How to Switch Displays for Steam Games, and Switch between Extended & Duplicate Displays for Gaming with a Roku etc, & Win+P Alternatives

If you have a multiple Monitor Setup that also connects to TV displays, etc, you may want to change the display from your Desktop to your TV for certain games or for different locations etc.

There is no setting within Steam to change the display, unfortunately.

If you have a 4K IPS Monitor and a 2K Gaming monitor and want to game on your 2K Monitor, you need to change the 2K monitor to your Primary Display, if you want it to automatically play in full screen on that display.

Unfortunately, there is no longer a Roku Remote for Windows to let you control your TV from your desktop, but there is a Phone Virtual Remote. In your Roku settings, you can bring your HDMI Port connected to your PC as the top Option, and change the name to “PC” or something.

To move the game to your TV, it helps if your TV is the same resolution as your Monitor, but it most cases it will be a lower resolution than your gaming monitor.

For example, if you have a 4K IPS Monitor, and a 2K Gaming Monitor, and an HDTV, the Game on your Gaming Monitor will be too big for your TV, and too small for your IPS monitor. Your best bet would be to match your TV to your gaming monitor, rather than the other way around. So a 2K TV would be much easier for gaming with your 2K monitor, than a 4K tv would. But your 4K TV would be much better for your graphics design or whatever you use your 4K Monitor for, but is less important because you aren’t only using one screen for graphics or video, generally.

So for this to work, you need to run your game in Windowed Mode, but at the same resolution as your display, so it takes up the entire screen anyway and you can’t really even tell it’s in windowed mode. If the little tiny strip bothers you, you can use Borderless Gaming to stretch the window a tiny unnoticeable bit that won’t really perceivably effect the resolution and hides the tiny gap

You need to run in Windowed mode anyway if you’re recording from Windows, or streaming, so you’ll probably already want to be in windowed mode.

If the resolutions on your Primary display and the Display you want to use don’t match, you will have to go into your game settings and change the windowed resolution to the max resolution of the target display. Like a 2K Gaming Monitor wanting to play your HDTV would have to change the settings to HD instead of your usual 2K.

That all seems like a pretty big hassle, though, right?

So an easier way is to just temporarily switch your display mode from Extended to Duplicate. Then you have your game playing on all 3 displays. You can always switch the two monitors off.

You can just hit Win+P to bring up the Windows Project Sidebar and select the mode to switch to. The Project Side bar is closely linked to your Graphics Card, and I believe that it knows the most current version of your Graphics Driver before you do, and if you don’t update your Graphics driver, the Win+P function may not work with each Graphics Card Update. So be sure both you Graphics Card and your Windows OS are updated to avoid any problems.

Duplicating displays means you can’t use another monitor browsing the internet and looking stuff up online during your game, though, but you could use a tablet or phone for that. If you want to keep the extended functionality, you will have to just change your game settings and drag the window to a different Display.

Alternatively, for changing from Extending to Duplicating your displays, you may want an easy Icon to click from your taskbar or desktop which changes the display automatically for you, and easily switches back with a single click.

To achieve this, do the following:

Create a Duplicate Display Shortcut:

  • Right-click the Desktop > New > Shortcut
  • Paste the following into the box:
    • %windir%\System32\DisplaySwitch.exe /clone
  • Name it “Duplicate Display”
  • Finish

Create an Extend Display Shortcut:

  • Right-click the Desktop > New > Shortcut
  • Paste the following into the box:
    • %windir%\System32\DisplaySwitch.exe /extend
  • Name it “Extend Display”
  • Finish

Give them Icons:

  • Right-Click each Shortcut and go to Properties
  • Click “Change Icon”
  • Browse to your Icons (method on how to make them is described below) and select ok & apply

Here are some Images I created to make Icons for myself that you are free to use:

To turn the images above into Icons:

  • Save the images above to your computer
  • Download Greenfish Icon Editor Portable
  • Open the Application
  • Go to File > Open
  • Browse to one of the images you saved
  • Go to Menu > Icon > Create Windows Icon from Image
  • Select the checkbox for 32-bit & the 256 column
  • Click the Save button above
  • Name it Duplicate.ico or Extend.ico – be sure to manually type “.ico” after the file name
  • Click Save
  • Repeat with the other Image
  • Add them to your shortcuts as described in the previous section.

You can now drag them to your task bar, or put them on a different display desktop, or pin them to your start menu, etc., as you like. The Taskbar makes them one-clickable.

 

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