Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Multiple Monitor - Different Behavior on Each Monitor

  1. #1


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8.1

    Multiple Monitor - Different Behavior on Each Monitor


    So, I'm finding myself pretty disappointed in the way that MS has dealt with multi-monitor support. They're moving in the right direction I guess, but still not what I'm ideally looking for, meaning it's time to start looking for 3rd party alternatives (as I did with Win7).

    So, my ideal setup requires essentially setting up 1 monitor as my "Desktop" monitor, and the other monitor as my "Start" monitor. The current iteration of Win8.1 essentially is that both monitors will default to either one or the other, which seems very shortsighted to me.

    So what I would like is this:
    1. upon boot, one monitor goes to my desktop and the other monitor goes to my start screen.
    2. I don't want my desktop monitor to ever go to the start screen unless I purposefully open up the start screen with the start button.
    3. Similarly, I don't want my Start screen ever to go to my desktop unless I purposefully open the desktop on it.

    What 2-3 mean together is that, for example, if I open a desktop application that is on my start screen, it will be thrown over to my desktop-designated monitor rather than pulling that monitor (i.e. the "start" monitor) down to the desktop. I'd like any notifications that I receive from the Win8 apps (so, for example, my skype app or my FB app) to occur only on my "start" monitor, and keep them segregated over there. Similarly, if I close out all my applications in, for example, my "start" monitor, I want it to go back to my "start" (right now, because I have my computer set to default to my desktop, when I drag down an app to close it I get thrown back to my desktop, which is obviously not the behavior I want on the screen that should have all my tiles).

    So essentially, I'd like to segregate my "desktop" and "start" monitors from each other, and have each's respective applications only occur in that place unless I force it to do otherwise (e.g. I drag a desktop application into my "start" monitor or vice versa).


    I'm not sure if any or all of this is actually possible, but I figured this was the place to ask in case some type of third-party software is available to make this work.

    thanks
    Last edited by DGalt; 18 Nov 2013 at 13:45.

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  2. #2


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    In Windows 8.1 each monitor has a taskbar and a Start Button. Clicking the Start Button on that screen opens the Start Screen on that monitor. I have a 3 monitor setup. I can have the Metro Start screen on one monitor and desktop apps on one or both of the others. 8.1 will also let you run Metro Apps on more than one monitor at a time. I usually run Slacker radio and the weather app in snap mode on one screen IE on my main screen and outlook on my third screen.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8.1


    I understand that. But, for example, my Skype notifications will pop up on my main monitor (which I usually have set to the desktop), and when I click on the notification rather than simply pulling the Skype app up to the top of the monitor it's on (my second monitor), it makes the Skype app full-screen on my main monitor, which defeats the purpose of putting it over on my secondary monitor where I can use it without disrupting my work on my main monitor.

    I could set my main monitor to my "secondary" monitor, so that the notifications occur on that monitor instead, but then I lose the notification area on my taskbar on my "main" monitor (i.e. the monitor that is my desktop, and is the one where I'm doing most of my work). Just to get the notifcation area on both monitors (which isn't ideal, but is a small workaround) would require using a third party application because of the way that Win8.1 deals with the taskbar (basically it's an extension onto the second monitor, rather than being really a stand-alone taskbar).

    And that still has nothing to do with having all "desktop" applications defaulting to opening on 1 screen rather than opening on whatever screen the app was opened on. Again, what I want is a clear separation between my "desktop environment" monitor and my "metro environment" monitor, something that Windows 8.1 doesn't come even close to establishing
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello DGalt, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    By default, the Start screen will stay open on the display as long as you don't open or move anything to the display that the Start screen is opened on. If you do, the desktop view will take over, but you can easily reopen the Start screen on the display though.

    You could do this below that I think should get you close to what you are wanting.

    1. Set Windows to open to your desktop when you sign in.
    2. Set the display that you want the Start screen to be on as you main display.
    3. Set the Start screen to only open on your main display.
    4. Download the Start shortcut in the tutorial below, and place the unblocked shortcut (.exe) in your Startup folder. This will have the Start screen open on your main display after you sign in, and leave the other displays on your desktop.
    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8.1


    Hmm, yes that's moving in the right direction. I believe I will still need to use something like DisplayFusion, though, to get the full taskbar on my "desktop" monitor (since this is actually my "main" monitor, but my secondary monitor will be set to "main" to get the effect that you described above...as confusing as all that sounds)

    edit:
    although I'm still left with the minor problem of, if I close an app I will get thrown down to the desktop rather than the start screen on that monitor (since it's set to default to the desktop on both login and when an app is closed)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    I hear you, the Modern UI still needs some work. Metro Apps don't remember what monitor they were last opened on like desktop programs do. That bugs me to no end let me tell you. I skimmed through your post and for some reason thought you were still on 8.0.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    Yeah, it may take some adjusting and playing to fine tune it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8.1


    haha that's my fault, I originally had it as Win8 (when I read your post I realized I hadn't been clear and changed it)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Hey DGalt, the only suggestion I can offer, with regard to the apps, is to find a desktop version and not use the app(s) at all. Skype has a desktop version and with Display Fusion should get you going. Keep in mind that display fusion is limited in what it can and can't do. I liked it so much I ended up buying the Pro version which has more features and it has a life time license.

    Also, if you can't find a desktop versions of any of your apps, Modern Mix from Stardock will convert the app to a window and in conjuction with Display Fusion should allow you to move it to any monitor and keep it there.


    https://www.stardock.com/products/modernmix/
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8.1


    Yeah I mean, I could just not use the metro UI at all, which I understand, especially since most of the programs I use have desktop versions. But I actually like the apps in a number of cases and am a fan of the metro ui / start screen overall. Some of their decisions are just a bit odd / frustrating (like clumping start-up and closing an app into the same group - why not, if you close an app, have the screen default to the last state it was in. Or even do that on start-up, so that all you'd have to do is set each screen to what you want and then it would just always go back to that...I don't know)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Multiple Monitor - Different Behavior on Each Monitor
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