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Help me manage my multiple monitors

Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
So my current setup is multiple monitors but not in the normal way. I have my computer room with my computer in it and my new widescreen monitor. In my living room just one room over, I have my 4K TV which is also connected to the computer via an extra long HDMI cable. Its pretty nice. I did it this way so that I can choose to game on either. I generally still watch episodes of stuff or youtubes or whatever from the TV. The monitor is a curved ultrawide 3440p x 1440p and the TV is 4k.

However there are some things I need advice about. Seems like windows gets a little "particular" about which monitor is set to "primary". Icons jump around. Programs open on the screen I don't want them to. If these monitors were directly next to each other it wouldn't be so bad but they are in other rooms. Its a bit annoying. I know there are some third party programs I can buy to assist me in this, and I am open to that. I just don't know if they are truly necessary or if I can force windows 10 to cooperate. Also I don't know what third party apps are good to get.

So basically: I want to have it so the monitor and TV both have their own desktop icons that don't switch around when I toggle primary monitor. I want it so that if I open an application from a certain monitor, it pops up on that monitor. I want to be able to still toggle primary monitor for the purpose of changing which monitor I am gaming on. I don't generally click and drag programs from one screen to the other because like I said, they are in different rooms.

Any advice is appreciated!

Posts

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Generally speaking, programs control where and how they open, not Windows. Most programs use a "last saved configuration" approach: If I open Excel, drag it over to my laptop screen, and then close Excel, the next time I open Excel it will pop up on my laptop. If I drag it over to my widescreen and close it there, then the next time I open Excel it will pop up on my widescreen.

    Why are you constantly swapping your primary display? You should be able to game on your secondary display just fine.

    If you absolutely need a solution here that isn't a third-party program, then the easiest thing to do would be to remember the keyboard shortcuts for accessing, moving, and maximizing windows around so you don't need to actually see what you're doing per se each time. Alternatively, I'd recommend just duplicating the display and then changing the resolution depending upon what you want to use at the time. Icons may end up jumping around a bit but it should be manageable if you're organizing them on your desktop.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    i use display fusion, not sure if it can do what you want but it can do a lot

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    IrukaPixelated Pixie
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    Generally speaking, programs control where and how they open, not Windows. Most programs use a "last saved configuration" approach: If I open Excel, drag it over to my laptop screen, and then close Excel, the next time I open Excel it will pop up on my laptop. If I drag it over to my widescreen and close it there, then the next time I open Excel it will pop up on my widescreen.

    Why are you constantly swapping your primary display? You should be able to game on your secondary display just fine.

    If you absolutely need a solution here that isn't a third-party program, then the easiest thing to do would be to remember the keyboard shortcuts for accessing, moving, and maximizing windows around so you don't need to actually see what you're doing per se each time. Alternatively, I'd recommend just duplicating the display and then changing the resolution depending upon what you want to use at the time. Icons may end up jumping around a bit but it should be manageable if you're organizing them on your desktop.

    I'm only swapping my primary display under the (mistaken?) assumption that i need to do that so my game is on the correct display. Maybe I can just stop doing that and it will solve a lot of my problems?

    The "last saved" thing actually is kind of annoying for me because I use mostly the same exact programs on both monitors. I had also assumed that duplicating the display would cause problems because of differing resolutions and ratios (16:9 and 21:9), but I haven't actually tried. I am a bit leery to do this though because there will be situations where I want to game on my monitor in one room, and someone else will want to e.g. watch netflix in the other. Duplicating would probably not allow this.

    The windows shortcuts might solve things. Looking into them though they use the windows key and I usually disable my windows button because I am a horrible fat-fingerer when I game.

    mts: I'll check out display fusion, thanks for the recommendation!

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    If you use a keyboard brand like Logitech or Corsair then there should be settings that will allow you to disable the Windows key whenever particular programs are running, but can otherwise enable them. Some keyboards have hardware controls that allow you to turn the key off/on whenever you need to, too ("WinLock").

    Yes, duplicating your display will cause one of them to look weird - I assumed that you only used one at a time and could swap resolutions depending upon what you need. If you're using both simultaneously then there duplicating probably isn't a good solution. I'm curious how you are able to get stuff like Netflix to maintain fullscreen if you are working on the other monitor, though. Generally, programs tend to turn off fullscreen or show their controls the second they lose focus in fullscreen mode, which should be happening if you're typing away in Excel while someone is watching Netflix in fullscreen on the other display.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Hide Icons on your desktop and just use your start bar. I use the launch bar for my most used programs + have one for the documents folder. Keeps your desktop clean, it's not really any extra work.

    Most of the features of displayfusion and ultramon got rolled into windows, but display fusion has "triggers" where you can program things to do specific functions: https://www.displayfusion.com/Features/Triggers/

    I have displayfusion but dont really use it anymore, Its a legacy license and I bought it originally JUST for duplicating the start bar. I don't know how well the triggers function in windows 10 or if theres any funny interactions.

    JustTee
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    I'm curious how you are able to get stuff like Netflix to maintain fullscreen if you are working on the other monitor, though. Generally, programs tend to turn off fullscreen or show their controls the second they lose focus in fullscreen mode, which should be happening if you're typing away in Excel while someone is watching Netflix in fullscreen on the other display.

    Haven't tried yet, but it is my goal.

    I do have a corsair keyboard. I think before I had this keyboard I disabled the windows key through registries though.... gonna have to look into re-enabling it.

    edit:
    Iruka wrote: »
    Hide Icons on your desktop and just use your start bar. I use the launch bar for my most used programs + have one for the documents folder. Keeps your desktop clean, it's not really any extra work.

    Most of the features of displayfusion and ultramon got rolled into windows, but display fusion has "triggers" where you can program things to do specific functions: https://www.displayfusion.com/Features/Triggers/

    I have displayfusion but dont really use it anymore, Its a legacy license and I bought it originally JUST for duplicating the start bar. I don't know how well the triggers function in windows 10 or if theres any funny interactions.

    Yeah this is probably the way to go. Just bypass even needing icons at all, and then use windows shortcut keys to move programs between monitors.

    Not sure about the above issue that Inquisitor77 brought up though, with maybe having difficulty having netflix (or whatever) running on the TV while I game on the monitor.

    Al_wat on
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    If you use a keyboard brand like Logitech or Corsair then there should be settings that will allow you to disable the Windows key whenever particular programs are running, but can otherwise enable them. Some keyboards have hardware controls that allow you to turn the key off/on whenever you need to, too ("WinLock").

    Yes, duplicating your display will cause one of them to look weird - I assumed that you only used one at a time and could swap resolutions depending upon what you need. If you're using both simultaneously then there duplicating probably isn't a good solution. I'm curious how you are able to get stuff like Netflix to maintain fullscreen if you are working on the other monitor, though. Generally, programs tend to turn off fullscreen or show their controls the second they lose focus in fullscreen mode, which should be happening if you're typing away in Excel while someone is watching Netflix in fullscreen on the other display.

    The PC netflix app doesn't seem to care about that any more than going full screen in a second monitor on amazon prime or youtube cares when I'm running them in full screen in a browser window on my second monitor.

    Burtletoy
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Yeah it's definitely dependent upon the program you're using. In my experience it's a common issue, but I wouldn't be surprised if certain apps like Netflix have addressed it.

    HappylilElf
  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    Ultramon's wiki says it has "Pre-defined application window placement" which sounds like what you are looking for. It also adds a button to send stuff to another monitor and some start bar stuff.

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Al_wat wrote: »
    I'm only swapping my primary display under the (mistaken?) assumption that i need to do that so my game is on the correct display. Maybe I can just stop doing that and it will solve a lot of my problems?

    Steam will launch games onto whatever monitor the steam main client itself is running on.

    If steam is on your left monitor, it launches games on the left. If you close the game, drag the steam client to the right monitor and launch the game again, it will be on the right

  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    Games load on whatever is your "Main Display" in display settings. This is also where your system tray icons will be.

  • NEO|PhyteNEO|Phyte They follow the stars, bound together. Strands in a braid till the end.Registered User regular
    Aridhol wrote: »
    Games load on whatever is your "Main Display" in display settings. This is also where your system tray icons will be.
    Your system tray isn't locked to the primary display, I've got mine on the secondary.

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Unless my steam is special for some reason, that isn't how it works. Maybe full screen games only, but I'm pretty sure that is also not how my steam works.

  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    I can open steam on any monitor and it always plays games on the main display.

    @NEO|Phyte How do you move the system tray to another monitor in windows 10?
    Using another application? I can't seem to find this functionality within windows.


    As a reference I am using a triple monitor (single GPU) setup.

    Aridhol on
    Burtletoy
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Huh.

    Just tested it and I am, indeed, wrong

  • NEO|PhyteNEO|Phyte They follow the stars, bound together. Strands in a braid till the end.Registered User regular
    Aridhol wrote: »
    "NEO|Phyte" How do you move the system tray to another monitor in windows 10?
    Using another application? I can't seem to find this functionality within windows.
    I have no clue if the taskbar defaults to the locked state or not, but rightclick, ensure it is not locked (option should be near the bottom of the list), then just drag it over to another monitor.

    It was that somehow, from within the derelict-horror, they had learned a way to see inside an ugly, broken thing... And take away its pain.
    Warframe/Steam: NFyt
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    There's a setting in the taskbar options that lets you duplicate it across displays.

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Specifically, for Windows 10:
    1. Right Click the taskbar
    2. Select Taskbar settings
    3. Scroll down to Multiple Displays
    4. Set "Show taskbar on all displays" to "On"

  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    NEO|Phyte wrote: »
    Aridhol wrote: »
    "NEO|Phyte" How do you move the system tray to another monitor in windows 10?
    Using another application? I can't seem to find this functionality within windows.
    I have no clue if the taskbar defaults to the locked state or not, but rightclick, ensure it is not locked (option should be near the bottom of the list), then just drag it over to another monitor.


    I was specifically talking about the system tray not the task bar but NEO|Phyte got it.

    @NEO|Phyte Thanks, I forgot you can just drag the whole thing to wherever :)



  • AkimboEGAkimboEG Registered User regular
    For easily moving programs between multiple monitors, there's WinKey + Shift + Left/Right. It also works for fullscreen games, more often than not.

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