Many of us like to work with multiple monitors, or have laptops open with a secondary monitor also attached. Windows 8 handles these a bit differently than previous versions of Windows.
How to Setup Multiple Monitors on Windows 8
To edit monitor configuration:
You’ve got a couple options: you can show the Start Screen, with its lovely Metro interface, on one screen, and the traditional Windows desktop on the other screen. This option is ideal if you’ve got apps that don’t have Metro tiles yet, and therefore live on the desktop (such as Skype). When you hit the Start button, it’ll show the Start Screen on the screen that last had a Metro app open.
Or, when you’ve got the traditional Windows desktop open, you can show a different desktop background (or wallpaper) on each screen, or you can extend a double-wide one across the entire span of both monitors. Also, the Taskbar will work correctly across both monitors. It’s useful to have the desktop on one screen for apps that don’t support Metro yet, like Skype.
What you can’t do, yet, is have a double-wide Start Screen with a bunch of tiles. That’d be more than welcome, but Windows doesn’t do that, yet.
In order to bring up the Charm Bar (the menu along the right side of the screen that includes system options) in any of these configurations, swipe where you would normally, in the lower right. With multiple-monitor setups, Windows 8 implements what’s called a “trap”, where it slows down the mouse cursor in the corner and keeps you from moving to the other screen easily. That’s so you can take advantage of the “hot corners” without accidentally jumping between screens. (Hot corners is what Windows calls the area where you swipe to get menus to appear.)
The Windows 8 Blog on this subject goes into exhaustive detail on why Microsoft made the decisions they did regarding multiple monitors.
Check out our Windows 8 category for a constantly growing library of Windows 8 tips, tricks and opinions.
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