How to select a primary monitor

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Monitor with a black screen.

Multiple monitor setups are quite common these days. They are more or less mandatory for the design industry, and those who code or create websites. When using more than one monitor, you pick a primary one so your main workspace is in front of you, rather than on the left or right monitor. To learn how to select a primary monitor, choose your operating system from the list below and follow the steps.

How to select a primary monitor in Windows

  1. Press the Windows key, type display settings, and then press Enter.
  2. In the section near the top, select the monitor you'd like to make the primary.

Section where you choose between displays in Windows 10.

  1. Once you've made your selection, scroll to the bottom of the page and locate the Multiple displays section.
  2. Check the box next to Make this my main display.

Box that lets you set a main display.

How to select a primary monitor in macOS

  1. Select System Preferences System Preferences icon. from the Dock.
  2. Select Displays near the upper-left part of the System Preferences menu.

Display selector in macOS.

  1. On the next screen, near the top in the middle, select the Arrangement tab.

Arrangement selector in macOS

  1. In the center of the Arrangement window, on the monitor images, click the white bar and drag it to the left or right. The monitor that moves into the center is now be your primary.

Selector to change the primary monitor in macOS.

  1. You should now see a white bar over the new primary monitor.

New primary monitor in macOS.

  1. When you're finished, click the close button (red X) macOS buttons in the upper-left corner of the window.