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.

Windows 10 display settings
Windows 10 display settings

If you have to disconnect an external monitor, the process is straightforward. You unplug the cable, and that’s it. While this is a simple enough solution, connecting and disconnecting a monitor can lead to cable problems or can damage the video port in the graphics cards and monitor.

You could also turn off the display, but it’ll still be connected and recognized by Windows 10. However, a more straightforward solution includes using the Settings app to disconnect a monitor without unplugging the cable.

This guide will teach you the steps to disconnect a monitor without unplugging the cable or turning off the display on Windows 10.

Disconnect monitor without unplugging on Windows 10

The steps to disconnect an external monitor will depend on the number of displays connected to the computer.

Disconnect display in a dual-monitor setup

To disconnect a monitor in a dual-monitor setup from the Settings app on Windows 10, 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

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 Display.

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

    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

After you complete 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 in step 4, select the “Extend desktop to this 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 14 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 20 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].