Macbook pro connection to monitor: Connect a display to your Mac

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Identify the ports on your Mac

If you’re not sure which port to use with your external display, hard drive, camera, printer, iPhone, iPad, or other device, the port shapes and symbols in this guide should help. 

Information about these and other types of Mac ports is in the specifications for your Mac:

  1. Choose Apple menu  > About This Mac, double-click your serial number, then press Command-C to copy it.
  2. Go to the Tech Specs page, click the Search Tech Specs bar, press Command-V to enter your computer’s serial number, then click Search.
  3. Click the specs page for your Mac.

Thunderbolt 4

These Mac models have Thunderbolt 4 ports:

  • Mac Pro (2023)
  • Mac Studio (2023)
  • Mac mini (2023)
  • MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2023)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2023)
  • Mac Studio (2022)
  • MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021)

You can connect external displays and other devices that connect using a Thunderbolt 4  cable, Thunderbolt 3  cable, or USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C charge cable to charge your laptop, or a USB-C to Lightning cable to charge your iPhone or iPad. If you have a device that doesn’t connect to this port, you can use an adapter to connect it.

If you have a Mac Studio with M1 or M2 Ultra, you can also connect a display or Thunderbolt device to the Thunderbolt 4 ports on the front of the computer.

Thunderbolt / USB 4

These Mac models have Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports:

  • MacBook Air (15-inch, M2, 2023)
  • MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2, 2022)
  • iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020)
  • MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
  • Mac mini (M1, 2020)

You can connect a single external display and other devices that connect using either a Thunderbolt 3  cable or USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C charge cable to charge your laptop, or a USB-C to Lightning cable to charge your iPhone or iPad. If you have a device that doesn’t connect to this port, you can use an adapter to connect it.

On iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021), the  symbol appears above each Thunderbolt / USB 4 port. To connect a display, use either of the ports with the Thunderbolt symbol .

Thunderbolt 3

These Mac models have Thunderbolt 3 ports:

  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020)
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2019)
  • iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2019)
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
  • iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, 2017)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • Mac Pro (Rack, 2019)
  • Mac mini (2018)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2019)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)

Use these ports with displays and other devices that connect using either a Thunderbolt 3  cable or USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C power adapter and cable to charge your laptop computer. If you have a device that doesn’t connect to this port, you can use an adapter to connect it.

USB 3

These Mac models have USB 3 ports:

  • Mac Studio (2023)
  • Mac Studio (2022)
  • iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021) with four ports
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

On Mac Studio models with M1 or M2 Max, use the USB 3 ports on the front of the computer with external devices that connect using a USB-C cable. To connect an external display, use the ports on the back of the computer with the Thunderbolt symbol .

On iMac (four-port model only), use the USB 3 ports with external devices that connect using a USB-C cable. To connect an external display, use either of the ports with the Thunderbolt symbol .

On MacBook, use this port with displays and other devices that connect using a USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C power adapter and cable to charge your laptop computer. If you have a device that doesn’t connect to this port, you can use an adapter to connect it.

HDMI

These Mac models have an HDMI port:

  • Mac Studio introduced in 2022 or later
  • 14-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2021 or later
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2021 or later
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2012 through 2015
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2012 through 2015
  • Mac mini introduced in 2010 or later
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2013 or later

Use HDMI with displays and TVs that connect using an HDMI cable.
   

SD card

These Mac models have an SDXC card slot:

  • Mac Studio introduced in 2022 or later
  • 14-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2021 or later
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2021 or later
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2011 through 2015
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2011 through 2015
  • Mac mini introduced in 2011 through 2014
  • 13-inch MacBook Air models introduced in 2013 through 2017
  • 27-inch iMac models introduced in 2010 or later
  • 21. 5-inch iMac models introduced in 2010 or later

Use the SD card slot with SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, and UHS-II media cards, such as those used by digital cameras.
  

Ethernet

Use Ethernet  with networks and devices that connect using an Ethernet (RJ45) cable.

On some iMac models, the Ethernet port is located on the computer’s power adapter. If your Mac or power adapter doesn’t have an Ethernet port, you can use an Ethernet adapter.

Power

Use the power port on your Mac laptop to connect your computer to AC power using a USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable and USB-C power adapter, MagSafe 2 power adapter, or MagSafe power adapter. Some Mac laptops have a dedicated charging port while others use only USB-C ports to charge.

Learn how to identify your Mac power adapter and how to fast charge your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.

MagSafe 2 and MagSafe power adapters are not compatible with MagSafe 3.

Audio

Use Audio-Out —  or  — with headphones, speakers, and other audio-output devices that connect using an audio cable that has a 3. 5 mm (1/8 inch) audio jack. On Mac laptops introduced in 2021 or later and Mac Studio, you can connect high-impedance headphones to the 3.5mm audio jack.

Use Audio-In  with a microphone or other audio-input device that connects using an audio cable that has a 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) audio jack.

 

USB-A

Use these ports with devices that connect using a USB-A  cable. USB ports are sometimes known by the USB specification of the port, such as USB 2 or USB 3. 

  

Left to right: power, two Thunderbolt, USB-A, and Audio-Out.
 

Thunderbolt

These Mac models have Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 ports:

  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2011 through 2015
  • MacBook Air introduced in 2011 through 2017
  • Mac mini introduced in 2011 through 2014
  • iMac introduced in 2011 through 2015
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2013

Use these ports with displays and other devices that connect using a Thunderbolt  cable.

Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 are not the same as Mini DisplayPort . They have the same shape, but use different symbols on the cable and port. However, this port does support Mini DisplayPort for video output, so you can use a Mini DisplayPort cable to connect a Mini DisplayPort display.
   

Mini DisplayPort

These Mac models have Mini DisplayPort:

  • MacBook Pro introduced in late 2008 through 2010
  • MacBook Air introduced in late 2008 through 2010
  • Mac mini introduced in 2009 and 2010
  • iMac introduced in 2009 and 2010
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2009 through 2012

Use this port with displays that connect using a Mini DisplayPort  cable.

Mini DisplayPort is not the same as Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 . They have the same shape, but use different symbols on the cable and port.
  

FireWire

FireWire 400 FireWire 800

Use FireWire  with devices that connect using a FireWire 400 or FireWire 800 cable.

Learn more

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

Published Date: 

Connect to HDMI from your Mac

Mac computers can use an HDMI cable or adapter to connect to a TV, display, or other HDMI device.

 

Connect your HDMI device

Mac computers that have any of the following ports can connect to HDMI devices:

  • HDMI port: Connect directly to HDMI with an HDMI cable. For 8K connections, use an Ultra High Speed 48 Gbps HDMI cable such as the Belkin UltraHD High Speed HDMI cable.
  • Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, or USB-C port: Connect to HDMI with an adapter such as the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter.
  • Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt, or Mini DisplayPort: Connect to HDMI with a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter or cable such as the Belkin 4K Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter.

 Identify the ports on your Mac

Check specifications

Mac computers that have a built-in HDMI port support these video and audio specifications:

  • Up to 8K at 60Hz on compatible Mac models.
  • Up to 4K at 240Hz on compatible Mac models.
  • Up to 4K at 60Hz on compatible Mac models.
  • Up to 4K at 30Hz on compatible Mac models.
  • 8-channel/24-bit audio at 192kHz, Dolby Surround 5.1, and traditional stereo.
    Some Mac computers with HDMI ports don’t support multi-channel audio. Check the tech specs for your Mac.
  • HDCP-encrypted playback from iTunes and QuickTime Player (version 10). Safari in macOS Sierra or later also supports HDCP-encrypted playback, if the web page is HTML5-enabled and the content is FairPlay Streaming-enabled and delivered using Media Source Extensions or HTTP Live Streaming. To play HDCP content on an external display, HDCP playback requires an HDCP compatible display.
  • HDR on compatible Mac models.

If using an adapter, check the specifications of the adapter to learn about supported resolutions and other details.

Up to 8K at 60Hz

You can connect a display with a resolution of up to 8K at 60Hz to the HDMI port on these Mac models:

  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2023
  • Mac mini (2023 with M2 Pro)
  • Mac Studio introduced in 2023
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2023

Up to 4K at 240Hz

You can connect a display with a resolution of up to 4K at 240Hz to the HDMI port on these Mac models:

  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2023
  • Mac mini (2023 with M2 Pro)
  • Mac Studio introduced in 2023
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2023

Adapters aren’t supported for these resolutions and refresh rates. Connect displays directly to your Mac for best results.

Up to 4K at 60Hz

You can connect a display with a resolution up to 4K at 60Hz to the HDMI port on these Mac models: 

    • Mac Studio introduced in 2022 or later
    • Mac mini introduced in 2018 or later
    • Mac Pro introduced in 2019 or later
    • MacBook Pro introduced in 2021 or later

    Up to 4K at 30Hz

    You can connect a display with a resolution up to 4K at 30Hz to the HDMI port on these Mac models: 

    • Mac mini introduced in 2012 through 2014
    • Mac Pro introduced in 2013
    • MacBook Pro introduced in 2012 through 2015

    If your HDMI display isn’t detected

    Learn what to do if your Mac doesn’t detect your HDTV, display, or other HDMI device after making the connection.

    If your display isn’t showing the whole picture

    If the video on your HDTV or display extends beyond the borders of the screen, fix overscan or underscan on your TV or projector. The underscan slider appears for only some configurations and resolutions.

    If your Mac goes to sleep while a video is playing or paused, you might see an HDCP error. Quit the app that is playing the video, then open the app again.

    If your HDMI device isn’t receiving audio

    If your HDMI device isn’t receiving audio from your Mac:

    • Choose Apple menu > System Settings (or System Preferences), then click Sound. In the Output pane, make sure that your HDMI device is selected.
    • If you’re connecting from a Mac mini, disconnect any audio device from your computer’s headphone jack.

    Mac computers don’t support using CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) to control HDMI devices.

    Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

    Published Date: 

    How to connect an external monitor to a MacBook

    Laptops today have replaced desktop PCs for many. With them you can be as mobile as possible and work anytime and anywhere. Especially when it comes to Macbook Air, which have become a legend due to their “airy size” and performance.

    How to connect an additional monitor to a MacBook.

    Why connect a monitor to a Macbook

    Ease of use and mobility are great, but there are many situations when you need to display information on a classic monitor or several.

    For example:

    • for more comfortable watching movies and cartoons;
    • for presentations and conferences;
    • for multitasking at the same time. For example, tracking information in several tables at once.

    Now that you understand why you need to connect a monitor to your MacBook, it remains to figure out how to do it right.

    What you need to connect

    An adapter is required to connect the monitor. Which one depends on which model of your MacBook. In the latest line of devices have a Thunderbolt port, older Mini DisplayPort, and very “ancient” Mini-DVI. In some models, you can also find an HDMI connector. The second thing to check before choosing the right adapter or cable is the connector on the monitor to which the connection will be made.

    What is the difference between an adapter and an adapter?

    The adapter cable has an extremely simple function, it connects two connectors of different configuration, transmitting signals from one pin to another according to a certain scheme. The adapter acts on the signal itself, changing it in the right way.

    You may need:

    Adapters:

    • Mini DisplayPort to VGA;
    • Mini DisplayPort – DVI.

    Cables:

    • Apple HDMI to HDMI;
    • Belkin Mini DisplayPort to HDMI.

    This set will be enough to connect your MacBook Air to most monitors. The undoubted convenience is that any of them can be bought on the Apple website. If you want to save money, you can buy cheaper analogues in ordinary online stores, but their quality may also be noticeably lower. A common mistake is to buy a DisplayPort adapter when you need a Mini DisplayPort – keep an eye on this.

    MacBook Airs released prior to 2011 did not support audio over HDMI, so a dongle or adapter must have this feature. If we are talking about connecting the latest Apple Cinema or Thunderbolt displays, then you don’t have to buy anything extra, since they already have built-in cables with the necessary connectors, plus you can recharge the laptop from the monitor via MagSafe.

    Operating modes

    It’s not enough just to connect the monitor to your MacBook Air, you also need to choose the right mode for it.

    There are only three options:

    • video repeater monitors;
    • extended desktop;
    • lid closed mode (system unit).

    Video repeat monitors

    This mode is most in demand. Its essence is extremely simple. The monitor completely duplicates the image from the MacBook display. This is the same option that is needed for presentations and working with a projector. The limitation is that the resolution of the connected screen cannot be higher than that of the MacBook.

    Extended desktop

    Not enough screen space on your laptop to fit all the tabs you need? The problem can be solved very easily if you expand it by connecting an external monitor. With desktop mode enabled, you can work on two monitors at the same time. In this case, the main screen is set in the settings, on which the menu bar will be located.

    Note. For OS X Mavericks and later, the menu bar will appear on both screens.

    Now the additional monitor will become a continuation of the main one and you can simply drag objects between them with the mouse. In any of the options for choosing the main monitor, you can use the trackpad or laptop keyboard to enter information.

    Extended mode setting

    Procedure:

    • connect additional monitor;
    • select system settings in the menu;
    • go to the “Monitors” section;
    • select the “Location” tab.
    • the “Enable video repeating monitors” item must be disabled (there is no checkbox).

    How to set the layout of displays

    In order to work on two screens as comfortably as possible, you need to adjust their relative position so that the windows between them move either vertically or horizontally to one side. It’s easy to do. On the “layout” tab, you can see a schematic layout in the form of blue rectangles, and their size will be proportional to the resolution. By dragging the rectangles with the mouse, you can set the desired location.

    System unit

    At a stationary workplace in the office or at home, you can use your MacBook Air as a system beech of a regular PC. To activate the mode, just put your MacBook into sleep mode and close its lid.

    Since there will obviously be no access to the keyboard, in addition to an additional monitor, you will have to purchase a mouse and an external keyboard. It is recommended to connect a charger so that the battery does not run out at the most inopportune moment. OS X does not support waking from sleep on command from Bluetooth devices in the default settings. Therefore, you need to activate this option in advance.

    Can I connect a TV

    Yes. In order to quickly connect a modern HDTV or Apple TV, add a status menu and designate the connected device as the main device. The selection menu will appear upon connection, for this you need to check the box “Show video replay options in the menu bar, if available” in the settings. After that, you can watch your favorite movies and any video from your Macbook on the big screen.

    How to connect 2 monitors to Macbook Air

    If one additional monitor is not enough for you and you need to connect two monitors to your Macbook, then there will be no problems only with new models that have Thunderbolt and an HDMI port. Some Macbook Airs have 2 Thunderbolt at once, so theoretically you can connect not 2, but 3 additional monitors at once, although performance will drop significantly, which will be very noticeable when running different videos on each. For older models, you will have to come up with “collective farm” solutions, and if you manage to connect two monitors, then in video replay mode, and not desktop extension.

    What Apple Says

    There are several official documents regarding connecting external monitors to the latest models of the MakBook Pro line. They are talking about connecting monitors with a resolution of 4K and 5K via a USB Type-C connector. So, the 15-inch MacBook Pro can work with two additional 5K monitors or four 4K ones at once. But for 13-inch models, the number is 2 times less. The company also confirmed support for the Dell UP2715K monitor with a resolution of 5K and a diagonal of 27 inches.

    Conclusion

    Many users are unaware of how convenient it is to work on multiple monitors at once, because they have never tried it. Meanwhile, the efficiency of work, when primary, active tasks are displayed on one monitor, and everything secondary – chats, monitoring, etc., on the other, is several times higher. Especially if you use programs such as Mission Control, which make managing applications on different screens even more convenient.

    Learn how to connect an additional monitor to your MacBook Air with our tips and enjoy. If you have any questions or technical problems, write about it in the comments and we will help to solve them.

    🎓 How to connect a MacBook to an external monitor

    Monitor for MacBook

    He talked about ways to connect a monitor to a MacBook, as well as two options for using this bundle: an extended desktop and a closed lid.

    Vlad Gorokhovsky


    • 5 min read

    If you are thinking about buying an external monitor, first read the article on how to choose the right monitor for your MacBook. In it, I told you what you need to pay attention to so that the macOS interface is the right size. There are many nuances there.

    🔥 How to choose an external monitor for your MacBook and not regret buying it

    I’ll tell you why the image on an external MacBook monitor is small, large and cloudy. And how to choose a monitor to avoid this.

    Mac OS World Vlad Gorokhovsky

    This note will discuss how to connect a monitor to a MacBook, as well as three options for using it:

    • Monitor repeater
    • Extended desktop
    • MacBook with lid closed, like system unit

    MacBook to monitor options

    It all depends on what generation of MacBook you have. In models prior to 2015, Apple used a Mini DisplayPort connector. Models after 2015 only have USB-C connectors.

    In both cases, you will need to use a special adapter to connect your MacBook to an external monitor.

    One of my MacBook Airs has a Mini DisplayPort connector, so I connect it with a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort, 9 cable0181 which I bought from a local store There is only one USB-C on the MacBook 12, so I had to buy a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter , which also has an additional charging connector

    Some monitors support a direct connection with a USB-C wire, and the cable will not only transfer an image from a laptop to a monitor, but also charge a laptop from a monitor. Comfortable.

    Which connector to use on the monitor

    There are two modern options: DisplayPort (DP) or USB-C. Connecting via HDMI is already best avoided, since HDMI has a frequency limit for higher resolutions. If you go to connect your MacBook to a 4K monitor or TV via HDMI, you will get a picture with a frequency of 30 Hertz. With a DisplayPort connector, there will always be 60 Hertz. But be aware that the macOS interface looks bad on 4K monitors, while it’s better to stay on a 2K monitor.

    Here are some suitable cable options for connecting a monitor to a MacBook:

    💰 USB-C to DP: Yandex.Market, Rozetka, Aliexpress, Amazon
    Suitable for all MacBook Pro 2016 and older. These laptops have 2 or 4 USB-C ports. Such a wire will give 4K resolution at 60 Hertz;

    💰 USB-C to USB-C: Yandex.Market, Rozetka, Aliexpress, Amazon
    In addition to displaying a picture, it can also charge your laptop, which is very convenient. Of course, if the monitor supports such a connection. When buying a wire, make sure it supports 60-100W display and charging. Cheap wires can often only charge low-power devices like phones.

    💰 mDP on DP: Yandex.Market, Rozetka, Aliexpress, Amazon
    Suitable for all MacBook up to 2016 release. They have a separate miniDP port;

    1. “Video repeat monitors” mode

    When the display is connected for the first time, video mirroring of the image will automatically turn on: the laptop screen and the external monitor will have the same picture.

    This mode is good for connecting a projector or a large presentation display. But for real work, no.

    In Monitor Mirroring mode, macOS sets the same maximum resolution supported by both displays. If you have an 11-inch MacBook Air (1366×768 pixels), then an external 2k monitor (2560×1440) will work at MacBook Air resolution. Of course, the picture will be cloudy and large.

    To turn off the video mirroring mode, uncheck the box Enable video mirroring of monitors in:

    ▸▸▸

    Turning off video mirroring monitors

    2. Extended desktop

    In this mode, both displays become one. Unlike video replay, the screens here work independently and maintain their maximum resolutions.

    In the screenshot below, the blue boxes represent connected displays. Their size is proportional to the permissions set. The larger rectangle (top) corresponds to my Dell P2418P monitor, and the smaller one (bottom) to my MacBook Air display.

    Monitors are in Extended Desktop mode.

    A white bar at the top of one of the rectangles indicates the menu bar and determines which display is the main one. To select a different display as your primary display, click on the white bar and drag it to the desired screen.

    Displays can be repositioned by dragging their respective rectangles. This is necessary so that the connected displays are ordered according to their true location on the table, so that the cursor moves correctly.

    Specify how the displays are located on the desktop and which one should be the main one

    In terms of efficiency, this is the best connection option, since both screens are at your disposal at once. By the way, if you put the monitor on some kind of stand above the MacBook, then you can continue to use its keyboard and touchpad, thereby avoiding spending money on buying an external keyboard and mouse.

    My Dell monitor acts as my primary monitor and my laptop acts as my secondary

    3. MacBook with lid closed

    This mode will appeal to those who want to work with an external monitor as the only and main one, thereby making something like a “system unit” out of the MacBook. Convenient if you want to hide the laptop somewhere far away in a drawer, or there is nowhere to place it on the table.

    💰 MacBook stand: Yandex.Market, Rozetka, Aliexpress, Amazon

    SeenDa Laptop Stand

    To wake up your MacBook with the screen lid closed, you need to connect an external keyboard and mouse/trackpad, and be sure to connect the computer to an external power source. Otherwise, when the lid is closed, it will simply “fall asleep”.

    If you are using a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, make sure they can wake up the computer.

    ▸▸▸

    This option will allow you to “wake up” the laptop when the lid is closed

    Finally

    Personally, I used the second method (extended desktop) for a long time and continued to use the laptop’s keyboard and touchpad.