My host has a single physical monitor but I need to reproduce a bug in an application that requires two monitors, each having a different scaling factor.

VMWare provides documentation for cycling through multiple virtual machines but it requires the host to have multiple physical monitors.

How can one cycle through multiple virtual monitors with a single physical host monitor?

UPDATE: The guest is Windows 10. The host is either Windows or MacOS.

  • What OS on the host and VMs? – music2myear May 23 '18 at 21:47
  • This search brings up several QAs you should probably read: superuser.com/search?q=virtual+monitors+in+vmware And here are a few of the most relevant-appearing from the top of that search: superuser.com/questions/680841/… superuser.com/questions/1176221/… – music2myear May 23 '18 at 21:48
  • @music2myear Question updated. superuser.com/q/1176221/57662 looks promising but it is a Windows 7 guest and does not explain how he got it working. superuser.com/a/964511/57662 is Windows 7 specific and doesn't seem to work on Windows 10. – Gili May 23 '18 at 21:55
  • @Gili It being a Windows 7 guest doesn’t chnage how it’s accomplished – Ramhound May 23 '18 at 22:49
  • @Ramhound It might make a difference. When I go into "Display Properties" I don't have an interface for configuring multiple monitors. When I go into "Device Manager" I only see a single monitor. I assume that is part of the problem. This is what I see running Windows 10 as a guest in windowed mode. – Gili May 24 '18 at 7:44

With some effort I've managed to configure multiple virtual monitors using VMWare Workstation for a Windows 10 guest.


  • Windows 7 Pro x64
  • VMWare Workstation Pro 12.5.9 build-7535481


  • Windows 10 Pro 1709 x64 with all updates and current VMware Tools installed

VMWare Virtual Machine Display Settings:

  • 3D graphics → checked Accelerate 3D graphics
  • Monitors → selected Specify monitor settings
    • Number of monitors: 4
    • Maximum resolution of any one monitor: 1920x1080
  • Graphics memory: 256M
  • Display scaling → unchecked Automatically adjust user interface size ...


  • Start the Windows 10 guest
  • Don't use Full Screen
  • From VMWare Workstation's menu select ViewAutosizeCenter Guest

Configuration inside the Windows 10 guest machine:

Right-click on the Desktop, select Display settings and set the resolution to 800x600 (simply to better see the additional monitors created in the following steps).

Now you will notice that nothing happens if you click the Detect button under Multiple Displays.

Note: In previous Windows versions you were offered an option "try to connect anyway on: VGA" if the display was not detected.
This might be a bug (or feature) introduced with Windows 10 Version 1703. There is a Microsoft Technet Question providing more information.

However, you can still force this by following the next steps:

  • Run the following command: displayswitch.exe
  • Alternatively simply use the Windows + P hotkey (inside the Guest !)

This will bring up the Project settings plane. Choose Extend:

Windows 10 Project Settings

Et voilà, now you have two monitors:

Windows 10 VMWare guest with two virtual monitors

And of course you now also see the usual multiple display options in the Display Settings.

In order to add the third monitor, press Detect. This will create a new box labeled Display not detected. You have to click on that box so that it gets highlighted in blue:

Windows 10 VMWare guest detect additional virtual monitor

Now scroll down to Multiple Displays section and change the selection in the drop-down box from No display detected to the bottom-most entry Try to connect anyway on: VGA:

Windows 10 VMWare guest connect to undetected virtual monitor

Repeat this process for additional monitors.

You can also align the monitors to your liking:

Windows 10 VMWare guest with 4 virtual monitors

  • This solution does not apply to VMware Fusion (MacOS Host). There is no option to select the number of monitors. – Hec Jul 1 '18 at 8:18
  • This solution does not work for me for the following reason: (1) The "Select and rearrange display" dialog shows 4 monitors, but only 3 are rendered inside the guest. (2) All but the first monitor do not respond to right-mouse mouse clicks. Windows cannot be dragged from one virtual monitor to another. In short, we're getting close to a solution but this functionality seems to be broken in its current state. This was tested using a Windows 10.0.17134.254 host and a Windows 10.0.16299.125 guest. – Gili Sep 5 '18 at 21:13
  • @Gili I've added an additional screenshot showing 4 virtual monitors. No issues with right-clicks. I guess you're doing something wrong. Make sure you have selected View → Autosize → Center Guest. However, I've shown the basic concept and given a valid answer to your question. If you experience bugs you might add a new question or try to get support from VMWare. Cheers. – gollum Sep 6 '18 at 9:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.