How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac (2022)

How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac (1)

Want to be more productive on your Mac? Add another monitor, and you’ll spend less time switching between spaces, tabs, and windows. With Catalina, you can even use an iPad as a second monitor with the new “Sidecar” feature.

Pick a Monitor

First, you have to pick the right monitor for the job. Your budget will play a large role here, so first, decide what you want to spend, and which features are most important to you.

Here are some things to consider before you choose a monitor:

  • Resolution: This is the number of pixels displayed onscreen at once, measured on two axes (e.g., 1920 x 1080). Generally, the higher the resolution, the better the image quality. Higher resolutions, like 4K and 5K, require more powerful hardware.
  • Size: Most displays are around the 27-inch mark. Smaller, 24-inch displays remain popular with gamers, and people who have minimal desk space. Larger, 32-inch and ultrawide monitors are also available. Your decision ultimately depends on your budget and available space.
  • Pixel density: Measured in pixels per inch (PPI), pixel density describes how closely-packed the pixels are on the display. The higher the pixel density, the better the image quality, as you’re less likely to see individual pixels.
  • Display and panel type: This is the major factor when it comes to quality and performance. You can choose anLCD panel built on IPS, TN, or VA technology or opt for cutting-edge OLED panels if the budget allows.
  • Refresh rate: This refers to the number of times the display refreshes per second. The refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz). Basic monitors support 60 Hz, which is fine for office work, web browsing, or anything without fast-moving images. Most high-refresh-rate monitors (144 Hz) are considered “gaming” monitors and would be overkill for those who aren’t.
  • Color accuracy: Which color profiles does the monitor support? If you use your monitor for creative work, like photo and video editing, or design, you need one with a high degree of color accuracy. You should also consider buying a monitor calibration tool.
  • Other characteristics:Do you want a curved monitor for a more immersive viewing experience? How about one you can use in portrait mode for coding or mobile development that tilts 90 degrees? Do you plan to mount the monitor on a VESA mount?

If you have the hardware and budget for a 4K monitor, the HP Z27 comes highly recommended from sites like Wirecutter. You can get the reduced, 1440p resolution version of the same display for a few hundred dollars less.

Apple saysLG’s Ultrafine 5K displayis suitable to use with its latest range of laptops. This display uses Thunderbolt 3 to drive the monitor and simultaneously provide 85 watts of charge for your laptop over USB-C. Acer’s XR342CK 34-inch curved display scores top marks for an ultrawide if you have the necessary desk space.

RELATED: How to Use Your iPad as an External Mac Display With Sidecar

Can Your Mac Handle It?

How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac (2)

(Video) How to connect two monitors to Macbook

It’s important to make sure your Mac is powerful enough to drive any external displays at the resolution and refresh rate you need. One easy way to do this is to check the technical specifications of your particular model. To find your model, click the Apple logo in the top-right corner of the screen and choose “About This Mac.”

Search for your exact model on Apple’s website(e.g., “MacBook Pro Retina mid-2012”), and then click “Support” to reveal the technical specifications sheet. Under “Graphics and Video Support” (or similar), you should see something like, “Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display, and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays.”

Recent MacBook Pro models can support four external displays at 4K, or two at 5K. Some people have connected more than the recommended number of displayssuccessfully, although this usually results in a significant hit to performance.

Get the Right Adapters and Dongles

How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac (3)

Depending on which Mac you use, you might already have everything you need to hook up an extra monitor or two. If you have a fairly recent MacBook, you might need to purchase a hub to get access to an HDMI or DisplayPort output.

There are three types of display connections you’re most likely to encounter:

  • HDMI: The same technology that connects Blu-ray players and consoles to your TV can carry video and audio.HDMI 1.4 is capable of up to 4K resolution at 30 frames per second (fps), while HDMI 2.0 can do 4K at 60 fps.
  • DisplayPort:This standard computer connection type for displays can carry video and audio. Often favored by gamers for its higher bandwidth connection, DisplayPort enables higher refresh rates, and thus, more frames per second.
  • Thunderbolt: Thishigh-speed, active connection developed by Intel and Apple allows features like USB power delivery to charge laptops. It also allows daisy-chaining to connect multiple Thunderbolt devices in sequence.

You have to match your USB-C hub to your connector type. CalDigit produces a mini dock with dual-HDMI and a variety of other ports. You can also save some money and just grab a straight adapter, like the Thunderbolt 3 dual DisplayPort adapter from OWC. If you’re going the HDMI or DisplayPort route, remember not to waste money on overpriced cables.

Thunderbolt 3 monitors are another great choice. They use a simple “active” Thunderbolt 3 cable, which usually simultaneously charges your laptop. Apple’s official cables are $40 and “officially” supported, but you can find cables that cost half that online, like these from Zikko. Just make sure you get a certified, 40-Gbps cable that supports up to 100-watt charging.

(Video) How to Setup Dual Monitors on a Mac

You might also come across DVI and VGA monitors, although these are old and outdated now. Single-link DVI only manages slightly better than 1080p resolution and doesn’t carry audio. VGA is a deprecated analog connection. If you want to connect a DVI or VGA monitor, you’ll also need a specific adapter.

Arrange Your Displays

How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac (4)

Now that you’ve arranged your monitors on your desk, plugged them in, and turned them on, it’s time to consider the software side of things. This is how you create a consistent experience between displays. You want your mouse cursor to flow naturally from one display to the other, and in the sequence in which they are arranged.

With your external display(s) connected, launch System Preferences > Displays. On your primary display (i.e., your MacBook or iMac screen), click the “Arrangement” tab. All detected displays are visible on the diagram. Click and hold on a display to show a red outline on the corresponding monitor. Uncheck “Mirror Displays” if you see the same image on both.

Now, click and drag your monitors to arrange them in the same order in which they sit on your desk. You can drag a monitor to any side of the screen, including above and below. Pay attention to the offset between the monitors, as this affects the point at which your cursor moves from one display to the other.Play around with the arrangement until you are happy.

Resolution, Color Profile, and Rotation

How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac (5)

With System Preferences > Display open, you see each display’ssettings. This is where you change settings like resolution and refresh rate. Leave the resolution at “Default for this display” to use the monitor’s native resolution (recommended) or click “Scaled” to see a full list of available resolutions.

(Video) How To Connect Two Monitors To 2019 MacBook Air.

If you use your monitor in portrait mode for mobile development or text editing, you can set the current angle in the “Rotation” drop-down menu. Depending on which way your monitor articulates, you choose either 90 or 270 degrees. If you mount your monitor upside down for some reason, you can choose 180 degrees.

Click the “Color” tab to see the list of color profiles your display supports. Check the “Show profiles for this display only” box to see a list of officially supported profiles. Unless your monitor explicitly supports a third-party color profile (like Adobe RGB), you might encounter inaccurate colors when you use other settings.

Multiple Monitors and the Dock

How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac (6)

The position of the dock can pose some issues when you use multiple monitors. The dock is supposed to appear on the “primary” display only, but how you arrange your displays can impact this. To change your primary display, head to System Preferences > Displays, and then click the “Arrangement” tab.

One of the displays will have a white bar at the top of the screen. Click and drag this white bar to set another display as the primary monitor. If you have the dock aligned at the bottom of your screen, you should now see it on your primary monitor.

How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac (7)

If you set the dock on the side of the screen where your external monitor connects to your MacBook or iMac, the dock appears on your external display regardless of what you do. You can’t “force” the dock to stick to your iMac or MacBook display. You either have to live with the dock at the bottom of the screen, change your display arrangement, or look at your external display to use the dock.

(Video) How To Add A Extra Monitors On A iMac

You can change the dock alignment under System Preferences > Dock.

Performance and Multiple Displays

Even if you don’t exceed the maximum number of supported displays according to your computer’s technical specifications, it’s worth it to consider how external displays affect performance. Your Mac only has so much processing power, particularly when it comes to graphics.

The more displays you use, the more of a performance hit your Mac is going to take. It’s a lot easier on your Mac if you use an external, 1080p display (1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600 pixels), rather than an external, 4K display (3840 x 2160 = 8,294,400 pixels). You might notice performance degradations, such as general slowdown, stuttering, or increased heat output.

Furthermore, if you put even more strain on your hardware with GPU-intensive tasks, like video editing, the drop in performance will be even more pronounced. If you use your Mac for these types of tasks, an external GPU (eGPU) might provide the extra power you need to drive external displays and get the job done.

External Monitors and MacBooks

How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac (8)

One of the best things you can do for your productivity is to add an external display to your MacBook (if it can handle it). Fortunately, you can opt to use only an external display, but you need a spare keyboard, and a mouse or Magic Trackpad to do so.

Simply connect your external display to your MacBook, log in as usual, and then close your laptop’s lid. The internal display goes to sleep, and your MacBook’s keyboard and trackpad are no longer accessible, but your external display won’t budge.

This allows you to take advantage of larger external displays while mitigating the performance hit associated with driving multiple monitors. It’s a great way to get a standard “desktop” experience from your normally portable MacBook. The only drawback is your MacBook might produce more heat in the closed position because it inhibits passive cooling through the keyboard.

(Video) Connect Two Monitors to Mac Studio

Use Your iPad as a Display with Sidecar

If you have an iPad that supports iPadOS 13,you can also use your tablet as an external display. You can even use your Apple Pencil in macOS with compatible apps. It’s one of the many new features in macOS 10.15 Catalinathat you can download for free from the App Store.

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Your Mac supports dual monitors, including MacBooks and Mac Mini. If your operating system is up to date, you can even use an iPad as a display.

Open the Apple menu > Displays > Arrangement , and uncheck the Mirror Displays box to use dual monitors.. This article explains how to set up dual monitors on a Mac, including how to connect a second monitor to a Mac laptop like MacBook Air and how to connect two monitors to a desktop Mac like Mac Mini.. Before you settle on an additional monitor or a dual monitor setup, make sure that your Mac can handle the resolution.. Most Macs can run and exceed 1080p on multiple monitors, but your Mac may not be able to take an additional 4K display.. Once you’ve obtained a monitor for your MacBook or two monitors for a desktop Mac like a Mac Mini, you’ve verified your Mac can handle the monitors, and you have either the necessary cables and adapters, you’re ready to set up dual monitors on your Mac.. Here’s how to set up dual monitors on a Mac:. If you’re setting up dual monitors on a desktop Mac, connect both monitors during this step.. If you want to add a second monitor to the M1 Mac mini, you have to use the Mac mini's HDMI port.. If you’ve never set up dual monitors before, finding the right monitor can seem like a daunting prospect.. If you have a desktop Mac that already has a monitor, matching that monitor with another identical unit provides the smoothest experience.. If you’re adding a second monitor to your MacBook, you may want to consider going with a bigger 4k monitor to maximize your screen real estate or a compact flat panel display that you can take with you on the go.

Your Mac supports dual monitors, including MacBooks and Mac Mini. If your operating system is up to date, you can even use an iPad as a display.

Open the Apple menu > Displays > Arrangement , and uncheck the Mirror Displays box to use dual monitors.. This article explains how to set up dual monitors on a Mac, including how to connect a second monitor to a Mac laptop like MacBook Air and how to connect two monitors to a desktop Mac like Mac Mini.. Before you settle on an additional monitor or a dual monitor setup, make sure that your Mac can handle the resolution.. Most Macs can run and exceed 1080p on multiple monitors, but your Mac may not be able to take an additional 4K display.. Once you’ve obtained a monitor for your MacBook or two monitors for a desktop Mac like a Mac Mini, you’ve verified your Mac can handle the monitors, and you have either the necessary cables and adapters, you’re ready to set up dual monitors on your Mac.. Here’s how to set up dual monitors on a Mac:. If you’re setting up dual monitors on a desktop Mac, connect both monitors during this step.. If you want to add a second monitor to the M1 Mac mini, you have to use the Mac mini's HDMI port.. If you’ve never set up dual monitors before, finding the right monitor can seem like a daunting prospect.. If you have a desktop Mac that already has a monitor, matching that monitor with another identical unit provides the smoothest experience.. If you’re adding a second monitor to your MacBook, you may want to consider going with a bigger 4k monitor to maximize your screen real estate or a compact flat panel display that you can take with you on the go.

If one screen isn't enough to display everything you need at once, consider getting a second. Here's how to manage multiple screens in macOS.

However, a large 4K-resolution screen, a 5K Studio Display , or even a 6K Pro Display XDR may not be enough desktop space for your needs.. This is all done within the same Displays menu, accessible by clicking the Apple icon in the menu followed by System Preferences then Displays.. You can change the resolution and if you're extending or mirroring displays within Display Settings.. Extend Display will increase your workspace so that it extends onto the display.. Selecting Mirror For with the name of the other screen will make macOS show the same image on both displays.. Alternately, within the Displays window, right-click on a screen you want to change the properties of, then select Extend Display or Mirror For .. When you have multiple displays, macOS will try to keep the original as the main display, referring to the screen that new apps will load on and will generally be the focus of your attention.. Right-click the display you want as the main one, then select Main Display .. Alternately, click Display Settings , select the monitor , then under Use as, select Main Display .. First, you can drag the screen positions within the Display window to roughly where they are in real life, so you can more seamlessly move the cursor from one screen to another.. Clicking Display Settings will provide you with even more options for managing your new display.. It's not strictly just a display, as there's some further interactivity available if you have an Apple Pencil, but you have the same mirroring options and other settings you can control within the Displays window.

Want to be more productive on your Mac? Add another monitor, and you’ll spend less time switching between spaces, tabs, and windows. With Catalina, you can even use an iPad as a second monitor with the new “Sidecar” feature.Pick a MonitorFirst, you have to pick the right monitor for the job. Your bu...

This display uses Thunderbolt 3 to drive the monitor and simultaneously provide 85 watts of charge for your laptop over USB-C. Acer’s XR342CK 34-inch curved display scores top marks for an ultrawide if you have the necessary desk space.. Under “Graphics and Video Support” (or similar), you should see something like, “Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display, and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays.”. With your external display(s) connected, launch System Preferences > Displays.. With System Preferences > Display open, you see each display’ssettings.. Leave the resolution at “Default for this display” to use the monitor’s native resolution (recommended) or click “Scaled” to see a full list of available resolutions.. The dock is supposed to appear on the “primary” display only, but how you arrange your displays can impact this.. To change your primary display, head to System Preferences > Displays, and then click the “Arrangement” tab.. If you set the dock on the side of the screen where your external monitor connects to your MacBook or iMac, the dock appears on your external display regardless of what you do.. You either have to live with the dock at the bottom of the screen, change your display arrangement, or look at your external display to use the dock.. Even if you don’t exceed the maximum number of supported displays according to your computer’s technical specifications, it’s worth it to consider how external displays affect performance.. It’s a lot easier on your Mac if you use an external, 1080p display (1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600 pixels), rather than an external, 4K display (3840 x 2160 = 8,294,400 pixels).. The internal display goes to sleep, and your MacBook’s keyboard and trackpad are no longer accessible, but your external display won’t budge.. This allows you to take advantage of larger external displays while mitigating the performance hit associated with driving multiple monitors.

Learn how to connect more than one monitor to your Mac.

The only things you’ll need are the monitor itself, either a modern LCD flat screen or an older, bulky CRT monitor; a video card with a connector that matches the connector on the extra monitor; and an extra outlet on your power strip for the monitor.. However, in some cases, you’ll be able to connect more than one display to your Mac, but Mac OS X will only allow you to “mirror” the displays (that is, display one desktop on both monitors).. From left to right you can see an S-Video connector, which allows video to be outputted to televisions with an S-video input; a DVI port which allows an LCD monitor to be used, and a VGA port which allows CRT and some LCD monitors to be used as well.. If you will be using an older Apple monitor that looks like a wider version of the VGA port, you should be able to get an adapter easily that allows you to connect your older Apple monitor to a VGA port.. If you’re currently using a PCI video card and have an empty AGP slot, your best bet is to purchase an AGP video card and use that for your main monitor.. As you can see, the VGA connector on the monitor cable will fit into the VGA port on the Radeon 7000 card (blue port).. Since the main monitor is the LCD monitor, the Apple logo appears on it while the CRT monitor displays a blank screen.. The Mac can easily identify which monitor is which by the name of the monitor in the center of the top bar.. Note that when you take a screenshot with multiple monitors connected, your Mac will take a screenshot of each monitor instead of one large screenshot.. If your work area or desk has your main monitor on your left and your secondary monitor on your right, then you can not only position the smaller blue square (the secondary monitor) to the right of the main monitor on this screen, but also match the height of the monitor.. My larger monitor would still have the menu bar and icons in the same place, but the smaller monitor, physically located to the right of my larger monitor, would now have the dock on the bottom of its screen.. Even if I move the smaller monitor to the left of my desk, the smaller monitor would still have the dock at the bottom of its screen due to the arrangement set in the Displays control panel.. This feature would be useful if you’re giving a demonstration on a small monitor and you want others to see it easily on a bigger monitor, or if you’re testing out artwork or screenshots and want to see how the color and appearance looks on other monitors.. So if you’re going to add a CRT monitor in the future, make sure the speakers are ergonomically positioned away from the CRT monitor so that they won’t cause any long-term damage to your monitor(s).

It is easy to hook up a second monitor to most Macs. Once you get a monitor and the proper cables to connect it, you can use the Displays preferences to control how the monitor fits into your desktop.

Once you get a monitor and the proper cables to connect it, you can use the Displays preferences to control how the monitor fits into your desktop.. If you have a new Mac, you've got the mini display port out, and you need to get an adapter to go from mini display port to DVI.. Then, once you have two monitors hooked up, you want to go to your System Preferences, and go to Display Preferences, and then this is where you control how your Mac uses that second monitor.. Otherwise, it displays each of those windows on its own display.. Because you control which is the primary monitor where the menu bar will be displayed.. You can change the resolutions, turn on mirroring, you can also show the number of recent resolutions for each monitor and go to the display's preferences very easily.

Here is how to duplicate the screen on a Mac. You can extend your Mac’s screen to an external monitor. For this follow these steps...

It is possible to extend the screen on a Mac by hooking up a second or a third monitor to your Apple computer.. For this, click on the in the menu bar → → → in the section, select .. You can find more about adapters and monitor connectors here .. Take an external keyboard and mouse if you intend to use an external monitor as the main display, while your Mac notebook is in closed-display mode.. As soon as you have everything you need, you can set up and use a dual screen on your Mac.. To use a second monitor to extend your Mac’s screen and operate two displays with different content, follow the next steps:. You can change the primary display by dragging the white bar to another display within the Arrangement tab.. If you want to operate your Mac notebook while using an external monitor instead of the built-in display, you can use the closed-display mode.. To use your Mac notebook with an external monitor as the primary and only display, take the following steps:. Connect your Mac to the external monitor.. If so, in a brief moment you will see that the external monitor duplicates your Mac notebook’s desktop.. If you are using OS X 10.6.8 and earlier, click the mouse button or hit any key on the keyboard to wake your Mac notebook and use an external monitor.. Operate your Mac notebook as usual by using the external monitor, keyboard, and mouse.. In OS X 10.6.8 and earlier, click on the in the menu bar → select → then, wake your notebook by opening the lid.

Over the past few years, Macs have been a little tricky to add multiple monitors to. Whether you have limited ports on...

Whether you have limited ports on the new MacBook Pro or onboard graphics limitations with the Mac Mini, you start to run into issues as soon as you want to add more than a few displays to your new Apple computer.. It features four Thunderbolt 3 ports and an HDMI port, and according to Apple, up to “two 4K displays, and a third on the HDMI port”.. However, unlike the iMac, Mac Pro, and Macbook Pro, these four Thunderbolt 3 ports won’t all work for your displays like you think they will.. However, the new Mac Mini seems to have a hardware limitation that, despite having plenty of power and bandwidth to power 4 displays, will not allow a 4th display to work, even with docks or an externally powered dual display option.. After chatting with 9 different Apple employees (5 on chat, 2 in-person visits, and 2 over the phone), I’ve been told that it is not possible to run more than 3 screens on the Mac Mini, even with adapters or hardware.. I’ve been Googling this all week and found that this 3 display limitation is actually due to the Intel graphics chipset (Intel UHD Graphics 630), and not a software or Thunderbolt 3 limitation like Apple support suggested.. After chatting with another Apple Senior Advisor (Courtney), she told me she is very confident that this will still not work, and it won’t add another display since the hardware is still limited to 3.. She also said that eGPU is not supported by Apple since it’s modifying the hardware and something that Apple cannot recommend (Wait, what?. Despite 9 different Apple employees telling me that I can’t add a 4th display to my Mac, I’m now very confident that I will be able to do so, and that anyone else looking to do so can either do it by setting up a separate AirPlay display by connecting it to an Apple TV (ever-so-slight cursor lag but great with movies and cheapest option) or an eGPU (expensive but best performance).. If you’ve already upgraded to Catalina or Big Sur and are looking to add multiple displays with an eGPU, make sure you read the official Apple.com support page (link) to confirm that your card and your enclosure are both compatible with your operating system.. The new 2020 M1 Mac Mini has been released and does not yet support eGPUs for multiple displays.

With desktop spaces on Mac, you can considerably enhance the management of your apps, folders, and more. We take a look at how to use multiple desktops on Mac.

This will open another desktop space for your Mac.. Step 2: Click the Mission Control button on your keyboard ( F3 ) and click the desktop you want to access on the top strip.. Step 1: Click the Mission Control button or swipe up on the trackpad with three fingers to open it.. You can also assign an app to always open to a particular desktop space if you use two or more spaces.. It opens an app in the desktop space you’re currently using.. For example, if you have Notepad opened in Desktop 1, but you open it within Desktop 2, it will switch back to Desktop 1.. Step 2: For those who prefer to access Mac features with keyboard shortcuts instead of the traditional buttons associated with that function, you’re able to assign a keyboard shortcut of your choice in Mission Control preferences.

Are you finding yourself needing more space to work, or an extra monitor? Here's how to use multiple Mac desktops in 6 steps.

In simple words, even if there are not multiple desktops and users open multiple heavy-duty applications simultaneously, it would slow the system down.. In the case of folders, to ensure that they move without problems, make sure that the ordering of the desktop is not automatic.. This can help in closing down applications on multiple desktops at once.. Open the desired window by clicking on it.. It pushes the open windows towards the edge of the screen to let the users know what applications are available on different desktops.

Videos

1. iMac Connecting Multiple Monitors using Thunderbolt Ports - SpiderWayne
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2. HOW TO CONNECT MacBook Air TO EXTERNAL MONITOR(S) 2020 PROS AND CONS
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3. How to Connect 3 MONITORS to your MacBook Pro *EASY*
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4. Add Three Extra Monitors to an Apple M1 Mac
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5. How to Setup Triple Monitors for Your iMac / Apple Computer
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6. MacBook How to Connect to Monitor & Mirror/Extend/Change Main Display
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