Closed screen mode on MacBook with external screen

macbook pro external display

Many of you will have gotten one of those adapters to be able to equip our MacBook with external screens. They are aMini Display to HDMI or VGA adapters (Now Microsoft is also equipping its Surface with this long-critical adapter). A accessory that will allow us to have two screens on our Mac's to work in a much more comfortable way. Also, with Mavericks you will have a kind of two devices since the two screens will have all the menus complete as if they were two different devices.

You may have found yourself in need of want to use only this external monitorRemember that if you are using the screen of your MacBook and the external one you will be duplicating the work of your graphic cards ... As we say, you have the possibility to use only the external screen and use your MacBook only with that screen (This is compatible with MacBook Pro and Air as well). Then we leave you the steps to follow to be able to use the 'closed screen' mode of MacBook's.

First of all you will need to have a mouse and an external keyboardObviously, if you have the screen of your MacBook closed, you will not have the possibility to access the internal peripherals of the MacBook. You will also need the MacBook power adapter, this mode only works when we are plugged into the power; and last (and not least) we need an external screen.

  1. We will make sure to have plugged our MacBook into the outlet with the power adapter.
  2. We will plug the mouse and keyboard into our MacBook (in the case that they go via cable). If we have a wireless mouse and keyboard we will have to link them previously in the Bluetooth panel of our MacBook's.
  3. We will verify that in the System Preferences panel we have activated the option 'Activate the computer through Bluetooth devices', so we can suspend the equipment and start it again with these external devices (when they are connected via Bluetooth).
  4. Connect the external display via Mini Display Port adapter.
  5. Once the computer desktop appears on the external display, close the computer lid.
  6. When you close the lid: In OS X Lion and later, the external display will turn blue and then show the desktop.In Mac OS X v10.6.8 and earlier, wake up the computer by clicking the mouse button or pressing a key external keyboard.

Once you you reopen the screen of your MacBook everything will return to normal. Nor should you worry about the heating of your MacBook, is ready to work in this mode and it is through the screen hinge that the MacBook's ventilation will circulate.

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  1.   andres said

    I would like to do it but on imac, turn off the imac screen. for example when I go to watch a movie I will see it on the external monitor and on the imac there is no way to turn it off, just lower the brightness.

    1.    dinepada said

      It seems to me that if there is a way to turn off the monitor beyond lowering the brightness and it is with the combination control + shift + eject

      1.    andres said

        no, that method is to turn off or suspend the screen, but of all the connected screens, what I want is to turn off the mac and leave the external one on, and that doesn't work.

  2.   ploki said

    My first Apple computer was an aluminum MacBook (late 2009 I think I remember) with snow Leopard. I remember the first time I plugged in an external display and spent an hour figuring out how to do this.
    When I finally googled I link to an online copy of the manual, from my MacBook (which I had found before using spotlight) that indicated that…. Plug everything in, close the lid and press any key.

    It was one of my moments that convinced me (happily) how I had changed my world by becoming a Switcher.

  3.   Clàudia said

    Would anyone know how to do it without having to have it plugged into the power? Thank you.

  4.   aramoix00 said

    Hi. Before I could plug my TV into the Macbook Air and close it without problem. One day I changed the display setting to 1024 and it never worked again. It puts me on the TV unknown format, format detection. I do not know if it is because when changing the resolution as my TV is old it does not shoot, can someone help me? I thought the graphics card was screwed up, they even changed it for me, but it hasn't helped much.

  5.   juanitolinares said

    Well, I had looked everywhere and never found a solution, thank you for sharing your knowledge

  6.   Diaz Galvan said

    Hi, I have a Macbook from early 2009 with MiniDVI port. The screen has been damaged some time ago and I can't see anything on it but the computer turns on and it seems to be working fine. I bought an adapter for HDMI but when I connect it to an external screen, it seems that the computer detects it but it looks all black. I suppose I should go to system preferences on my Mac and hit the "Detect screens" option, but since I don't see anything on the Mac screen I can't. Would anyone know how to do it, perhaps, by keyboard commands?


  7.   rodrigo said

    Good morning, it is necessary to have the computer connected to the power so that it sends the signal to an external monitor