How to disconnect display on Windows 11

You can disconnect a monitor without unplugging its physical connection, and here's how on Windows 11.

Surface Book powering 2 4K monitors
Surface Book powering 2 4K monitors

On Windows 11, when you need to disconnect a display, the process usually only requires unplugging the cable. While this is a simple solution, connecting and disconnecting a monitor many times can lead to cable problems, and you can damage the video port in the graphics cards and the display itself.

It’s also possible to turn off the monitor, but Windows 11 will still be able to recognize it. However, you have an alternative. You can use the Settings app to disconnect a monitor without unplugging the cable.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to disconnect a monitor without unplugging the cable on Windows 11.

Disconnect monitor without unplugging on Windows 11

The steps to disconnect a display will depend on the number of monitors connected to the computer.

Disconnect display in a dual-monitor setup

To disconnect a monitor in a dual-monitor setup on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Use the Windows key + P keyboard shortcut.

  2. Using the “Project” flyout, select the “PC screen only” option.

    Disconnect monitor from Project flyout

Once you complete the steps, the second monitor will disconnect automatically.

Disconnect display in a triple-monitor setup 

To disconnect a monitor on a setup that uses three or more monitors, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the Display page on the right side.

  4. Select the monitor to disconnect.

    Disconnect display from Settings

  5. Select the “Show only on X” option to connect to only one display and disconnect the other.

After you complete the steps, the contents of the desktop will only appear on the display you selected while disconnecting the other monitor.

If you want to re-connect the display, you can use the same instructions, but on step No. 5, select the “Extend these display” or any of the “duplicate” options.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].