Are you a MacBook Pro user looking for an easier way to upgrade your workstation setup? Connecting an external monitor to your laptop can be one of the best investments you make in boosting your productivity.
Whether for creating artwork and designs, streaming movies, or editing photos and videos – adding a second monitor (or even multiple monitors) opens up many new possibilities. Today, I’m here to walk you through how easy it is to connect an external display to any MacBook Pro model!
How to connect an external monitor to MacBook Pro?
Sometimes we run out of screen real estate when using a MacBook Pro. But, not the case anymore. I have great news – it’s easy to connect an external monitor to your MacBook Pro.
Now, I will walk you through all of the steps needed; including what type of cable and adapter is required, how to configure any necessary settings in macOS, and optional tips for setting up dual monitors. With a few easy steps, connecting an external monitor should be relatively painless – So let’s get started!
Step 1 – Know your MacBook Pro
Connecting a laptop to a monitor should be an effortless process, correct? All you need is one cable and you are done. This statement holds true for the most part; however, it’s also important to understand what type of MacBook Pro you own as well as its video support ports available.
As Apple has released multiple versions of its MacBook Pro throughout the years, determining which ports it offers can be difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to stress about this anymore! To find out what type you possess and all of its features, just visit your menu (the Apple icon with ‘About This Mac’), and voila – all is revealed.
To accurately pinpoint the ports of your laptop, double-click its serial number and press Command-C to copy it. Then, open a web browser window and visit Apple’s Tech Specs page; click on the Search Tech Specs bar and paste in your laptop’s identification with Command-V. Hit ‘Search’ then select the specs page for your Mac – here you’ll find all that is associated with its ports!
Step 2 – Find the right adaptor
Now that you have the proper information on your MacBook Pro, it’s time to consider what type of adapter is needed. Most monitor connectors use either a VGA or HDMI port, and Apple offers both in its lineup – however if you own an older model that may lack one of these ports. How can you find out?
Simply review the specs page of your laptop, and you’ll be able to identify what type of adapter needs to be purchased. If you own a newer model with a USB Type-C port, then you’ll need an adapter that supports both VGA and HDMI.
Once you’ve determined which type of monitor port and adapter is necessary for your MacBook Pro, head over to the Apple Store or another electronics retailer to purchase an adapter.
Here is a complete Apple Guide To Connectors and Adaptors.
Step 3 – Connecting your MacBook Pro to the external monitor
Now, it’s time to connect the external monitor to your MacBook Pro. Once you’ve acquired the adapter, plug one end of it into the laptop’s port (HDMI or VGA) and then attach the other side of the cable to the monitor’s corresponding port.
But, how can you find the right port for this connection?
Finding the right port on your MacBook Pro
Your Mac’s compatibility with a monitor is based on two factors – your Mac and the display device. Modern MacBooks use Thunderbolt connections, which are connected by USB-C cables. Consequently, any monitor compatible with such cables should function properly when hooked up to your MacBook.
For the best connection to your MacBook, opt for one of the ports that are closest to the rear – these ‘power’ connectors were designed specifically with external displays in mind. You may have some luck connecting a lower-end display via another port too!
Making the final connection
After connecting your display and device, turn it on to get started! You’ll be ready in no time. If your external display fails to light up after connecting it, you can boot the system while making sure that the connection is still in place. Then turn on your MacBook and see if a resolution appears – chances are high that everything will commence working then!
If nothing has worked this far, make sure that your cables are connected correctly and that the software is up to date. Additionally, you can press the Alt/Option key in System Preferences > Displays to open up the ‘Detect Displays’ button. Upon clicking it, your Mac should detect an external monitor. If more help is needed with any potential issues related to the black screen on MacBook Pro then be sure to read our guide for assistance!
Step 4 – Configuring the external monitor settings
Once you have successfully connected your external display, you’ll need to customize the display settings. To do this, click on System Preferences > Displays and head over to the ‘Arrangement’ tab; here you can adjust the monitor placement, resolution, and audio output.
It’s also possible to rotate or mirror a screen from this tab – which can be useful for dual-screen setups. If you need to make sure that both displays are of the same size, check out the ‘Scaled’ option in the Display menu.
Finally, if the brightness is too low or you require a different look and feel then consider adjusting your color profile; select an ‘Apple Color Profile’ to restore the accuracy of colors on your display. That’s it! You now know How To Connect An External Monitor To MacBook Pro.
Benefits of connecting external monitor to MacBook Pro
Connecting an external monitor to your MacBook Pro offers several benefits. I have jotted down a few below.
More screen space
An external monitor gives you more screen real estate to work with. This is especially helpful if you are always running out of space on the small laptop display.
With an additional monitor, you can open multiple windows at once and easily switch between them. You can also use one window for reference while working in another—a great feature when dealing with complex tasks or projects that require research along the way.
Enhanced viewing angles and colors
External monitors tend to offer much better picture quality than laptop displays since they usually have IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels, which provide wider viewing angles and improved colors compared to TN (Twisted Nematic) panels found in most laptops.
Prevents eye strain
An external monitor helps reduce fatigue from staring at a small laptop display for extended periods of time. The larger screen size and better viewing angles help your eyes stay more comfortable as you work longer hours.
Great for your neck and overall body posture
By having two monitors side by side, you can reduce the amount of neck and shoulder strain that comes from constantly looking down at your laptop screen. This will also improve your overall body posture since you won’t be hunched over all day.
Ideal for people working remotely
If you’re a remote worker, having two screens can be incredibly useful. It enables you to keep track of multiple chats and tabs, which makes it much easier to juggle different tasks.
Are there any potential problems that can occur?
There are no major problems when connecting an external monitor to a MacBook Pro, however, there can be some compatibility issues between the two devices. Generally speaking, if your monitor supports HDMI or DisplayPort then you should have no trouble connecting it to your Mac. However, older monitors may not be compatible with the latest laptops; in this case, you may need to purchase an adapter.
Also, if you’re using two displays with different resolutions then it can cause some display issues. To prevent this from happening, make sure that both displays are running at the same resolution – otherwise, one of the screens may appear stretched or fuzzy.
Finally, external monitors usually come with their own power source, so make sure to double-check the connection before trying to use it with your laptop.
How to find the right external monitors for MacBook Pro?
The type of external monitor you choose is largely dependent on your budget and the amount of space you have available. Monitors come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small 13” displays to massive 34” ultra-wide screens.
For most people, a mid-range 24” or 27” monitor should provide more than enough screen real estate. If you’re looking for something a bit more premium, then consider getting an ultra-wide monitor because they offer plenty of workspaces and allow you to keep all your windows visible at the same time.
When shopping for monitors, make sure to look for models that are compatible with Macs. This is usually indicated by the presence of an Apple logo on the box. You should also check to see what type of ports the monitor has; since most Macs feature a Thunderbolt 3 port, look for monitors that support this connection.
Finally, pay close attention to the resolution and refresh rate of any potential purchase. Higher resolutions will provide sharper images, while higher refresh rates will make motion look smoother.
It’s also important to think about the type of work you’re doing and how many windows or programs you’ll be using at once. If you mostly use your Mac for basic tasks, such as web browsing, then a small 13” monitor should be more than enough. However, if you’re a designer or video editor, then a larger 27” monitor with ultra-wide resolution could be worth considering.
How many monitors can be connected to MacBook Pro?
Most MacBook Pro models can support up to two external displays, provided they have the right ports. However, newer laptops like the 16-inch MacBook Pro can support up to four displays.
When connecting multiple monitors, it’s important to make sure that both screens use the same resolution and refresh rate. This will ensure that there aren’t any display issues and will maximize the performance of your laptop.
It’s also important to make sure that all the monitors are connected to a power source. If you attempt to connect multiple displays without providing them with enough power, then your laptop may experience significant lag or even shut down.
Good to go!
Connecting an external monitor to a MacBook Pro is incredibly useful and straightforward. Just make sure to find the right monitor for your needs, double-check the connections, and provide enough power to all displays. With these steps in mind, you should be able to get your laptop set up with multiple screens quickly and easily!