The Spaniard had won their last meeting in Indian Wells five years ago but there was no sniff of an upset here as Murray eased to a 6-2, 6-0 to set up a clash with German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Murray played himself into form during his opening win over Malek Jaziri - his first singles match for five weeks.
And he was on top of his game from the off against 97th-ranked Garcia-Lopez, striking the ball with great authority and pushing his opponent well behind the baseline.
Garcia-Lopez won fewer than half the points on his own serve and his only break point came in the opening game, which Murray saved with a confident backhand winner.
Afterwards, the Scot said on atpworldtour.com: “It was way better than how I played at the beginning of the year, that’s for sure. Playing aggressive, feeling more solid, when I’m in position to dictate the points, I’m doing it, moving forward.
“I hit my forehand very well in the last couple of matches. I served better today. It’s been a good start. Obviously matches will get tougher, but I’m much happier with how I’m playing.”
The world No 1 finished the match, which lasted just an hour and 12 minutes, with a run of eight successive games.
He is likely to find things tougher in the quarter-finals against Kohlschreiber, who has won only one of their five previous matches but taken sets in all of them.
Eighteen-time grand slam champion Roger Federer suffered a shock second-round loss to Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy. Swiss ace Federer won January’s Australian Open but was beaten 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/5) by world No 116 Donskoy in two hours and two minutes.
Dan Evans put up a decent fight before falling to Gael Monfils in the second round.
The British No 2, who is at a career-high ranking of 43, hit back impressively after losing the first set but was unable to maintain the momentum as fourth seed Monfils triumphed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
A break of the Evans serve in the opening game proved decisive in the first set, and the signs were not promising when Monfils repeated the feat at the start of the second.
But a few choice words from Evans sparked a revival, with Monfils holding serve just once in the second set.
However, ultimately it was the British player’s struggles on serve that cost him as another early break gave Monfils the advantage in the decider.
At the ATP & WTA Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco Kyle Edmund went out in the first round, losing 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to Sam Querrey of the USA.