Multiscreen Blank v2 is an easy-to-use utility that allows you to independently blank out or dim one or more monitors connected to your computer. Monitors fade in and out with smooth transitions.
Some possible uses include:
- Fading out a projector during a presentation while switching slides
- Blanking out unused monitors in a multi-monitor setup to reduce distraction
- Selectively blanking out parts of a commercial video wall
- Dimming one or more screens while continuing to use them
This is a major update to the original Multiscreen Blank application that has developed a small but devoted following of users. The update brings a reimagined, considerably more intuitive user interface and includes many new features requested by users over the years.
SUPPORT STATUS: This program is actively supported. You are encouraged to send suggestions and bug reports to the developer.
Multiscreen Blank displays your current monitor configuration in a scaled visual representation. This eliminates guesswork in trying to figure out which monitor is #1 or #5, since Windows can arbitrarily re-order them. Here are some basic operational concepts:
- Double click on a monitor icon to toggle its state
- Single click on a monitor icon to add it to the selection. Click in the blank area around the monitor icons to clear the selection.
- Click and drag over several monitor icons to select them
- Right click on a monitor icon for more options, including the option to blank/reveal all selected monitors, place them in a group, or invert the current selection.
Additionally, you may double click anywhere on a blanked monitor to reveal it. (Note that the mouse cursor will be invisible unless you have enabled it in settings.)
Monitors may be placed into groups to make it easier to select and blank/reveal logically-related displays. Groups can be added, renamed, or deleted at any time, and appear as colored buttons at the top of the window. Group colors will match up with monitor colors so you can identify group membership at a glance.
By default, all monitors are members of the first group, but this group is hidden. Right-click on the blank space to the right of the list of groups to add a new group. Click on a group button to select all monitors in that group. Right-click to blank or reveal all monitors in the group, select the group (or everything outside of it), or make changes to the group itself.
The "All" group is a special group that is always present. It allows you to quickly select every monitor and provides a quick and easy way to blank all but the primary monitor. The primary monitor is defined in the Windows control panel and generally corresponds to the monitor that your taskbar appears on.
If you have a hardware-based screen splitter solution (such as a Matrix TripleHead2Go or various commercial video wall controllers) that splits a single logical monitor across multiple physical displays, you can set up virtual screens in Multiscreen Blank to allow you to still blank each physical display independently. Virtual screens will appear within Multiscreen Blank as if they were physical monitors and may be selected, added to groups, and so on.
Notification Area Icon
Much of Multiscreen Blank's functionality can be accessed from its notification area icon. Minimizing the main application window will minimize it to the tray, and double-clicking on the notification area icon will restore it. Right-clicking on the icon will present you with a menu of options. You may toggle individual screens (listed by bounding rectangle), blank/reveal groups of monitors, and quickly blank/reveal all screens, without opening the main window.
Multiscreen Blank supports multiple command-line arguments in order to allow scripting of screen blanking/revealing. Since it is a single-instance application, you may run multiple commands in sequence and they won't open multiple copies of the application. The following basic command-line switches are supported:
Starts the application minimized. You may double-click on the notification area icon to restore the main application window. This argument may be combined with other arguments that make sense, e.g. monitor operations, but must appear first in that case.
If something went wrong and you can't get the program to open normally without crashing, you may reset its configuration to factory defaults by passing in this argument.
/blank, /reveal, /toggle
Performs the specified operation on the specified set of screens. You may define screens either by Windows hardware ID, group ID, or bounding rectangle. You may specify one or more monitors this way, but keep in mind that you may specify only existing monitors that show up in the UI (not arbitrary regions). The bounds and hardware ID may be obtained by right-clicking on the monitor in the main UI and clicking "Information..."
The following selectors are available:
- bounds: allows you to specify a monitor via bounding rectangle.
- id: allows you to specify a monitor via hardware ID.
- group: allows you to specify a monitor via group number.
- all: allows you to specify all monitors.
- allexcept: modifier that inverts the selection.
Blank the second monitor according to Windows hardware ID
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank id \\.\DISPLAY2
Blank the logical monitor located at (1920,0,1920,1200)
This corresponds to the rightmost monitor in a dual-monitor configuration where both monitors have a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels and are arranged horizontally in landscape orientation.
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank bounds 1920,0,1920,1200
Blank all monitors in the second group
Group indices start with 0, so the first group is 0, second group is 1, etc.
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank group 1
Combination of the three examples above
Order of the operands does not matter as the operation will be applied to all monitors simultaneously. It's OK to overlap, e.g. if a given monitor selected by bounds is also a member of the specified group.
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank id \\.\DISPLAY2 bounds 1920,0,1920,1200 group 1
When you specify "all", there is no logical benefit to specifying additional monitors since you've already specified all possible monitors. This will blank every monitor including the primary one that the main Multiscreen Blank window is on, so you will need to double-click on that screen in order to reveal it.
Blank all except the primary
The "allexcept" operator must appear immediately after the "/blank" switch.
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank allexcept id \\.\DISPLAY1
Multiscreen Blank will remember the window layout and group assignment. Additionally, it has several options you may configure.
Start with Windows
Multiscreen Blank can be started with Windows – this will cause it to open minimized, in the notification area near the clock. This will save you a click if you routinely use Multiscreen Blank whenever you turn on your computer.
You can also configure blanking details: the fade duration, the easing function used for fading in and out, and whether or not to show the mouse cursor on blanked screens.
Settings are stored in a .ini file in the application directory. Alternatively, settings may be redirected to a user-specific directory if the application is installed to a shared folder. This file can be easily backed up and transferred to other systems.
You are allowed to use Multiscreen Blank with virtually no restrictions, i.e. you may use it for both private and commercial settings free of charge. However, you may NOT use this software as part of your own projects or compilations without permission from the developer.