Currently I am using a three-monitor setup, based on a GeForce GTX 680 graphics card:

  1. 3D monitor for gaming and work.
  2. Secondary monitor for work only.
  3. TV for watching movies and sometimes playing games with friends.

The TV is fixed on my room's wall and I cannot really use it when I am sitting in front of the other monitors that I'm using for work, because of the flat perspective. When I want to watch a movie I simply drag the movie player to the monitor and double click the player - that's okay, but I can't do the same with games.

My question is, if it is possible to select the monitor, a game (or 3D application) uses?

I tried a few things now and also searched for an solution, but apparently most setups are based on 3 monitors residing next to each other, where this setup is no problem. I thought about some setting in Nvidia's Control Center, but didn't find anything suitable. At the moment, I need to change the primary display from the system settings and start the game but this is not really handy since I always need to switch the monitors back whenever I quit the game.

Do you know any way to choose the monitor a fullscreen application uses?


8 Answers 8


If you're using Windows 7 (or 8), I've picked up a handy trick to switch the screen my browser window takes up. (I tend to browse websites fullscreen)

Start the game, and when it is fullscreen on one monitor, push

  • Windows Key+Shift+Left Arrow (or Right Arrow, depending on your setup)

to move it between monitors.

Not too sure if it will work with all games, but give it a try.

  • I already know about this, but unfortunately this does not work for fullscreen applications... actually the browser's fullscreen isn't a real fullscreen.
    – Aschratt
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 16:51
  • Ah fair enough, I did not know that
    – Robotnik
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 23:18

If the game/application does not propose the setting to choose the display it will run on, then there is no way to specify it manually.

By default, the games will start on the primary screen as set in the control panel. Should you need to put fullscreen games on a specific display, you would have to temporary set your primary display to the desired screen, launch the game, then switch it back.

The second best option (in my opinion) is to run your games in borderless windowed mode whenever possible. This should allow you to move windows (right-click on task in tasbar, move) or even use windows-7 shortcuts like WIN+Left/Right to move the window to the desired screen.

  • 1
    For games that start with a launcher (Civilization V, Hearthstone, ...), the game will open on the monitor where the launcher is positioned (when you click "Play Game"). Just adding to the list of options.
    – Flater
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 11:30

I am sure that different games approach the problem in different ways, but three things come to mind:

  • Try making the desired monitor the primary monitor
  • Try configuring the operating system so that it thinks the desired monitor is both the left-most and the top-most, i.e. the top-left corner of the "extended desktop" resides on the desired monitor
  • You might be able to set an option using some utility which came with your graphics driver (IIRC, the AMD/ATI one is called Catalyst Control Center)
  • I use the first trick, myself. Windows will let you move the taskbar to a secondary monitor and most non-game applications will remember which monitor you last used them on.
    – Ben Blank
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 22:39

You could set the monitors to span with the nvidia drivers but then every full sized app will span both screens


I think you could do this with Autohotkey fairly simply. See something like this article. You could have a script running that detects a title matching a list of your game window titles and moves it. Or you could make a script that launches a specific game and moves the window.


There is no ubiquitous way of natively making sure that an application, browser window, or program will stick to a particular monitor.

As in the other answers, there are workarounds that might force a particular fullscreen to appear on the display of your choosing, but in most instances, this will not be a remembered behavior.

There are two third-party utility programs I have come across that might be able to help you with your problem:


Actual Multiple Monitors

They both have a free and a paid version. I think you might need the paid version (lifetime license under $30 as of this posting) in order to save the monitor display assignment permanently.


I have a four monitor set-up and I have one monitor that always gets the stuff I want on another, so if you're using Windows 7, listen up:

  • Go to your desktop background, right-click, screen resolution.
  • Here are your monitors, click on the one you want to have your stuff on most of the time, and click, "Make this my main display".
  • All the others can be selected with, "Extend these displays".
  • Now all the items you open up will be on this display, and like Robotnik said, if you wish to change what screen it goes on, click Win+Shift+arrow key.

Put the game in window mode, drag it to the desired screen and switch to full screen again.

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