How to Set Up Dual Monitors on the Surface Pro

Get more productivity from your Surface with more screens

What to Know

  • You’ll need a Surface Dock to connect two monitors to the Surface Pro.
  • The Surface Dock supports the 3rd and 4th generation of Surface Pros; Surface Dock 2 supports the 5th generation and newer.
  • Older monitors will work but will require converters.

In this article, we’ll learn how to connect two monitors to the Surface Pro. While connecting one monitor is as simple as plugging a cable into a port, adding two is a more involved process.

Setting up Dual Monitors on the Surface Pro

  1. Make sure you have all available cables with the proper connectors and necessary lengths. Connect any cables and converters before plugging them into the monitor or the dock.

  2. Connect your Surface Pro to the Dock with the power off. Plug in your monitors and connect your cables, and then look on the Dock. You should see two ports next to the headphone jack; connect one monitor to each port.

    Here's how it looks on a Surface Dock 1:

    Surface Dock 1 schematic with two ports next to a headphone jack

    Here's what a Surface Dock 2 looks like:

    The Surface Dock 2 schematic with two display ports

    You might notice other USB-C ports elsewhere on the dock. These are for charging and data connection, and while you can use them for monitors, it’s advisable to use the dedicated ports instead. You’ll get better performance and will have more ports to use.

  3. Boot up your Surface Pro. It should automatically detect your monitors, and you should see them activate. Depending on the monitors and your current configuration, the monitors may only show a black screen. You may need to help your Surface recognize multiple monitors.

Detecting and Configuring Dual Monitors on the Surface Pro

Here's how to detect and configure your dual-monitor setup.

  1. Open the Windows menu, or press the Windows key, and select Settings > Device > Display. You should see a tool for arranging multiple displays:

    Windows 10 Display Settings with Display and Rearrange Your Display highlighted

    If not, scroll down Multiple Displays and click Detect.

    Surface Pro Detect Displays In Settings with Detect highlighted
  2. Scroll down to Multiple Displays and ensure “Extend These Displays” has been selected. If you see the same image on each monitor, this will resolve the issue.

  3. Scroll up and arrange the screen layout as you have it in real life by dragging and dropping the screens. Press Identify to determine which screen is which. The second monitor is on the left in the example above. 

    Remember, the computer doesn’t know the physical location of your monitor. So, for example, if you had a monitor above you but placed it “underneath” your primary screen in these settings, you’d have to move your mouse “down” to use that screen.

  4. Select each screen, and scroll down to select your monitor’s resolution, orientation, and magnification. You might want to drag an app you plan to use on that monitor to ensure your settings are where you want them.

Checking Compatibility Issues

Connecting dual monitors requires either the Surface Dock or Surface Dock 2. The 3rd and 4th generation of Surface Pros can only use the first dock; the second dock supports the 5th generation and up (as of this writing). The Surface Pro 7. 3rd and 4th generation Surface Pros will use the Mini Display Port (MDP) technology. Surface Pros 5th generation or later will use USB-C ports. 

Check the monitors you’ll want to use to see which ports are available. Older monitors may use the Digital Visual Interface (DVI) standard or the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard. Converters are available online from electronics retailers to either USB-C or MDP ports.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use my Surface as a second monitor for my Windows PC? Yes, as long as both devices support Miracast. On both devices, go to Settings > System > Projecting to this PC. Adjust the settings to your preferences. On the Windows PC, click Windows key + P, choose Connect to a wireless display, and choose your Surface. On the pop-up on your Surface, choose Always Allow, and then select OK to confirm. Your main PC will display a code; enter this into your Surface and start projection. Once again, back on your main PC, click Windows key + P and choose Connect to a wireless display. Choose Change Projection Mode and select Extend.
  • How do I connect a third monitor to my Surface Pro? With the Surface Dock, you can extend your display to only two monitors. If you connect a third monitor with an adapter, you can only daisy-chain it, which will replicate the monitor's display to which it is connected.
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