How to Connect a Second Monitor to Your Mac

Bethany Walsh

Mar 07, 2022

A dual monitor setup on your Mac is a significant boost to productivity. You spend far more hours than you imagine by arranging and sorting windows for apps. Double the size of those windows means you'll have much less time dealing with them and more time getting work completed. Installing your Mac with two monitors is no more difficult than it has ever been. But making the most effective usage of the two monitors can be a different issue altogether.

Connecting to Apple Monitor

It is easier to connect Mac's display to an Apple device because of the lack of interoperability with other Apple products. This is because non-Apple devices have connections that are different. On the other hand, Mac displays are designed expressly for use with Mac computers, making PC setup a breeze. Your MacBook's Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort port must first be identified before you can proceed. Depending on the machine's type and age, it should have access to numerous Thunderbolt ports. As a result, some older devices still use USB ports rather than the Mini DisplayPort.

Various Thunderbolt ports may sometimes give you a problem. As a rule, you'll need to acquire a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 converter. Apple's official products do not support mini DisplayPorts. After finding the ports, connect the cord to the second screen and the appropriate port. The laptop should identify the second display as soon as you power on both devices. A non-Apple display will need to be reconnected to your laptop if these procedures don't work for your laptop.

Connecting a Non-Apple Monitor

Using an HDMI cable to connect a non-Apple monitor to your Mac is the simplest approach since most Mac laptops, and non-Apple displays include HDMI connectors. Your Mac's newest model may lack an HDMI port. As a result, you'll have to experiment with different forms of connections. Thunderbolt 2 or 3 connections and a few USB ports are standard on most Macbook Pro notebooks.

Because the HDMI connector on a Mac laptop isn't available, the best way to hook up an external display would be through an HDMI to Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt converter. The monitor you want to use with your Mac may be an older model. There is no HDMI input; thus, you'll need to use DVI and VGA adapters instead. All you need is a DVI to Mini DisplayPort adaptor most of the time.

Using adapters and cables may indeed be a pain; however, choices are based on USB-C connectors, becoming commonplace on Macs and other compatible devices. A USB-C Digital Multiport Adapter may be the ideal answer to your problems since it can be used simultaneously with HDMI and USB-A and USB-C devices. There are VGA-capable devices that can be used instead of HDMI-capable ones.

Installing the Rig

You may begin the process of configuring your Mac laptop with two displays after you've dealt with adapters and connections. The second monitor would be configured to run on the right-hand side of the desktop arrangement by default. It's necessary to go into the options and settings menu if your second monitor matches the first, but you want to utilize it as a second screen to make it bigger.

  • System Preferences, an icon with gears in the upper-left corner of your screen, is where you begin.
  • The second row of icons should be selected. It's called "Displays," a stylized version of the word.
  • The "Gather Windows" icon may be accessed by clicking on it. To show icons for both displays connected to your system, you must click on this button on the main screen.
  • Select "Arrangement" from the drop-down menu under "Display Preferences." Change the icons to designate where your monitors should be set up after you're done with this.
  • The presentation you use with all choices may be changed by moving your "white bars" (menu bar) from one picture to the other. When a new window is opened, it is placed on the main screen.
  • To mirror the main screen on a second monitor, choose "Mirrors Display."

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