I hesitated writing this How To. Compared with the olden days of installing and configuring video cards and giant CRT displays, the process of adding a secondary monitor to any modern computer is practically plug-and-play.
But when I sat down to write a tutorial on this that included both Mac and PC, I realized there's still a surprising amount of variables to the process, and plenty of details that I hadn't considered before.
"Is VGA video quality inherently worse than HDMI?"
"Will generic Mini DisplayPort cables work in a Mac's Thunderbolt port?"
I went into this a little cocky, but it turns out I had plenty to learn.
More importantly, I put this together because you are still searching for it. We have an antique 2005 tutorial on this that involves Windows XP, third-party video cards, and a pair of CRTs, and it still gets an absurd amount of clicks. As a public service, I wrote this as a replacement.
As someone who uses a dual-display setup myself, I feel comfortable in the role of the dual-screen evangelist. Working with two screens really has improved my ability to multitask and minimized the amount of windows I have to juggle day to day. If this piece can help demystify a basic procedure and make your life a little easier, then I've done my job.
So, enjoy the, and then dive into the step-by-step galleries for or .