AMD Desktop and Display Management

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Both the Standard and Advanced View contain pages for adding, removing, and configuring desktops and displays. Use these pages as necessary to manage your desktops and displays.

In Standard view, the pages are located under the following subgroups within the Desktops and Displays group:

  • Add/Remove Displays—Contains pages for managing displays.
  • Desktop Management—Contains pages for managing desktops.
  • AMD Eyefinity Multi-Display—Contains pages for managing groups of multiple displays. If you are using multiple graphics processors, some actions redirect you to these pages.
In Advanced View, the pages are located under the following groups:

  • Common Display Tasks—Contains pages for managing displays and desktops.
  • AMD Eyefinity Multi-Display—Contains pages for managing groups of multiple displays. If you are using multiple graphics processors, some actions redirect you to these pages.

When you access a page, the associated task is automatically completed if no additional configuration information is required. Otherwise, you are prompted to select the desktops and displays to be configured.

You can also manage desktops and displays through the Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops page in Advanced View. This page provides access to all desktop and display management tasks through a desktop arrangement area and display palette.

Desktop Modes

You can use multiple displays by connecting more than one display to a single graphics card or by connecting a single display to multiple graphics cards. Note that certain graphics cards may contain more than one graphics processor.

Depending on your operating system and display configuration, desktops can be duplicated, extended, or exchanged between displays. Once a display is connected and enabled, it can be run in the following desktop modes:

  • Duplicated—The desktop is duplicated (including resolution) on more than one display. This setup can be useful for running demos and presentations.
  • Extended—The desktop is extended across multiple displays. Each extended display has its own unique desktop area (including screen resolution and refresh rate). This setup can be used to provide additional desktop space.

The Control Center application contains various pages for configuring multiple desktops and displays.

Desktop Numbering

The desktop and display numbering system used in the Control Center application varies from the numbering scheme used by the Windows® operating system.

In the Control Center application, desktops and displays are numbered using a simplified scheme:

  • When the application is started, existing desktops are numbered in the order that they are found, starting from 1.
  • When a desktop is created, it is assigned the first available unused number.
  • Displays that belong to a duplicated desktop or AMD Eyefinity display group are all assigned the same desktop number.

To view the desktop numbering for your current display configuration, see the desktop arrangement area and display palette in the Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops page of the Advanced View.

Creating and Arranging Desktops (Advanced View Only)

The Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops page is the central location for configuring your display devices and arranging your desktop in Advanced View. Use the page to perform actions such as enabling and disabling displays, extending or duplicating displays, and arranging desktops.

The page provides access to a variety of desktop and display management tasks through the desktop arrangement area and display palette, respectively. Located above each of these components is an instruction area that provides usage tips for performing your current action. Certain tasks can also be carried out using the Control Center icon in the Windows® system tray (taskbar notification area). To view the tasks that are available for your graphics card, right-click the icon and then click the appropriate graphics card option.

Desktop Arrangement Area

The desktop arrangement area is the main area of the Creating and Arranging Desktops page. It contains a large surface for arranging and configuring desktops. Each desktop is represented by a desktop number bounded by a rectangular box.

The triangular button located in the top right corner of each desktop surface provides access to a context menu for configuring the desktop. You can also access this menu by right-clicking a desktop.

Each time you click a desktop, a blue edge appears around the desktop to indicate that you have selected it. Depending on your hardware configuration and capabilities of your graphics driver, additional buttons and symbols may also appear on each desktop surface:

  • An asterisk (*) appears in the left corner of the main desktop.
  • A symbol consisting of two interlocking squares appears on the bottom right corner of desktops that have been duplicated. If a desktop has been duplicated to more than two displays, the symbol also indicates the number of associated displays for the desktop.

Display Palette

The display palette is located below the desktop arrangement area. It shows all display devices that are connected to your graphics card and detected by the graphics driver.

Each display is represented as an icon that most closely matches its physical appearance based on available Extended Display Identification Data (EDID). The status of a display is indicated in the palette as follows:

  • Enabled displays are labeled with the appropriate desktop number.
  • Disabled displays are not labeled with a desktop number.
  • Displays that are physically disconnected from your graphics card but are still detected as enabled by the graphics driver are labeled with a question mark. Such displays are known as “ghost” displays.
  • Wireless displays are identified with a Wi-Fi antenna icon.

Use the triangular button in the top right corner of each display icon to configure display-specific properties through a context menu. The availability of menu options vary between the status of your display.

The instruction area above the displays palette also contains a Detect Displays button that you can use to detect newly connected displays if they are not automatically detected by the Control Center application.

Tip: To view additional display information for a particular display, hover your mouse over it.

Detecting Displays

When a display is connected to your system, it should automatically be detected by the graphics driver and become available for configuration. In the uncommon event where the display is not automatically detected, you can manually force detection of the display. Examples of displays that may require manual detection are CRT monitors.

  1. Navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Desktops and Displays > Add/Remove Displays > Detect Displays.
    • Advanced View—Common Display Tasks > Detect Displays or Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
  2. If you are using the Creating and Arranging Desktops page, click the Detect Displays button. For the Detect Displayspage, no additional action is required.

The Detect Displays and Creating and Arranging Desktops pages are updated to show the result of the detection. Once detection is complete, displays that were previously undetected become available for configuration.

Arranging Desktops

You can change the arrangement of desktops by repositioning them relative to one another. Desktops can be positioned above, below, adjacent, and diagonally next to one another. Use this feature to arrange desktops so that they match the physical layout of your displays.

Note: This feature is available only if you are using more than one display.
  1. Navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Desktops and Displays > Desktop Management > Arrange Desktops.
    • Advanced View—Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
  2. In the desktop arrangement area, drag the desktops to the desired locations.When you release a desktop, it is automatically anchored to the closest neighboring desktop edge.
  3. Click Apply.
  4. When prompted, confirm the changes.

The desktops are arranged accordingly.

Tip: You can also arrange desktop surfaces using the keyboard. To do so, set the mouse focus in the Control Center application window and then repeatedly press Tab until the desired desktop is selected. Use the arrow keys to move the selected desktop in the desktop arrangement area, and then press Enter to enable the Apply and Discard buttons. Click Apply to apply the changes or press Esc to cancel your changes.

Disabling Desktops

If you no longer need a desktop, you can disable it as long as it is not the main desktop. When you disable a desktop, it is removed from all desktop management pages and can no longer be configured. However, the displays associated with it remain available for selection.

  1. Navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Desktops and Displays > Add/Remove Displays > Disable Desktop.
    • Advanced View—Common Display Tasks > Disable Desktop or Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
  2. Depending on the page you are using, do one of the following:
    • Disable Desktop—Select one or more desktops to be disabled by clicking each desktop or Select All, and clickApply.
    • Creating and Arranging Desktops—In the desktop arrangement area, right-click the desktop to be disabled, and then click Disable in the context menu that appears.
  3. If prompted, confirm your action.

The desktop is removed and is no longer available for configuration. The displays associated with the desktop remain available for selection on various desktop and display management pages.

Setting the Main Desktop

The main desktop shows the Windows® logon dialog box. By default, it is also the desktop that shows the Windows taskbar and the desktop on which full-screen applications (such as games and videos) are run.

When there is only one display available, the desktop associated with it is automatically set as the main desktop. When multiple desktops are available, you can select which one you want to set as the main desktop.

To identify the main desktop, look for the desktop with the asterisk symbol (*) in any desktop management page within the Control Center application.

  1. Navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Desktops and Displays > Desktop Management > Set Main Desktop.
    • Advanced View—Common Display Tasks > Set Main Desktop or Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
    Note: You cannot set the main desktop if there is only one desktop available.
  2. Depending on the page you are using, do one of the following:
    • Set Main Desktop—Select the main desktop and click Apply.
    • Creating and Arranging Desktops—In the desktop arrangement area, click Make Primary in the context menu for the appropriate desktop.

All desktop management pages, including the Set Main Desktop and Creating and Arranging Desktops pages, are updated to show the new main desktop. Depending on your current display configuration, the Windows taskbar may be moved to the main desktop.

Rotating Desktops

You can rotate a desktop so that it matches the physical orientation of your display.

  1. Navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Desktops and Displays > Desktop Management > Rotate Desktop.
    • Advanced View—Common Display Tasks > Rotate Desktop or Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
  2. Depending on the page you are using, do one of the following:
    • Rotate Desktop—If needed, select the desktop to be rotated followed by the rotation that you want, and then clickApply.
    • Creating and Arranging Desktops—In the desktop arrangement area, click Rotate in the context menu of the desktop to be rotated and select the appropriate rotation.
    Available rotations can include:

    • Landscape—Original desktop orientation.
    • Portrait—Rotate the desktop 90° so that the original desktop is rotated on its side.
    • Landscape (flipped)—Rotate the desktop 180° so that the original desktop appears inverted.
    • Portrait (flipped)—Rotate the desktop 270° so that the original desktop appears inverted and rotated to its side.
  3. When prompted, confirm your action.

The desktop is accordingly.

Tip: You can also rotate the main desktop by right-clicking the Control Center icon in the Windows® system tray (taskbar notification area), clicking Rotate Display, and then clicking the appropriate rotation.

Disabling Displays

If you no longer need a display, you can disable it as long as it is not the only display associated with the main desktop.

If the display belongs to an AMD Eyefinity display group, you must first disable the group before you can disable the display.

  1. Navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Desktops and Displays > Add/Remove Displays > Disable Display.
    • Advanced View—Common Display Tasks > Disable Display or Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
  2. Depending on the page you are using, do one of the following:
    • Disable Display—Select the display to be disabled and click Apply.
    • Creating and Arranging Desktops—In the display palette, click the display to be disabled, and then click Disablein the context menu that appears.
  3. If promoted, confirm your action.

The selected display is disabled and its associated desktop is no longer available for configuration. However, you can re-enable the display by creating an extended or duplicated desktop.

You can also disable displays by right-clicking the Control Center icon in the Windows® system tray (taskbar notification area), clicking the associated graphics card, and then clicking Disable Display.

Identifying Desktops and Displays

Use the Identify All button within the various desktop and display management pages in the Control Center application to determine which displays are physically associated with each desktop. The types of objects that are identified depend on the on the context of each page.

Note: The availability of the Identify All button varies depending on your current display configuration and task.
  1. If the Identify All button is available in the page that you are currently using, click the button. Otherwise, navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Any page under the Desktops and Displays > Add/Remove Displays or Desktops and Displays > Desktop Management group.
    • Advanced View—Any page under the Common Display Tasks or AMD Eyefinity Multi-Display group. Alternatively, navigate to the Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops page.
  2. Click the Identify All button. If you are using the Creating and Arranging Desktops page, proceed to the next step.
  3. In the Creating and Arranging Desktops page, do the following:
    • To identify a particular display, select the display in the display palette and then click Identify Display from the context menu of the display.
    • To identify all displays or only the displays for a particular desktop, click one of the following options in the context menu of any desktop in the desktop arrangement area:
      • Identify—Identifies the displays associated with the selected desktop with the appropriate desktop number.
      • Identify All—Identifies all enabled displays with their corresponding desktop number. This option is available only if more than one desktop is configured.

The appropriate desktop number appears on each display. The same number appears on all displays showing the same duplicated desktop.

Note: If the display belongs to a group, the desktop number appears only for the selected display and a tooltip appears in the desktop arrangement area to indicate the grid position of the display.

Duplicating Desktops

When you duplicate a desktop, an exact copy of the desktop, including resolution, is duplicated onto another display. Duplicated desktops can be useful in environments where multiple copies of the same desktop are needed (for example, when conducting presentations using a projector).

Before duplicating a desktop, make sure that the target display is currently disabled. Desktops associated with display groups cannot be duplicated.

  1. Navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Desktops and Displays > Add/Remove Displays > Duplicate Desktop.
    • Advanced View—Common Display Tasks > Duplicate Desktop or Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
    Note: The Duplicate Desktop page is available only if there is at least one disabled display. If you want to change an extended desktop to a duplicated desktop, use the Change to Duplicated page instead.
  2. Depending on the page you are using, do one of the following:
    • Duplicate Desktop—If there is only one available display, it is automatically selected for the duplicated desktop and no further action is required. Otherwise, select the appropriate display and/or desktop and click Apply.
    • Creating and Arranging Desktops—In the display palette, click Duplicate in the context menu for the appropriate display. If prompted, use the desktop arrangement area to select the desktop that you want to duplicate and the display palette to select the target display.Only the desktops and displays that are applicable to your action are available. Certain settings may become unavailable and the Cancel button appears in the window. You can click this button to cancel your action.

    If your current display configuration cannot support an additional display, you may be prevented from duplicating a display or be prompted to first disable another display. If only one target display is available, it is automatically selected. In this case, click Yes in the confirmation dialog that appears.

  3. When prompted, confirm your action.

The selected desktop appears on both displays and the duplicated desktop symbol (two interlocking squares) appears at the bottom of the desktop icon on the Duplicate Desktop page.

The Creating and Arranging Desktops page is also updated accordingly: if a display was disabled during the duplication process, it appears as disabled in the display palette. If a desktop was removed, the associated desktop icon is removed from the desktop arrangement area.

Extending Desktops

When you extend a desktop onto a display, a new desktop is created exclusively for the target display. Extended desktops can be set to different rotations, resolutions, and refresh rates.

Before extending a desktop, make sure that the target display is currently disabled.

  1. Navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Desktops and Displays > Add/Remove Displays > Extend Desktop.
    • Advanced View—Common Display Tasks > Extend Desktop or Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
    Note: The Extend Desktop page is available only if there is at least one disabled display. If you want to change a duplicated desktop to an extended desktop, use the Change to Extended page instead.
  2. Depending on the page you are using, do one of the following:
    • Extend Desktop—If there is only one available display, it is automatically selected for the extended desktop and no further action is required. Otherwise, select the display on which to extend the desktop and click Apply.
    • Creating and Arranging Desktops—In the display palette, click Extend in the context menu of the appropriate display. If prompted, use the display palette to select the target display.Only the displays that are applicable to your action are available. Certain settings may become unavailable, and the Cancel button appears in the window. You can click this button to cancel your action.

    If your current display configuration cannot support an additional display, you may be prevented from extending the display or be prompted to first disable another display. If only one target display is available, it is automatically selected.

  3. When prompted, confirm your action.

A new desktop is created and becomes available for configuration. The Extend Desktop page is updated with the new desktop.

The Creating and Arranging Desktops page is also updated accordingly: if a display was disabled during the process, it appears as disabled in the display palette. If a desktop was removed, the associated desktop icon is removed from the desktop arrangement area.

Tip: You can also extend a display by right-clicking the Control Center icon in the Windows® system tray (taskbar notification area), clicking the associated graphics card, and then clicking Extended Desktop.

Exchanging Displays

If you want to replace the display that you are currently using with another display that is currently connected but disabled, you can do so by exchanging the displays with one another. When you exchange a display, the desktop from the enabled display is moved to the disabled display. As a result, the enabled display becomes disabled and the target display becomes enabled during the exchange.

Display settings, such as screen resolution and refresh rate, are preserved during the exchange. Make sure that the display settings for the enabled display can be supported on the target display before exchanging the displays.

Note: This feature is available only for displays connected to the same graphics processor and if it is supported by your graphics card.
  1. Navigate to one of the following pages:
    • Standard View—Desktops and Displays > Add/Remove Displays > Exchange Display.
    • Advanced View—Common Display Tasks > Exchanged Display or Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
  2. Depending on the page you are using, do one of the following:
    • Exchange Display—If there is only one display that can be used for the exchange, it is automatically used to replaced the current display and no further action is required. Otherwise, select the appropriate display(s) for the exchange and click Apply.
    • Creating and Arranging Desktops—In the display palette, click Replace in the context menu of the disabled display that you want to use for the exchange.

      If prompted, select the desired display from the display palette. Only the displays that are applicable to your action are shown. Certain Desktops & Displays settings become unavailable, and the Cancel button appears in the desktop arrangement area. You can click this button to cancel your action.

      If only one display is available for replacement, it is automatically exchanged with the selected display. If multiple displays are available for replacement, you are prompted to select the appropriate one.

  3. When prompted, confirm your action.

The displays are exchanged with one another if their display settings are compatible with one another. The Exchange Display andCreating and Arranging Desktops pages are updated to show the result of the exchange.

Swapping Displays

If you are working with multiple displays, you can switch the desktop association for each display with that of the other display. When you swap displays, the displays and desktops remain enabled. Only the desktop associated with each display changes. This feature lets you quickly change desktop associations for displays.

Note: This feature is available only if it is supported by your graphics driver and if both displays are connected to the same graphics processor. It is not available for duplicated displays.

To swap an enabled display with a disabled display, use the Exchange Display page instead.

  1. In Advanced View, navigate to the Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops page.
  2. In the desktop arrangement area, click Swap in the context menu of the desktop to be swapped.If only one display is available for swapping, the desktops are automatically swapped with one another. In this case, you are prompted to confirm the change and should proceed to the last step of this procedure.
  3. If prompted, in the desktop arrangement area, select the desired desktop. During this time, the desktop arrangement area shows only the displays that are applicable to your action; certain Desktop & Displays settings become unavailable; and the Cancel button appears in the window. You can click this button to cancel your action.
  4. When prompted, confirm your action.

The desktops are swapped between the displays. Display mode settings such as resolution and refresh rate for each display remain the same.

Changing to Extended Desktop Mode

You can quickly change the desktop mode of a display by converting it from duplicated to extended mode or vice versa.

When you change a desktop from duplicated to extended, the duplicated desktop is disabled before it is extended.

You can change a desktop to extended mode using Standard View only if:

  • Both displays are currently running in duplicated desktop mode.
  • Neither of the displays belong to an AMD Eyefinity display group.

The following procedure describes how to change a desktop from duplicated mode to extended mode using Standard View.

To change the desktop mode when more than two displays are connected, you must use the Creating and Arranging Desktops page in Advanced View instead.

  1. In Standard View, click Desktops and Displays > Desktop Management > Change to Extended.The duplicated desktop is removed and automatically replaced with the extended desktop.
  2. When prompted, confirm your action.

The page updates to show the result of the change.

Changing to Duplicated Desktop Mode

You can quickly change the desktop mode of a display by converting it from extended to duplicated mode or vice versa.

When you change a desktop from extended to duplicated, the extended desktop is disabled before the main desktop is duplicated onto it. In addition, the display associated with the main desktop is set as the preferred display. Therefore, make sure that the desktop that you want to duplicate is set as the main desktop before you begin.

You can change a desktop to duplicated mode using Standard View only if:

  • Both displays are currently running in extended desktop mode.
  • Neither of the displays belong to an AMD Eyefinity display group.

The following procedure describes how to change a desktop from extended mode to duplicated mode using Standard View.

To change the desktop mode when more than two displays are connected, you must use the Creating and Arranging Desktops page in Advanced View instead.

  1. Make sure that the display that you want to duplicate has been set as the main desktop.
  2. In Standard View, click Desktops and Displays > Desktop Management > Change to Duplicated.The extended desktop is removed and automatically replaced with the duplicated desktop. The display originally associated with the main desktop is automatically set as the preferred display.
  3. When prompted, confirm your action.

The page updates to show the result of the change.

Changing Desktop Modes in Advanced View

If you are using multiple displays the desktop mode for each display can be converted from duplicated to extended or vice versa using a single step.

When changing the desktop mode from extended to duplicated, the desktop for the selected display becomes disabled before it shows the new duplicated desktop. If there is only one desktop available for duplication, the current display automatically shows that desktop. Otherwise, you are prompted to select the correct desktop to be duplicated onto the display.

Not all displays connected to your system may be eligible for a desktop mode change:

  • Desktop mode change is not available for displays belonging to a display group. To change the mode for such as a display, the group must first be disabled.
  • Desktop mode change is not available for a display if it is the only one associated with the main desktop. To change the mode for such a display, you must first set another desktop as the main desktop.

The following procedure describes how to change desktop modes using Advanced View. If you are using only two displays, you can also use Standard View to switch between desktop modes.

  1. In Advanced View, click Desktop Management > Creating and Arranging Desktops.
  2. In the display palette, click one of the following options in the context menu of the appropriate display.
    • Duplicate—Updates the current display to show a duplicated desktop. If there is more than one desktop available for duplication, select the correct one by clicking its associated display in the display palette.
      Note: If there is only one desktop available for duplication, it is automatically selected.
    • Extend—Updates the current display to show a new extended desktop.
  3. If prompted, in the message dialog that appears, click OK to confirm that you want to disable the current desktop and proceed with the mode change.To change the desktop mode for a display from extended to duplicated, the current desktop must first be disabled.

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