Have you tried connecting your Microsoft – Surface Pro 2 to an external monitor and found that the items on the external monitor are huge and fuzzy? If so, this is the article you need. It’s worth doing because with an external monitor it can take the place of a desktop. It then becomes your one and only, all purpose device.
The basic instructions Everything you read makes connecting an external monitor to your Surface Pro sound simple, and it is—once you know how to get it right. Here’s what you should have found out easily.
- Buy a mini display port to a VGA, or HDI, or HDMI, or display port connector whatever will connect with your monitor. (If your monitor gives you a choice, go for whatever is nearest to the end of that list). You can get reasonably priced ones on Ebay, and you can use an Apple mini display port adapter.
- Connect the monitor to the Surface using the connector and turn it on.
- Go to your charms menu (the area that appears when you slide your finger in from the right hand side) and choose devices/project.
- Select what arrangement you want with the monitor: both screens, one screen or the second screen as an extension.
Everything you read makes it sound as if that’s all you need to do, but it probably won’t be, at least it wasn’t for me because the second screen was fuzzy, making it very bad for your eyes.
How to fix the fuzziness—or the not so easy to find extra instructions. It took me a lot of research to find out how to do this. Hope you find this article easily.
- Check for updates and install any you find. Do this whether or not you have automatic updates turned on. Automatic updates only loads vital updates, and Microsoft’s idea of what is vital may be different to yours. Go to Control panel/ System & security/Windows update/check for updates and load whatever is there.
- Close any applications you have running—you’ll see why later.
- Connect your monitor.
- Go to Control Panel /Personalisation and display / screen resolution and check that your monitor is showing as an option in the display drop down box. This should happen automatically, but you may need to help it along to detect and identify the monitor the first time you connect to it. Your surface will choose the best resolution to match the monitor, so you don’t need to change that. You can also select how you want the second screen to work here, making the options via Devices on the charms bar redundant. The next time you connect to the same monitor Surface will automatically apply the same preferences.
- Click on ‘Make text and other items larger or smaller’ at the bottom of that dialogue box. Though step 4 should happen automatically after the first time with a new monitor, you will need to do the following steps every time.
- Another dialogue box comes up.
- Click the checkbox: let me choose one scaling level for all my displays. These options allow you to make the size of everything right for the monitor. They will become too small for your Surface, but you can change it back when you disconnect your monitor.
- The default % dpi (dots per inch) is 150% but for the monitor to show everything clearly and at the right size for its screen, you’ll need to change it to 100% or 125% if you like things a little larger. 125% is also a compromise % for most people who don’t want to have to keep changing this each time they plug in or remove their monitor.
- I change mine each time because I like things on my surface to be quite large.
- Your Surface won’t have the 200% option. I added that option by using the ‘Custom sizing options’, and if you’d like everything on your surface to be larger than the default, then I suggest that you add this option. Just choose it from the drop down box.
- Select 100% (or 125%) and click ‘Apply’ at the bottom. And here’s the stinker, you’ll have to sign off and sign in again for the changes to take effect. That’s why I told you mot to have any programs running before you came to control panel.
- Done, but when you disconnect your monitor and go back to the small screen, if you want the size of things on the Surface screen to be readable, you’ll have to go to Control Panel /Personalisation and display / Make text and other items larger or smaller/ Then click the checkbox, ‘Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays’ and return your dpi to 150%. You’ll have to sign out again, but at least it works.
I hope that helps.