If you’re looking to increase your productivity or simply enjoy a larger display, using an external monitor with your MacBook is a great option.
However, you may be wondering how to close MacBook and use monitor in what is known as “clamshell mode.”
Clamshell mode allows you to keep your MacBook closed while still using an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
This is especially useful if you want to free up desk space or have a larger display without having to constantly look down at your laptop screen.
Fortunately, setting up clamshell mode is relatively simple and can be done with just a few steps.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of closing your MacBook and using a monitor, as well as provide some tips and tricks to make the most out of your setup.
Understanding The Basics
If you want to use your MacBook with an external monitor, there are a few things you need to know.
In this section, we’ll cover the basics of what you need to get started, including the MacBook models that support this feature, the operating system you need, and the system preferences you’ll need to configure.
Not all MacBook models support using an external monitor with the lid closed. Here are the models that do:
- MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
- MacBook Air (2018 or later)
If you have an older MacBook model, you may still be able to use an external monitor, but you won’t be able to close the lid.
To use an external monitor with your MacBook, you’ll need to be running macOS Sierra (10.12) or later.
If you’re not sure which version of macOS you’re running, click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen, then select “About This Mac.”
Before you can use your MacBook with an external monitor, you’ll need to configure a few settings in System Preferences. Here’s what you need to do:
- Connect your external monitor to your MacBook using the appropriate cable (HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.).
- Open System Preferences by clicking on the Apple menu and selecting “System Preferences.”
- Click on “Displays.”
- Make sure the “Arrangement” tab is selected.
- Check the box next to “Mirror Displays” if you want the same image to appear on both your MacBook screen and the external monitor. If you want to use the external monitor as an extension of your MacBook screen, leave this box unchecked.
- Drag the white bar at the top of one of the screens to the other screen to arrange them in the way you prefer.
That’s it! Now you can use your MacBook with an external monitor.
Setting Up The External Display
When using an external monitor with your MacBook, there are a few things you need to consider before getting started.
This section will guide you through choosing the right monitor, connecting it to your MacBook, and adjusting display settings to ensure optimal performance.
Choosing The Right Monitor
When choosing a monitor, you need to consider the size, resolution, and connectivity options.
Look for a monitor that is compatible with your MacBook’s ports, such as HDMI or VGA to USB-C adapter, mini DisplayPort, or HDMI port.
Also, consider the size of the monitor and its resolution. A larger monitor with a higher resolution will provide a better viewing experience, but it may also be more expensive.
Connecting The Monitor
Once you have chosen the right monitor, it’s time to connect it to your MacBook. The process will vary depending on the type of monitor you have and the ports available on your MacBook.
Here are some general steps you can follow:
- Connect the monitor to your MacBook using the appropriate cable or adapter.
- Turn on the monitor and ensure that it is set to the correct input source.
- On your MacBook, go to System Preferences > Displays.
- Click on the “Arrangement” tab and check the “Mirror Displays” box if you want to duplicate your MacBook’s screen on the external monitor.
- If you want to use the external monitor as your primary display, drag the white menu bar from your MacBook’s screen to the external monitor.
Adjusting Display Settings
Once you have connected the external monitor, you may need to adjust the display settings to ensure optimal performance.
Here are some settings you can adjust:
- Resolution: Go to System Preferences > Displays and select “Scaled” to adjust the resolution of the external monitor.
- Brightness and Contrast: Adjust the brightness and contrast of the external monitor using the monitor’s built-in controls.
- Color Calibration: Use the built-in Display Calibrator Assistant on your MacBook to calibrate the colors of the external monitor.
By following these steps, you should be able to set up an external monitor with your MacBook and enjoy a larger, more comfortable viewing experience.
How To Close MacBook And Use Monitor
If you want to use your MacBook with an external monitor while keeping the lid closed, you can enable clamshell mode. Here’s how to do it.
What Is Clamshell Mode?
Clamshell mode is a feature that allows you to use your MacBook with the lid closed. When you connect your MacBook to an external monitor, you can close the lid and continue to work on the external display.
This is useful if you want to use a larger screen or if you want to use your MacBook as a desktop computer.
How To Enable Clamshell Mode
To enable clamshell mode, follow these steps:
- Connect your MacBook to an external monitor.
- Connect an external keyboard and mouse to your MacBook.
- Close the lid of your MacBook.
- Press any key on the external keyboard or move the external mouse to wake up your MacBook.
Your MacBook should now be in clamshell mode, and you can use the external monitor as your primary display.
Common Issues And Solutions
If you’re having trouble enabling clamshell mode, here are some common issues and solutions:
- Issue: MacBook goes to sleep when you close the lid.
- Solution: Go to System Preferences > Energy Saver and uncheck “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” and “Wake for network access”.
- Issue: External display doesn’t work when you connect it to your MacBook.
- Solution: Make sure the external display is turned on and connected to your MacBook. Try using a different cable or adapter if necessary.
- Issue: External keyboard or mouse doesn’t work when you connect it to your MacBook.
- Solution: Make sure the keyboard and mouse are turned on and connected to your MacBook. Try using a different USB port or a different keyboard and mouse if necessary.
By following these steps, you can easily enable clamshell mode on your MacBook and use an external monitor with the lid closed.
Managing Power And Sleep Settings
Understanding Power Settings
Before we dive into how to configure your MacBook’s sleep settings, let’s first take a look at some important power settings you should be aware of.
Firstly, your MacBook’s power adapter is essential for keeping your device charged. It’s important to ensure that your power adapter is connected securely to your MacBook, and that it’s plugged into a power source.
Additionally, you can configure your MacBook’s energy saver settings to optimize your device’s power usage. This can help extend your MacBook’s battery life, and reduce your energy consumption.
Configuring Sleep Mode
Sleep mode is a power-saving state that your MacBook enters after a period of inactivity. By default, closing the lid of your MacBook will put it into sleep mode. However, you can configure your MacBook’s sleep settings to suit your needs.
To configure your MacBook’s sleep settings, go to System Preferences > Energy Saver. Here, you can adjust the amount of time your MacBook takes to enter sleep mode, and whether it should automatically go to sleep when the display is turned off.
You can also choose to enable Power Nap, which allows your MacBook to perform certain tasks, such as checking for new emails and syncing iCloud data, even while it’s in sleep mode.
Troubleshooting Power Issues
If you’re experiencing power-related issues with your MacBook, there are a few things you can try to troubleshoot the problem.
Firstly, make sure that your power adapter is connected securely to your MacBook, and that it’s plugged into a power source.
If your MacBook still isn’t charging, try resetting the System Management Controller (SMC).
You can do this by shutting down your MacBook, unplugging the power adapter, and holding down the Shift + Control + Option keys, as well as the power button, for 10 seconds.
If your MacBook is having issues with sleep mode, try resetting the NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory).
You can do this by shutting down your MacBook, and then pressing and holding the Command + Option + P + R keys while pressing the power button.
By understanding and configuring your MacBook’s power and sleep settings, you can optimize your device’s power usage and troubleshoot any power-related issues you may encounter.
Optimizing Keyboard And Mouse Use
Choosing The Right Keyboard And Mouse
Choosing the right keyboard and mouse is important to ensure comfortable and efficient use with your MacBook. When selecting a keyboard or mouse, consider the following factors:
- Ergonomics: Choose a keyboard and mouse that are comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
- Connectivity: Choose a keyboard and mouse that are compatible with your MacBook and offer the desired connectivity options (e.g., wired or wireless).
- Features: Choose a keyboard and mouse that offer the features you need (e.g., backlit keys, programmable buttons).
Connecting Your Devices
Connecting your keyboard and mouse to your MacBook is easy. Follow these steps:
- If you are using a wired keyboard or mouse, simply plug it into an available USB port on your MacBook.
- If you are using a wireless keyboard or mouse, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to pair it with your MacBook.
- If you are using a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse, enable Bluetooth on your MacBook and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to pair it with your MacBook.
Troubleshooting Connectivity Issues
If you experience connectivity issues with your keyboard or mouse, try the following troubleshooting steps:
- Make sure your keyboard or mouse is turned on and within range of your MacBook.
- Check the batteries in your wireless or Bluetooth keyboard or mouse and replace them if necessary.
- Restart your MacBook and try connecting your keyboard or mouse again.
- If you are using a USB hub, try connecting your keyboard or mouse directly to your MacBook.
By choosing the right keyboard and mouse, connecting them properly, and troubleshooting any connectivity issues, you can optimize your keyboard and mouse use with your MacBook.
Maintaining Your MacBook
As a MacBook user, it’s important to take good care of your device to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Here are some tips on how to maintain your MacBook:
Overheating is a common problem for MacBook users, especially if you’re using your laptop for extended periods. To prevent overheating, you can take the following steps:
- Keep your MacBook on a flat surface to allow for proper airflow.
- Avoid using your MacBook on soft surfaces like your bed or couch.
- Keep your MacBook clean by regularly dusting off the fans and vents.
- Use a cooling pad or stand to help with airflow and heat dissipation.
Choosing A Laptop Stand
A laptop stand can be a great investment for MacBook users who want to improve their posture and prevent overheating.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a laptop stand:
- Ergonomics: Look for a stand that is adjustable to your height and angle preferences.
- Portability: If you’re frequently on the go, consider a lightweight and compact stand.
- Cooling: Look for a stand that has built-in fans or ventilation to improve airflow and prevent overheating.
- Compatibility: Make sure the stand is compatible with your MacBook model and size.
Overall, taking care of your MacBook is essential to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. By following these tips, you can prevent overheating and improve your posture while using your laptop.
Using Third-Party Applications
If you want to enhance your experience while using your MacBook with an external monitor, you can consider using third-party applications.
These applications can help you customize your display settings and improve your productivity. In this section, we will discuss some recommended applications and how to set them up.
Here are some applications that you can use to improve your MacBook and monitor experience:
- Download: This application helps you manage your downloads and ensures that they don’t interfere with your work. You can schedule downloads to occur during non-working hours, so they don’t slow down your MacBook.
- Schedule: This application helps you manage your schedule and ensures that you don’t miss any important appointments or deadlines. You can set reminders and notifications to appear on your MacBook or monitor.
- Amphetamine: This application prevents your MacBook from going to sleep or turning off the display while you’re using it. This is useful if you’re watching a movie or giving a presentation.
- Caffeinated: This application prevents your MacBook from going to sleep or turning off the display while you’re using it. This is useful if you’re reading a long article or working on a project.
- Insomniac: This application prevents your MacBook from going to sleep or turning off the display while you’re using it. This is useful if you’re working on a project that requires your MacBook to be active for a long time.
Setting Up Applications
To set up these applications, follow these steps:
- Download the application from the developer’s website or the App Store.
- Install the application on your MacBook.
- Open the application and configure the settings according to your preferences.
- If the application has a menu bar icon, click on it to access the settings and options.
- If the application has a keyboard shortcut, learn it so that you can quickly activate it.
By using these applications, you can customize your MacBook and monitor experience to suit your needs. These applications can help you stay productive and focused while working on your MacBook.
Closing your MacBook and using an external monitor in clamshell mode can be a great way to improve your productivity and make your workspace more comfortable.
Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when setting up your external display:
- Clamshell mode allows you to use your MacBook with the lid closed, so you can work on a larger external display.
- To use clamshell mode, you’ll need to connect an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor to your MacBook.
- Make sure your MacBook is plugged in to a power source before closing the lid in clamshell mode.
- You can wake your MacBook from sleep by pressing any key on your external keyboard.
- Once you’re in clamshell mode, your MacBook will use the external display as the primary display.
- If you’re using an external display with a higher resolution than your MacBook’s built-in display, you may need to adjust the scaling settings in System Preferences to ensure that everything looks sharp and clear.
- When you’re done using your external display, make sure to disconnect all peripherals before closing the lid of your MacBook.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to use your MacBook in clamshell mode with an external display and enjoy a more comfortable and productive workspace.