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Surface Pro 3 With External Monitor Setup Anomolies


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I have a surface pro 3 and would like to make it my one and only device.  I find the mobile experience is near perfect for me but docking and using it as desktop replacement is at best frustrating. The frustration comes when trying to connect 1 or 2 external monitors using either the Surface 3 dock or a third party USB doc from Pluggable, or even the mini-display port.  The problem I experience seems to be rooted in the OS and the nature of the Surface 3 Pro display.  Apologies for the long read but let me see if I can lay it out...


The background...

The Surface by default scales/zooms the windows OS display at 200%.  This is necessary, even desired, because having all those pixels in such a small area would make the Surface near unusable if it were set to 100%.  Don't believe me try setting it going in and setting it back and doing real work in any app, if you last longer than 10min I'd be amazed and will be asking for the name of your optometrist.  The down side of this scaling is it makes the software react on the desktop and universal apps alike work as though they are running on a screen with a resolution of 1360x900.  (this explains why the Windows 10 mail app displays and works differently on the Surface than it does on your PC display by only show 2 horizontal panels instead of 3 and implements that annoying slide out folder list like it would on a Dell Venue 8 Pro with a much smaller screen).  


The problem...

For me where this becomes a problem is that when an external monitor is attached (no matter how it is connected) there doesn't seem to be a way to keep the second monitor (in my case a 27" 1920x1080) form zooming to 200% as well because WINDOWS, even after 10 iterations, can't treat the monitor separately for this scale setting. In this mode running windows is "really in your face" so to speak and dialog boxes do not always display properly, icons and tiles are the size of post-it notes, etc.

Yes... I can take the 5 or more minutes it takes to fight my way through all the clicks to return it to a scale of 100% and set a preferable resolution and then do the required log out and log back in for it to take affect.  But when I finish all that I have now lost any real functionality on the Surface screen might supply and I still get a message saying applications may not work right due to the selected resolution and oh yeah when I am done and want to go with my Surface tablet I have to return all the settings back to the way they were originally so I can use the Surface again.  When I come back to my desk I get to start all over again.


It would seem that there aught to be a much easier way.  Something like a "docked" profile much the way tablet mode works only now it is a "docked" mode.  I am really hoping someone here will say "hey noob, why don't you just set (whatever) and it will work like you want it too".  I'll even take a registry hack or a powershell script to accomplish the same thing if they exist if it saves all the manual adjusting.


Thanks for sticking with me,,, looking forward to someone having a solution
(get a Surface Book is not an acceptable response :)).




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Diclaimer: I am running Insider Preview build 10547.


I can go into the display settings and change the scaling for the individual monitors. Even though I always run at 100% scaling on my sp2. If it is not available in build 10240 (I assume that I what you are running), it will be, and hopefully soon.

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On my Surface I am running current release plus updates, not the insider build, but on a desktop I am running the insiders build 547 with the same 2 monitors and I can not find an option to change scaling (DPI) at the screen level.  No matter which screen I select  once I say apply and re-login, all screens scale to the new DPI  selection


Can you explain how you got per screen scaling to work?

Edited by hrboyce
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