A workspace with a multi-monitor setup 1024_wide
Software disconnect

How to disconnect monitor without unplugging cable on Windows 10

You can disconnect a monitor without unplugging its physical connection, and in this guide, we'll show you how to do it on Windows 10.

If you need to disconnect an external monitor, the process is very straightforward, you simply unplug the cable. While it’s a simple solution, connecting and disconnecting a monitor can lead to problems with cable or you can damage video port in the graphics cards as well as in the monitor.

You could also turn off the display, but it’ll still be connected and recognized by Windows 10. However, you can use the Settings app, to properly disconnect a monitor without unplugging the cable.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to disconnect a monitor without having to unplug the cable or turning off the display on Windows 10.

How to disconnect monitor without unplugging using Settings

The steps to disconnect an external monitor will depend on the number of display you have.

Disconnecting display in a dual-monitor setup

To disconnect a monitor in a dual-monitor setup using the Settings app, use these steps:

  1. Use the Windows key + P keyboard shortcut.

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

    Disconnect second monitor without unplugging
    Disconnect second monitor without unplugging

Once you’ve completed the steps, the second monitor will disconnect automatically.

Disconnecting 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 Display.

  3. Under the “Select and rearrange displays” section, select the monitor that you want to disconnect.

    Select monitor on Windows 10
    Select monitor on Windows 10
  4. Under the “Multiple displays” section, use the drop-down menu and select the Disconnect this display option.

    Disconnect monitor without unplugging
    Disconnect monitor without unplugging

After completing the steps, the monitor you selected will terminate its connection with Windows 10.

If you want to re-connect the display, you can use the same instructions, but on step No. 4, make sure to select the Extend desktop to this display or any of the “duplicate” options.