Monday, February 15, 2021

Switching Between Various Profiles for Multiple Monitor Configurations

I honestly cannot believe the dirth of solutions for the problem I was facing.

With everything moving to "stay at home" and mobile workplace scenarios, I recently started using a laptop again.  Obviously the reason to use a laptop is so you can work in multiple places, and, as such, utilize multiple configurations.

When I'm in my studio, I'm using four monitors.

When I'm on the road in my Airstream, I'm using the laptop monitor and a television for an extension monitor.

When I'm gaming in the studio, I enable only two ultrawide external monitors.

When I'm gaming in a mobile location, I use only the laptop monitor.

When I work or game in the house (by the fireplace!), I'm using just the 4k TV.

So what kind of solution does Windows 10 have for switching between all these scenarios?


All I wanted was a way to save various profiles for these display configurations.  I can't believe there is no native solution.  Furthermore, NVIDIA doesn't seem to provide a solution either!  From what I could find, the only other programs that provide something like what I'm looking for are bloated with all kinds of other garbage (menus, background switchers, etc.).  I just want to switch between Windows display profiles.  That is all.

Luckily there are people like martinK84 in this world.  Martin created a program called Monitor Profile Switcher.  It's very light, and works very well.

I was a little nervous about installing a program from an unknown publisher, and as such, I can't really vouch for the security of such a program, but so far, so good.

I can also see a potential for someone creating a profile that prevents them from accessing the controls, because they've disabled any monitors currently in use, but Martin preemptively addresses that possible scenario with this paragraph:

What if anything goes wrong?
The worst possible case is that you somehow manage to disable all your monitors, although very unlikely theoretically it could happen. If everything goes black try to make sure that all devices which are attached to the computer are actually turned on and see if you see an image anywhere (even a monitor/tv without power counts as attached device). If nothing helps boot windows into safe mode to fix the problem.
The program is listed as "beta" and notes that it does not currently work with NVIDIA's Surround and AMD's Eyefinity Technologies.  Also, USB GPU's are not currently supported, but experimental support has already been implemented for Version 0.6.0., so it's on the way!

Thanks, martink84.  You rule.