I have a Windows 10 computer with 1 HDMI port (it also has a VGA port but that's irrelevant as I don't want to use it).

I have ordered an additional monitor.

What do I need to order to be able to extend the desktop over 2 monitors using a single HDMI port?

There are some cheap adopters on Amazon but I'm not sure whether these extend the desktop or just mirror it, so that it's the same screen on both monitors?

2 Answers 2


Typically the cheap HDMI splitters simply mirror the displays. There are some adapters that create a single virtual desktop over your two displays, but

  1. they are expensive-ish
  2. I think you have to have the same resolution for both displays or you will have issues
  3. they are pretty terrible. The ones I've used before got extraordinarily hot and would cut out. Further, window snapping doesn't work as expected since Windows treats it as one monitor rather than two.

I know it's not what you are looking for, but I would really suggest just purchasing a cheapo graphics card. I'd imagine you could easily find a dual HDMI GPU for 50 dollars or so.

  • Thanks for your answer, that's what I was thinking. Would there be a noticeable difference in quality with 2 monitors side by side with one using HDMI and the other using VGA?
    – user598200
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 13:54
  • Whether you'll notice a difference will depend on your monitor. But generally, yes, the display connected via VGA will appear a bit less sharp. Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 13:58
  • Yes, unfortunately. VGA doesn't really matter on really low resolution monitors in my opinion, but VGA has a certain fuzzy look at any resolution that would stand out next to an HDMI display.
    – jayhc
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 13:58

8 years later (in 2022), and it seems all solutions I found in the market only mirror the image on multiple monitors.

One suggestion is to use a USB video adaptor with an HDMI output port for an additional monitor.

  • 1
    I think it's because HDMI doesn't support display extension as-is, hence why DisplayPort has become the defacto standard (or USB-C). I could be wrong, so take with a grain of salt.
    – Arctiic
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 5:55
  • I was thinking the same.
    – Sam Sirry
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 6:03

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