HMONITOR and the Device Context

Each physical display is represented by a monitor handle of type HMONITOR. A valid HMONITOR is guaranteed to be non-NULL. A physical display has the same HMONITOR as long as it is part of the desktop. When a WM_DISPLAYCHANGE message is sent, any monitor may be removed from the desktop and thus its HMONITOR becomes invalid or has its settings changed. Therefore, an application should check whether all HMONITORS are valid when this message is sent.

Any function that returns a display device context (DC) normally returns a DC for the primary monitor. To obtain the DC for another monitor, use the EnumDisplayMonitors function. Or, you can use the device name from the GetMonitorInfo function to create a DC with CreateDC. However, if the function, such as GetWindowDC or BeginPaint, gets a DC for a window that spans more than one display, the DC will also span the two displays.