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I got a new dell Windows 10 laptop and I am trying to get my external monitor to work with it.

The external monitor has an HDMI input and a VGA input. I was previously using the VGA input with my old Windows 7 laptop. I had never tried the HDMI input on the external monitor until now.

Initially I fiddled with some display driver settings to get the external monitor detected. And then in the display settings I saw the two monitors and I selected dual monitors side by side.

Now whenever I connect the HDMI cable it appears that the external monitor becomes the primary monitor but it remains blank. I can move my mouse over to it and whenever I open any apps from my laptop screen they don't show at all because I am guessing they're displaying on the external monitor that is blank. That brings up another issue - when I connect the external monitor I can't do anything because everything opens on the external. How can I see stuff while the external is connected? Do I have to "guess and drag"?

I have tried two HDMI cables(one from my TV that was working there), so I think the cable itself is fine.

Here are my listed display drivers:

  • Intel(R) HD Graphics 620 Version: 21.20.164574 [12/23/2016]
  • Intel(R) HD Graphics 620 Version: 21.20.164627 [3/9/2017]
  • Microsoft Basic Display Adapter

I had to switch to the basic driver to get the monitor detected. Since then I've tried the others at least once.

  • In Linux you have a key combination Win+Shift+arrow which puts selected window on the screen pointed by arrow. There could be a similar combination for Windows. – styrofoam fly Jul 2 '17 at 21:42
  • The key combination on Windows key to cycle between monitor modes is Win+P. Try that and select "Extend" – wysiwyg Jul 3 '17 at 3:27
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I have used several laptops before. For all laptops, there are some key combinations you can press to:

  • show on laptop monitor only
  • show on both monitors (mirror mode)
  • extend display to secondary monitor
  • show only on external (secondary) monitor

You find that key combinations first. Then without connecting to secondary monitor, press that key combinations and make sure your main monitor is your laptop monitor.

Once done, connect to the secondary monitor. Then press that key combinations and you should be able to either mirror the display or extend the display to external monitor.

Please write down the make and model of your laptop. Can't help you further without knowing those information. Hope that helps.

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