Blank, dim, and mirror your screens in a multi-monitor setup
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.
Restores the application if it's already running minimized
Closes the application. This is useful for batch scripts where you need to run the program for a bit and then close it at the end.
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.
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 operations are available:
The following selectors are available:
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank id \\.\DISPLAY2
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
Group indices start with 0, so the first group is 0, second group is 1, etc.
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank group 1
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
You may track the monitor the mouse is currently on with the "current" selector.
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank current
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.
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank all
The "allexcept" operator must appear immediately after the "/blank" switch.
MultiscreenBlank2 /blank allexcept id \\.\DISPLAY1
Mirroring is similar to blanking, with an additional region selector that allows selecting any part of the desktop. You can also specify a destination as either a screen or a region. If a destination screen is specified, mirroring is done in full-screen mode.
MultiscreenBlank2 /mirror region 0,0,640,480 to id \\.\DISPLAY2
The default location is saved when the window is closed, so it will reopen in the same place (and with the same size) as last time.
MultiscreenBlank2 /mirror id \\.\DISPLAY2
To un-mirror a region or screen, you can use the unmirror command and specify the source region. All active mirrors of that region will then be closed.
MultiscreenBlank2 /unmirror id \\.\DISPLAY2
MultiscreenBlank2 /unmirror bounds 0,0,640,480
Note that this will not distinguish between a whole monitor specified by its hardware ID,
region. If you're
trying to mirror two different sources to two different destinations but the sources happen to have identical bounds, all mirrors will be closed.
For more granular control, specify the tag argument when mirroring the screen. You can then un-mirror by tag. Multiple scraps can share a tag without sharing bounds; conversely you can distinguish between multiple mirrors from the same source by giving them different tags.
MultiscreenBlank2 /mirror region 0,0,640,480 to id \\.\DISPLAY2 tag foo
MultiscreenBlank2 /unmirror tag foo
You can also un-mirror all currently-mirrored screens in one step.
MultiscreenBlank2 /unmirror all
As scraps are not bound to monitors, only the region selector can be used. You can additionally specify various parameters of the scrap or close existing ones.
Create a new scrap with default position, color, etc
Create a new scrap to cover a specific location and set its opacity to 50%
MultiscreenBlank2 /cover region 20,20,300,100 opacity 50
Create a scrap with a specific color
MultiscreenBlank2 /cover region 20,20,300,100 color red
MultiscreenBlank2 /cover region 20,20,300,100 color #0099FF
Colors can be specified by name, HTML format (e.g. #FF0000), and a limited subset of other formats from the NPS Color Resolution Engine.
Pixelize a region of your screen
MultiscreenBlank2 /cover region 20,20,300,100 image screenshot effect pixelize
Valid effects are:
pixelize. You may specify multiple effects by separating
them with a comma; they will be applied in the order specified.
Create a masked image scrap
MultiscreenBlank2 /cover region 20,20,300,100 image "C:\images\circle.png" keycolor magenta
Create a scrap that sits behind other windows
MultiscreenBlank2 /cover region 20,20,300,100 position behind
Valid positions are:
Scraps can be closed by specifying their locations. Note that this is the current location of the scrap, so if you create a scrap via command-line but manually move it later, you will need to account for the new location.
MultiscreenBlank2 /uncover region 20,20,300,100
You can pass a "tag" when creating a scrap, allowing all scraps with a matching tag to be closed later even if they are moved manually.
MultiscreenBlank2 /cover region 20,20,300,100 tag foo
MultiscreenBlank2 /uncover tag foo
Note: in Multiscreen Blank prior to 2.3.2 the tag parameter was known as the id parameter. You can still use id in subsequent versions for scraps but not mirroring, where it conflicts with bounds selection, which is why it was renamed.
Close all scraps
MultiscreenBlank2 /uncover all
Multiscreen Blank will remember the window layout and group assignment. Additionally, it has several options you may configure.
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.
On Windows Vista and above, you can add a "Blank this screen" option to the desktop's right-click menu. This will blank the screen under the mouse cursor. If Multiscreen Blank is not currently running, it will be automatically started.
If checked, you will receive a small, unobtrusive notification in the main window when a new version is available. There won't be any popups and the program will not update itself at this time. Uncheck this to prevent the program from attempting to check for updates.
MultiscreenBlank includes a light and dark theme to best match other software you use. The theme will not affect blanking functionality, only the color of the main window and menus. "Automatic" will select the light or dark theme based on your system's settings (Windows 10 only).
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.
You can specify shortcuts for left-click and middle-click of the notification area icon, as well as any number of additional shortcuts available via the notification icon's right-click menu. To specify an action, use any valid command line but exclude the "MultiscreenBlank2" part. So for example, to blank all monitors except the one currently containing the mouse, enter:
/blank allexcept current
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 (provided that the screen configuration is the same).
Multiscreen Blank is a standalone application and does not come with its own uninstaller. If you have enabled the desktop right-click option or configured the program to start with Windows, Windows has no way of knowing that the program was removed. Be sure to un-check both options in the Settings dialog before deleting MultiscreenBlank2.exe. If you have already deleted the file, you will need to run it again and toggle the options.
Alternatively you can manually delete the associated registry keys.
Start with Windows
Add to desktop context menu
The menu relies on Windows functionality available in Windows Vista or later.
Starting with version 2.1, Multiscreen Blank supports Windows 10's per-monitor DPI scaling mode natively. All operations use physical device pixels. If you have a configuration file from a previous version of Multiscreen Blank, your group definitions may need to be redefined.
Due to the nature of Windows DPI scaling, it's possible that some configurations will cause the program to incorrectly determine physical monitor bounds, especially after switching scaling modes or adding/removing monitors with different scaling factors. If you are experiencing problems related to scaling (such as only part of the screen being blanked), sign out of Windows and tryt again.
You may reset Multiscreen Blank's settings by running it with the "/reset" command-line argument or by manually deleting the MultiscreenBlank2.ini file where its settings are stored.