended] I created my own solution via GUI automation using Sikuli. Blogged the solution:

edit 2010.Jan.20 - the Sikuli script was unreliable, even after an hour of tweaking, especially on large multi-monitor desktops (to many bad matches with fuzzy visual matching). It was a good learning experience, so leaving the answer in case others are considering Sikuli.

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I've installed Sikuli X but I was unable to launch it's IDE (using it's desktop icon and trying the .jar directly). As I see from task manager, it utilizes Java for few seconds then exits. Maybe it isn't compatible with Windows 7 x64 or my version of Java? (v1.6.0_23 x64) – Saxtus Jan 11 '11 at 21:08
I'm using Vista x64. The script only works 50% of the time, even on my machine. So after using it for a while I wouldn't recommend others try to adopt it as a time saver. Good learning experience. (Jython) If the need arises I'll try a script for AutoIT next. I've heard it's a good free tool that has a longer track record and can accomplish the same goals (GUI/Window automation on Windows). – yzorg Jan 20 '11 at 20:45
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Solution found:

Latest version of Ultramon, is able to turn on and off monitors at will, placing them in predefined arrangement and switching what is primary if needed. You can create display profiles and switch to them at will, using program shortcuts and keyboard shortcuts.

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There is a built in function in Windows 7: Windows key + P.

It shows four options: single (Disconnect Projector), mirror (Duplicate), extend (Extend), and projector (Projector only). One of your monitors will be the projector, the other is the extended screen so you can switch between projector and screen.

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What if I want to have 2 monitors on at every given time, like the questions suggests? – Saxtus May 23 '13 at 17:00

displayswitch.exe is a tool in Windows 7 that will allow you to quickly switch modes.

It has command line parameters:

  • /internal (Disconnect projector)
  • /clone (Duplicate screen)
  • /extend (Extend screen)
  • /external (Projector only)

More information here.

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Your answer is not clear. Are you recommending displayswitch.exe? Is there a link to this software? Thanks. – suspectus Aug 14 '15 at 6:48

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