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Game Playing on Wrong Monitor (Causes and Fixes)

As an avid gamer, I have experienced the frustration of playing games on the wrong monitor. Recently, I had to troubleshoot this issue on my own and figured I would share my experience and the solutions I found.

The most probable cause for a game launching on a different monitor is failure to set up the primary monitor. To resolve this, simply go to your computer’s display settings and set the monitor you want as the primary window.

There are other reasons for this glitch, along with its corresponding solutions. Read on as we tackle more about it.

Game launching on wrong monitorIncorrect primary monitorAdjust primary monitor in computer’s display settings
NVIDIA display settingsConfigure monitor settings in NVIDIA’s control panel
Outdated device driverUpdate the operating system or the specific device driver
Faulty wired connectionsInspect and secure loose cables in the multiple-monitor setup

What Causes a Game to Play on the Wrong Monitor

If you constantly find yourself in this dilemma, the top cause is inaccurately setting the primary monitor.

Some people with multiple-monitor setups often encounter this issue and are unaware of how to get around it correctly. Whenever they open a game, it goes to the monitor they don’t wish to play on.

Their quick fix is to use the hotkey, set the computer to window mode, and drag the game to the monitor they wish to play in. While this effectively works, it can be tiring to do it every time.

Here are the probable causes and how to fix each case:

  1. Incorrect Primary Monitor

As previously mentioned, incorrectly assigning your screen in your computer’s display settings can cause a game to play on the wrong monitor.

For example, if you want the center monitor to be the main window, you’d have to set it accordingly in the display settings.

  1. NVIDIA Display Settings

If you have an NVIDIA GPU, it could also affect the default primary monitor settings as it has its own settings. You can access those settings through the GeForce Experience application.

  1. Outdated Device Driver

An outdated device driver can sometimes cause a game to open on the wrong monitor. You need to update your system driver to fix the bug.

  1. Faulty Wired Connections

A faulty cable setup, such as a loose cable plugged into the monitor’s display port, can affect the monitor’s function. It’ll cause the game to open on a different monitor than the one you plan to play on. 

How to Fix a Game Playing on the Wrong Monitor

Addressing the issue of a game launching on the wrong monitor isn’t as complicated as it seems. 

A quick adjustment on the display settings, updating system drivers, and checking loose connections can solve your display monitor concerns.

  1. Go Over Desktop Display Settings

To do this, go to your computer’s display settings and choose which monitor will be your main screen. 

Next, scroll down and set the monitor you like as your main display.

Remember that once you assign a particular screen as your monitor, this will be the screen that’ll open your applications. 

For example, if you assign the center monitor as your primary display in a triple monitor setup, your games will automatically open on that screen.

  1. Change the Display Order in NVIDIA

You can also configure your desired monitor settings in your dedicated GPU’s control panel. 

  • To access this setting, go to NVIDIA’s control panel
  • Under the Display option, select Multiple Displays. 
  • Next, right-click the icon that matches the display you want to assign as your main window. 
  • Choose the Make Primary option, and click Apply to run the new setting.
  1. Update the Operating System

Updating your computer’s OS to the latest version can fix bugs, including a game pulling up on a different monitor. 

You can do this by going to your computer’s settings, then clicking on Windows Update. If there are available updates, you can install them. 

Since the device driver is part of the OS, any major system upgrade can cover it. However, if you didn’t install any updates and choose to upgrade the device driver, you may do so.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Type in Device manager in the search box of the taskbar.
  • Click on Device Manager and choose a category to view the different device names.
  • Right-click on the device driver you’d like to update.
  1. Check Your Multiple-Monitor Setup

One of the things you can do to resolve the issue is to do a physical inspection of your setup. 

Check for loose cables or whether the lines and connections in your multiple-monitor setup are correct. Any unsecured HDMI cables can result in any of your monitors improperly functioning.

It’s also essential to check whether your graphics card can support multiple monitors and their native resolution.


Having multiple monitors can be thrilling as it makes gaming more immersive; however, a simple glitch can cut the fun out.

A game playing on the wrong monitor can be annoying. Thankfully, some solutions can help you work around it. These include going over your computer and GPU display settings, updating the OS, and manually inspecting the setup.