How to move a game to an external monitor in Windows

If you have two monitors or an external monitor with a laptop, some video games may run on the wrong screen. No big deal, right? Except that it’s not always obvious how to transfer a fullscreen game to another monitor.

Change target display in game

Most modern games are developed with multi-monitor setups in mind. This means that you will probably find an in-game setting where you can specify which display you want to see the game on.

Cyberpunk Target Monitor 1 video settings

You will usually find this option in the “video” section of the game menu, not in the “graphics” section, although some games may combine these sections.

Use keyboard shortcut

Windows has a universal keyboard shortcut for moving an application from one display to another. Just hold Windows+Shift+Left Arrow or Right Arrow. This will move the active application to the monitor to the left or right of the current monitor, depending on which arrow key you press.

Temporarily disable one screen

In our experience, the keyboard shortcut above is not 100% successful, but what works is turning off the monitor you don’t want the game to display on. It may sound like a chore, but Windows makes it easy.

Press Windows + P and you will see a menu with various display options.

Windows external display options

Here you can choose whether to display the desktop on one monitor, clone it on both monitors, or extend the desktop to multiple monitors. Select the option that matches the one you want to play on and the other monitor will turn off.

When you’re done playing, you can simply use the shortcut to reactivate your monitors.

Set target screen as primary

If you have multiple monitors, Windows designates one of them as the primary monitor. Applications must open on the primary monitor. You can manually change which monitor is the primary monitor.

Right-click on the desktop and select Display Options.

Windows display settings shortcut

Scroll until you see a diagram of the connected displays. Select the monitor you want to be the primary display.

Main display switcher in Windows 11 display settings

Then check the “Make this my primary display” box. Then click “Apply” and try running the game again.

Change your game to borderless windowed mode

Most of the problems people have when porting a game to the correct monitor is related to running the game in full screen mode. There are performance benefits to running the game in exclusive full screen mode, but it does make normal window management a little more difficult.

Most modern games can run in full screen mode, windowed mode, and borderless windowed mode. Borderless windowed mode appears in full screen mode, but the game runs in a window, making it quick and easy to switch apps.

Borderless Cyberpunk window

The downside is that you may lose access to features like HDR, variable refresh rates, and a slight performance hit. However, moving a borderless window to another screen is just as easy as moving any other window, and is therefore a good last resort if no other method will cause your game to move to another screen.

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