Home Forums Eye Tracking Devices EyeX not working if I have an external monitor connected

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    Green Airplane

    Hi, I recently bought an EyeX. At first I’ve only tried it on my MSI gaming laptop, with no external monitors connected. It worked fine.
    However, I have an older monitor that I’m using as my primary display, because it’s physically bigger than the laptop screen (even though the screen resolution is actually lower) The monitor is plugged into the HDMI port via a HDMI->DVI reduction cable.
    I would like to be able to use the EyeX with this monitor, but it just doesn’t work. When I plugged in the monitor, the EyeX software declared that my profile is not calibrated for the current monitor and offered to recalibrate. However, no matter how many times I clicked “recalibrate”, nothing happened. Or more precisely, the mouse pointer turned into a spinning wheel, remained like that for a few seconds and then turned back. The calibration screen just never showed up.
    Another thing I noticed is that the red lights on the tracker were off when I had the external monitor plugged in. When I pulled it out, the tracker lit up immediately.
    By unplugging the external monitor and then plugging it back in, I managed to get the device to stay lit. But the most I could ever do is bring up the “test calibration” screen. The tracker seemed to be registering my eyes while placed under the external monitor (the animated icon in the taskbar showed my eyes), however, the calibration screen was on the laptop’s display. That’s as far as I got with all my poking and prodding, which included:
    Unplugging and plugging in the monitor and the eye tracker, setting the monitors to duplicate or disabling the laptop’s display altogether in Windows Display settings, multiple restarts, uninstalling and reinstalling the whole EyeX software package.
    I have a specific use in mind for the tracker, which requires it to work with an external monitor. I don’t care if I have to duplicate screens or disable the laptop display for this. But it must work reliably and not require any restarts and plugging/unplugging once it’s set up.
    Is this possible? How do I achieve this? I’m prepared to hack the registry and otherwise mess with the OS.

    Grant [Tobii]

    Hi @greenairplane, certainly there should be no issue in principle with an external monitor. I wonder if perhaps the lower resolution than primary monitor might be tripping the software up.

    Can you try to disable the laptop monitor and use only the external screen?

    How about reducing the resolution on the laptop monitor to be less or equal to the external one.

    Might also be worth testing on another secondary monitor just to check where things might be going wrong.


    @grant [Tobii] I have the exact same problem. Alienware 17 R4 with the QHD screen. The error message I get from the Tobii taskbar app is: please enable the tracked monitor. So Windows Hello is only working right before the laptop switches over to the external screen. After that Tobii is off.

    The laptop is connected to an external monitor (LG 29UB67) through displayport but in this use case I disabled the laptop screen and work on solo external screen, but the IR camera is then off (no flashing red lights visible). Is this a hard limitation that both screens need to be enabled for the IR camera to work?

    Grant [Tobii]

    Hi @spiemel, I am not aware of any limitation of the software that requires both screen to be enabled to allow eye tracking… however, I will try to reproduce the error you have mentioned and get back to you.

    I assume you are disabling the laptop screen from within windows display properties? And that the eye tracker is calibrated for use on the external screen?

    Did you try connecting the external monitor via regular DVI cable? (Worth testing out)

    It might also be worth reinstalling and configuring the Tobii software with the Laptop screen disabled beforehand as a possible workaround whilst I investigate the root cause.



    I use the AW 17R4 fn+F8 combo and select ‘second screen only’ option to turn off the laptop screen and switch over to external screen. The use of Tobii eye tracking itself isn’t really useful of course when looking at an external monitor when the eye tracking camera is a bit off to the side of the external screen. I am mostly looking that Windows Hello keeps working.

    Perhaps my use case is really rare. I solved the issue by no longer requiring login to the computer, but would prefer windows hello to continue working.


    Grant [Tobii]

    Hi @spiemel, I was indeed able to reproduce your problem on my own laptop (although interestingly it does not seem to occur when an external display is connected via docking station vs regular DVI cable).

    At any rate, I discovered that If I uninstall the Tobii software, disable the laptop screen, the reinstall the software using the external monitor as eye tracking monitor, then reenable the laptop screen.. the power stays on.

    I should mention that I disable my laptop screen via the standard Windows display settings (and set the external monitor as main display).

    Can you kindly try this out and let me know how you get on?


    Didn’t work for me.

    I followed the same path:
    – switched back to laptop as only screen
    – uninstalled Tobii
    – switched to external monitor as only screen through windows display settings
    – installed Tobii

    Tobii itself is still saying: please enable tracked monitor. All infrared lights on the laptop are off.

    Also: as far as I know AW17 has no docking station (if there is, please let me know which one you use). I am connected to external monitor on straight DVI cable.

    Grant [Tobii]

    Hi @spiemel, Okay thanks for the update. I suspect then your issue is related to the fact that Eye Tracking is integrated on the Alienware Laptop and as such is hard coded to the laptop screen for tracking. Accordingly, if this screen is disabled, eye tracking will also be disabled, and thus affect Windows Hello.

    I will enquire on your behalf is there is some setting that can be configured for these laptops to keep the eye tracker running, however as you pointed out it’s quite an unusual case scenario you have. I hope the workaround you discovered is not to inconvenient in the meantime.

    Grant [Tobii]

    Hi @spiemel, an update on this issue: As the eye tracker is integrated into the laptop and preconfigured for use with the laptop screen, if you do disable the laptop screen this will disable the tracker and currently there is not a workaround for this.

    However, you should be able to configure Windows Hello independently that it does not use Tobii tracker for login and so keep this service functional. Did you attempt this?


    Thanks for the update. I’ll give your suggestion a shot regarding the Windows Hello option. Really appreciate the effort you put in, even if it is not a common use case.



    I have an alienware 17 r4 with tobii eye tracking and I have the same issue..

    How is the progress fixing this issue? I don’t like to disconnect my hdmi cable every time I use my dual monitor setup..

    Much love,

    Grant [Tobii]

    Hi Ben, in fact your issue seems quite unique from the original thread. If you could please raise a ticket with our Tobii Tech Support @ https://help.tobii.com/hc/en-us/requests/new regarding this issue with the alienware 17 r4 then one of our team will get back to you promptly. Thanks for your understanding.

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