Computer Monitor (Display) Question
December 16, 2020 1:59 AM   Subscribe

I bought a new computer monitor for my home desktop computer. I love it but have two minor issues...

I purchased a new (larger) 24" computer monitor for my home desktop computer (Samsung). I am loving the size for working on documents, etc. However, two minor things bug me. One, my mouse now moves "off" screen and i find it very irritating. With my older monitor, the mouse would only go as far as the edge of the screen (always visible) and now it goes off the screen (not visible) and I often have to find it and get it back. Minor, but still irritating. Is this a display setting that I can fix.

And secondly, and most importantly, I used to have some files and folders on my desktop. I was moving the mouse around and I accidentally dragged some of these files and folders "off screen" (see point above). Now I can't see them on the monitor. I know they are there (as I can go into File Explorer and source them that way), but I would like to have them back on my viewed display screen.

Any suggestions (I am running Windows 10 Home Edition...)
posted by konaStFr to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
1) This is probably not a display setting in Windows but rather an adjustment you can make on the monitor itself. Most monitors have way to bring up a grid you can use to resize the horizontal and vertical screen space. You may have to check the guide for the monitor if you can't figure it out by using the menu buttons for the monitor.

2) If the icons are off the edge of the screen you could right-click on the desktop and select View -> Auto Arrange Icons and should pull any hidden stuff into nice columns including icons you cannot currently see. You may with to turn that back off once the icons show up again.
posted by dgeiser13 at 2:24 AM on December 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

dgeiser13's suggestions sound right on but I'm also wondering if somehow Windows thinks you now have two displays rather than one.

Settings > System > Display > Advanced display settings
posted by davcoo at 2:46 AM on December 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Perfect. It was thinking that it is two displays! I have all of the icons back on the screen!

I still need to sort the wondering mouse of screen (the monitor display didn't fix that), but I am still searching for a fix.
posted by konaStFr at 2:58 AM on December 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Your monitor may be set to “overscan” a setting usually used for TV or video.

Old tv signals used to display an image larger than the visible part of the screen so if the picture tube was not centered in the frame of the tv you would not see black bars or edges.

There is no reason that this continues to be an issue in the digital age but for backwards compatibility many monitors have an overscan feature built in.

Check the manual and look for things like aspect ratio or scaling to see if there is an overscan option you can disable.
posted by sol at 6:01 AM on December 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

>It was thinking that it is two displays!

So most new screens have a bunch of options of how they can connect, the most common currently being HDMI and DisplayPort, followed by the old standards of VGA and DVI. Some monitors will also have a USB hub built in. So it's very common to have a DisplayPort, a HDMI port, and an old VGA port just in case. Some screens also connect over USB-C, although that's still quite rare. (USB-C is actually just a way to deliver DisplayPort or HDMI signals, but it's a different cable and that's what I'm focusing on here.)

If you have a computer with multiple outputs it's possible to plugin ONE monitor with TWO cables (such as HDMI and Displayport). This will cause confusion as your computer may think you have an extra screen. So just because the monitor may have come with multiple cables does NOT mean you should actually use them all.

TLDR: Double check that you didn't accidentally double up on connections to your monitor. You want power, USB (if the monitor has USB ports) and one video cable.

P.S. If you have multiple options at both ends the order from best to worse (in terms of video quality, refresh rate, etc.) is as follows: DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, VGA.

P.P.S If you don't know what those all are, or what they look like, Wikipedia has a good entry with a chart of video connectors.
posted by tiamat at 6:24 AM on December 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

[Really this should only happen if one of the connectors is VGA, as HDMI and DisplayPort should both report back whether they are in use or not, and therefore your computer shouldn't see two screens if you connect both DisplayPort and HDMI to the same monitor. . . but not all manufactures of cables/computers/screens implement every standard perfectly and I have seen computers that think a port was in use when it wasn't.]
posted by tiamat at 6:31 AM on December 16, 2020

If there is no overscan setting in the Windows Display control panel itself, the monitor's own OSD (on-screen display) controls might also enable you to change this behavior (using physical buttons on the thing's case).

Alternately, the manufacturer might offer a program for you to install to change the settings, outside the Windows Display control panel.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:22 AM on December 16, 2020

It's not a monitor setting but if you go to Mouse Settings and then additional mouse settings in the Pointer Options tab there is a check box under Visability to turn on Show Location when you push the Ctrl Key. I like having this option on when I have multiple or large monitors. It sends out a little sonar ping when you hit control and it's nice to be able to find the pointer.
posted by Uncle at 8:23 AM on December 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

HDMI and DisplayPort should both report back whether they are in use or not

I recently had to switch out the graphics card in my desktop box because current video drivers for the old card started to see "ghost" monitors connected to unused ports. Reverting to the older driver version would always fix this issue, but there came a point where shoehorning an old and unsupported driver back into the OS after every system update got to be more work than the cost of a newer graphics card.
posted by flabdablet at 11:32 PM on December 16, 2020

Add another screen. :) You'll never go back.
posted by kschang at 5:26 PM on December 17, 2020

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