You can get an external display or projector with a Mac notebook when its built-in display is closed. This is known as closed-clamshell or closed-display mode.
Checking what you need
In order to use closed-display mode with your Mac notebook, here’s a list of what you need:
- An AC power adapter or an external display that runs power over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C).
- An external keyboard and mouse or trackpad, either USB or wireless.
- A USB-C to USB adapter or cable if you’re using a USB mouse or keyboard with a Mac that has USB-C ports.
- An external display or projector.
Enable closed-display mode
- Connect your USB keyboard or mouse to your Mac or external display, or pair your Bluetooth keyboard or mouse with your Mac. In case you use a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse, choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, click Bluetooth, then confirm Bluetooth is on.
- Connect your Mac to power with the AC power adapter. Some external displays, like the LG UltraFine 5K, also charge your Mac.
- Connect your external display or projector to the appropriate port on your Mac. Use an Apple video adapter if necessary. Some external displays have a USB cable that needs to be connected to your Mac.
- Finally, when your Mac notebook’s desktop appears on the external display, close your computer’s lid. You might have to push a key or click your mouse to wake the external display.
If you’re external display or projector doesn’t turn on after you connect it to your Mac, connect your display when your Mac is off, and start your Mac.
Disconnect your display or projector
Before you disconnect your display or projector, put your Mac to sleep.
click Apple () menu > Sleep, then disconnect your display or projector.
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