I have a dual monitor setup running under Windows 7. With my previous operating system Windows XP I could just turn off the primary monitor to concentrate on something which was displayed on the second monitor.

Now, if I do turn off the primary display, the second display also blackens, thus I cannot use the second monitor alone. The situation I want to use this for, is reading a website or text file for a couple of minutes without being distracted by the stuff shown on the first display. Afterwards, if I need to use the Windows task bar again, I could then turn on the first display again.

I know that I could just move my window from the second monitor to the first one and then turn off the second one instead, and afterwards when I'm finished reading I could move the window again, but that is a lot of hassle.

I want the second monitor to stay on when I turn off the first display. Is that possible in Windows 7?

  • Windows 7 does not turn off the secondary display when you turn off the primary. This problem is specific to your hardware configuration and it is not related to Windows 7. – raven Sep 18 '09 at 15:31
  • This very much sounds hardware related vs. Windows 7 related. By "turn off" you mean you go into the display properties and actually disable the primary monitor? – Agent_9191 Dec 16 '09 at 17:18

I think it depends on you hardware configuration, if your monitor is connected via HDMI, DVI, Display Port or any other digital connector your pc "knows" if a monitor is connected and/or switched off, and so windows trys to set your second monitor as main display, but this seem to fail.


I use a dual display setup everyday. When I want to switch off one display, I just:

  1. Right click on desktop
  2. Choose 'Screen resolution'
  3. Change 'Extended Desktop to 'Show only on Desktop 2'

and when I want to go back I just choose "Extended Desktop" again. I've never had any problems with this.

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