How To Assign VLC Player To A Display In A Multi-Display Setup


Windows 10 has a reasonably great multi-display support. There are still a significant number of features that users have on their list of things to get, however, generally speaking, the support has really improved compared with past versions. On Windows 10, apps remember which monitor they were open on. There are a few exemptions to this rule e.g., Chrome windows from different profiles all open on the same, usually wrong, monitor. There’s no OS level workaround for this but apps can adopt one if necessary. It’s something a media player app like VLC does. You can assign VLC Player to a display from its settings and never care over it opening on the wrong one, ever.

Assign VLC Player To A Display

Open VLC player and go to Tools>Preferences, or you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+P.

vlc preference

On the preferences window, go to the Video tab. Under the ‘Enable Video’ segment, open the ‘Output’ dropdown and change the value from ‘Automatic’ to ‘DirectX (DirectDraw) Output.

Next, look under the DirectX segment where you have a dropdown for a Display device. Open it and select the display you want to assign the VLC player to. If at all you leave it at ‘Default’, it will open on your main display. In the event that you don’t have your second, or third display currently connected, this option won’t automatically show it.

vlc video preference

This will just dictate which display VLC will open in by default. You can simply drag a window to an alternate display if you want. Stop VLC and open it once more. Play something and it should play it on the assigned display.

We should say that while this is a built-in feature in VLC, and it’s been there for a long time now, although it is buggy. You may not get any video output whatsoever or it may not recollect which display it was assigned to. This is, unfortunately, a weakness that you’ll discover when dealing with various displays on most desktop operating systems. VLC tries to work with different displays however it has its hiccups. You should, in any case, move the VLC player window to your favored display, just in case the feature flops.

Identifying Display

It’s very simple to identify a display on Windows. On Windows 10, open the Settings app. Go to the System group of settings and select the Display tab. Click the ‘Identify’ button and a number will be super-forced on your screen (quickly) revealing to you which display is which. You can also change the displays by dragging them and VLC will try to recognize the new display order.



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