How to Connect External Monitor to Mac, MacBook (Sonoma)

Need a large screen – set up a second monitor with your Mac lets you be a multitasker. It is troublesome if you have an extra screen but don’t know how to connect the Monitor to a Mac computer or MacBook. 

As of now and forever, hooking up a Macbook or Mac with a dual screen isn’t as easy as cutting a cake. Extending the screen needs suitable Cables(USB-C, HDMI, Displayport) and ports, depending on your Mac and external Display/Monitor. Here in this blog, we will let you know what you have (Ports) and need (Cables, Adapter) and how to connect a Monitor (Apple or non-Apple) to a Mac computer.

Configure External Display

Once you are equipped with the right Cable & Adapter between Mac & monitor, it’s time to arrange the external Display on the desk. Up-next, enable the Mac device, log in and connect the external Monitor. Once you do so, the external Display as Another virtual Desktop with mac by default we can set it for Primary Display or to mirror the main screen, Using Mac’s display settings.

To extend display MacBook, you can use an external display with the same procedure. But if you want it to work as the main Display, remember to connect it with an External Mouse And Keyboard when the MacBook lid is closed. However, there is no need for an external mouse or keyboard when the lid is open.

Where Is Display Setting On Mac?

If you want to set up an external display, there are some hidden settings you need to configure. 

macOS Ventura And Later,

1→ Go to Apple Logo > System Settings…(System Preferences… macOS Monterey And Earlier).

System Settings on Mac
System Settings on Mac

2→ Choose Display. There you will receive two displays, one Mac and the name of the external Display.


3→ Choose “external display(Name).”


From the next screen, you will receive various settings related to display as mentioned below:

Arrange: Move the Display to the expected location. To mirror the Display, force press the mouse key while dragging on the top of another display. Suppose, in the arrangement, you have configured the dual screen; you can firmly drag the item from the built-screen(White-Bar) to the secondary screen as per the arranged location (left, right, up, or down position). 


Note: Physically changing the location of the external Display on the desk and forgetting to change the settings accordingly in the Arrangement settings can lead to confusion. 

The Arrangement settings will be treated the same as you have configured before physically changing the location. Unfortunately, that can lead to situations where Drag And Drop Not Working Properly On Mac.

Use As: Configure whether you want your external Display to work as a mirror, extend desktop capabilities, or work as a primary display. 


Resolution: Select the amount of detail your Display feature. Select the default for Display automatically or select scaled manually. 

Color Profile: Also we can adjust the display color profile from mac display settings. we can adjust for External monitor or Display just like calibrate color on Mac. Select External display from Mac Display System settings. and Click on the Color Profile selection box. We have the option to customize the external display color using last Customize… Option.


Refresh Rate: Suppose your screen rate is too low; you might experience a Mac Screen Flicker Issue. Similarly, if it’s too high, you experience an external or Mac Black Screen Of Death. In this scenario, verify the documentation and check if the refresh rate works better for your external Display. And choose it below these settings.

Rotation: Depending upon the model of the external Display, you are allowed to rotate it. For instance, if you carry the Widescreen Display but would prefer to have a display taller than its wide, you can turn the screen or image to 90-Degree or available rotation by following the steps below.

Well, most users search for how to change the Brightness and volume of the extended Display MacBook. Sadly, you can’t adjust the Brightness and volume from the Mac Settings. To do so, install lunar App. Alternatively, non-Apple display sometime includes brightness adjustment settings, go through the document you receive while unboxing it.

How to Connect External Monitor to Mac

A dual monitor setup on the Mac Computer allows you be as productive as much as you want. Here in this article, we let you know how setup an external screen with Mac.

Verify How Many Displays You Can Connect With A Mac

  1. Select the Apple Logo.
  2. From the drop-down, choose About This Mac.
  1. In the next window, double-click on the Serial Number and press Command + C to copy it.
  1. Navigate to the Tech Specs, and click on the Search Text Specs.
  2. Press the Command + V to paste the Serial Number you copied from your Mac. And check under the Video Support.

Apple says that the Mac computer that includes the Apple Silicone Chip(M1 Ultra, M1 Max, M1 Pro, M1, or M2) can link up for up to 5 displays using Thunderbolt 4 Ports. Usually, it depends on the chip your Mac has; You can confirm the Apple Chip by heading to the Apple Menu > About This Mac. 

Mac Studio With M1 Ultra: Can connect up to 5 Displays on Mac Computer using HDMI Ports or Thunderbolt 4 (USB C).

Mac With M1 Max: 

On MacBook Pro: You can attach four external displays using the HDMI Port or Thunderbolt 4 Ports.

On Mac Studio: 5 external displays can be attached to the Mac computer using the HDMI Ports or ThunderBolt 4 USB-C Ports.

Mac With M1 Pro: Connect two external displays to your Mac using HDMI Ports and Thunderbolt USB-C Ports.

Mac With M1 Or M2: On MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and iMac, you can link up the only external Display using the HDMI Ports or Thunderbolt Ports. Keep note you can connect the external Display using the Thunderbolt USB-C Ports.

Check the Port Of Your Mac. 

Once you know how to connect and how many external monitors you can connect with corresponding Apple Mac Devices. Ensure that both pieces of equipment are ready and the external Monitor is connected to the primary power source. 

At the same point, verify the ports of the external Display and Mac so that you get to know what adapters and cables you require to connect Monitor to Mac. 

Unlike the TV, most external monitors include the HDMI port as a preferred way. Nevertheless, there are also USB-C ports in the external Monitor.

Note: Mark It! There is no need for a Thunderbolt cable, except that the Monitor you are trying to connect is a thunderbolt. So you can use the standard USB Cables. Because the thunderbolt is a term that says it offers fast transfer or connecting speed.

Knowing what type of Cable can be used to connect the Mac can be trickier; as of now, it depends from model to model. For example, suppose Mac before 2019; will be equipped with thunderbolt -3. So in case you have an older Mac, it is better to verify the Cable you require to connect the external Display Mac.

Which Port Does My Mac Have?

  • Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C)
  • Thunderbolt / USB 4
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • USB 3
  • HDMI
  • DVI
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • VGA
  • Thunderbolt 1 or 2

Follow the steps below to check which port has been inserted into your Mac computer. 

  1. Click Apple Logo.
  2. Select About This Mac.
  3. Double-click on the Serial Number, and press Command + C.
  1. Navigate to the Tech Specs, and click on the Search Text Specs.
  2. Press the Command + V to paste the Serial Number you copied from your Mac. Click on the model, and you will receive complete information about ports equipped on your Mac under the Connection And Expansion. That’s It!

Bottom Line

You can easily setup the non-Apple or Apple screen when you have knowledge about the port your Mac includes. Similarly, using untrusted Cables can cause the issue such Apple Mac not detecting the external display.

External Display Not Working Or Not Detected By Mac

There are multiple reasons when you set up a second monitor on a Mac. Such external displays do not work, or Mac does not detect the Display. In this situation, first, you must check the USB Port; dirt and debris might stuck within it, or a corrupted Cable may be causing the issue. Next, you must try Restarting the Mac device and check if your mac Device is updated to the latest macOS. Still no luck! Follow our guide to fixing external Display not working on Mac

How Do I Mirror My Macbook To A Monitor?

First, equip yourself with a Cable according to the port on your Mac. After that, connect the preferred end of the Cable in your Mac and another to the External Display. Nonetheless, the external will not be detected if the Mac computer is disabled. 


Can You Use A Non-Apple Monitor With A Mac?

You can connect a monitor to Mac, whether it’s Apple or a non-Apple Monitor. To do so, follow our guide.

Why Is My Mac Not Connecting To My Monitor Via HDMI?

If your Mac isn’t recognizing the HDMI device after establishing a connection, disable the HDMI device, but keep the Mac device on. Then, detach the Cable from the Mac and reconnect it.

How Do You A Connect A Monitor To A Macbook And Use Both Screens?

To connect the MacBook with a monitor, you can use the USB Cable, HDMI, etc. Eventually, depending on the port your Mac is equipped with. 

How Do I Make Two Monitors Act As One Big Screen Mac?

First off, connect the Mac computer using the corresponding Cable. Next, move to the System Settings… > Display from the Display and select the name of External Display. Next, choose the Arrange Button; right inside hover Display (top, bottom, right, or left) over the built-in-display with menu bar as per convenience. 

Why Is My External Monitor Not Displaying?

Ensure the Cable you are using to connect is trusted. If not, try connecting with an alternate but similar cable at the same point, and gently clean the USB or HDMI Port with a cotton cloth. If it works for you, the USB cable is faulty. 

How Do I Get My Mac To Display On HDMI?

If your Mac device includes HDMI Port, you can firmly use the HDMI Cable to create the connection. In the case of a USB-C port, you can connect to HDMI using an adapter(Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter).

How Do I Connect My Mac To A Monitor Using HDMI?

To connect my mc to an HDMI monitor, you can use the HDMI Cable or the HDMI Adapter((Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter).

What Monitor Works Well With Mac?

The external monitors like Acer, ViewSonic, and LG Neo Blade, and for more options, you can follow our guide Best Monitor For Mac

Can I Connect A Large Monitor To My Macbook Pro?

Yes, you can connect the Large Monitor to MacBook Pro; but the connection mechanisms depend on the MacBook’s port.

Photo of author

Karly Wood

Karly Wood, a Wellington-based journalist, excels in covering Apple and tech trends. With a diverse background in public safety, government, and education reporting, her insights bridge multiple disciplines, offering readers a well-rounded perspective on today's technological advancements. Contact Her Team:- [OR]

Leave a Comment