Problem external monitor only shows my laptop background no icons or current program displayed. Windows 10

R0GG

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Do you have your external monitor coupled to your laptop screen as extended desktop : means your external monitor PROLONGS your laptop monitor which considered as primary display extending the overall desktop real estate: that way icons show in their previous one screen layout on the the primary screen, but you could move them around and lay them out among both screens.
 
Apr 16, 2018
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Apr 16, 2018
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I have been using this monitor for more than 3 years. It's the first time I'm having only the background and icons displayed on the monitor.
 

R0GG

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Were you able to move your icons around ?
You could do a MIRRORED LAYOUT and you'll have your laptop monitor mirrored onto your external monitor : people use this for clarity or for watching movies or in projection mode when external monitor is much larger and clearer than laptop one, with option of turning off laptop monitor all together .
Any output port would usually work well, VGA, DVI or HDMI , etc

Windows 10 is pretty neat with the Extended desktop layout,
You could use third party utilities such as ULTRAMON ( which needs a little of learning curve) either for switching quickly display modes and saving their configuration for quick display mode shifting, or for using the goodies of extra taskbar on the extra screen with configurable options,, extended desktop wallpaper throughout both screens or side by side different backgrounds.
you always have the options in windows to hide desktop icons (when taking advantage of your desktop taskbar and quick launch bar that you could activate easily in windows 10) and enjoy your extended desktop bigger wallpaper view.

ultramon software : https://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/download.asp
 

bsurkein

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Jan 27, 2012
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The key comment made by usermonitor is: " I have been using this monitor for more than 3 years. It's the first time I'm having only the background and icons displayed on the monitor". This is my problem too; it just started, and I don't know what if anything has changed, or that I mistakenly changed(?) in my system. I am running the HDMI output from my PC (Windows 10) thru an HDMI cable to m AV receiver (Integra DTR 50.1), and from the receiver to my HDTV. All of a sudden, only the PC desktop background image is appearing on the HDTV?!?!

 

R0GG

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Good call bsurkein! I read that too, I preferred not to complicate the approach with more questions and more suggestions to avoid confusion especially that it wasn't reported as a frequent issue.

I run through icons and app windows resetting themselves to the primary screen on a regular basis this happens with HDMI inputs when disabling-enabling second monitor, when disconnecting second monitor cable while 2nd monitor is enabled or when switching 2nd monitor input to another PC or TV or trough KVM switch, etc. Since I don't use desktop shortcuts icons I have them hidden, I would first verify that icons auto-arrange is disabled (right click windows desktop > view), if that doesn't fix it try some apps that can help memorizing icons or app windows position and layout on both screens (ultramon).
Save and Restore Windows Desktop and Icons >>http://www.pchell.com/support/savedesktoplayout.shtml
 
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