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How To: Utilize Dual Displays with your MacBook

Whether you’re a professional designer or simply looking to improve productivity while working, utilizing multiple displays is a great way to add needed screen space to your workstation—especially when making the switch from a desktop computer to a MacBook. Yet creating the ideal dual-monitor setup for your laptop can be a tricky task. Check out these essential tips for connecting your MacBook to dual displays.

 

First: Identify the type of monitor you will be using.

Apple Cinema and Apple Thunderbolt Display monitors are the easiest to connect, as MacBooks come build-in with ports that are compatible with any Apple monitor. All you’ll need to do is connect the Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable attached to the display directly to your MacBook Pro.

 

If you have a monitor made by a company other than Apple, don’t worry! MacBooks do have the ability to connect to monitors that aren’t made by Apple—it just takes an additional step. You’ll need a cable adaptor that allows connection between the Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt ports on the MacBook and the connections on your monitor. You will need one cable or adapter per monitor.

  

Second: Determine if you need an adaptor to connect your display.

Non-Apple display connections can be HDMI, DVI, or VGA.

Many non-Apple monitors have HDMI connections, which you can plug directly into the HDMI port on your MacBook Pro.

If you would like to connect multiple displays, or if your monitor does not have an HDMI connection, you will need to purchase the correct adaptor to allow utilization of the Thunderbolt or MiniDisplay Port on your MacBook. You can purchase adaptors compatible with HDMI, DVI, and VGA.

We recommend purchasing these cables and adapters from the Apple store, but you can also purchase them from a third party location such as Henge Docks, Best Buy or Amazon.

  

Finally: Get connected.

Now that you’ve purchased adapters, you’re ready to plug everything in and get started. All you need to do is connect the cables to the corresponding ports on the MacBook and the monitor, and you’re ready to go!

Once you’ve completed all of the connections, you can now use your setup to its fullest potential. You may want to adjust the display configuration—here is a useful page from Apple support that will teach you how to do so. With a few taps of the keyboard or a click of the mouse, your setup will come to life and you can quickly get to work.

Bonus!

You can save yourself the time and hassle of constantly plugging and unplugging extra devices in and out of your MacBook by utilizing a docking station from Henge Docks. Docks streamline the process of going from desktop to mobile mode while adding connectivity and power to your laptop. You can find out which dock is compatible with your MacBook on our website here. Also, find out how to have a dual monitor wallpaper here




7 Comments

Henge Docks
Henge Docks

November 07, 2016

@Dave Berg, this is certainly an achievable setup! You can swap the two MDP cables that come with the dock for two Thunderbolt cables if you wish to connect Thunderbolt displays. You can use the USB 3.0 cable that comes with the dock and purchase a powered USB hub to connect a USB ethernet adapter that you can find on Apple’s website. If you have any further questions on how to do this, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Support team on our website here: http://support.hengedocks.com/support/home.

@John Kilpatrick, your setup is also achievable with this dock! As I mentioned above, the dock comes with two Mini Display Port extension cables, so you will be able to plug both MDP displays into these cables. If you wish to connect an HDMI display, you just need to purchase a MDP to HDMI adapter which can be found under the Cables section of our website which is under Accessories. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Support team on our website here: http://support.hengedocks.com/support/home.

John Kilpatrick
John Kilpatrick

November 01, 2016

If I want to connect two non-apple displays to this dock can I do that? I would want to connect one miniDisplayPort display and one HDMI display, or (ideally) two miniDisplayPort displays (as one should be able to plug in to the Thunderbolt port).

Dave Berg
Dave Berg

November 01, 2016

How can I use a vertical dock for a 13" MBP Retina, connect two monitors AND connect with Ethernet? Without having to run a cable from the HDMI on top…

Henge Docks
Henge Docks

October 24, 2016

@Mike, thanks for reaching out! Once Apple makes an announcement we will be able to begin design. We don’t have an exact timeline for this yet, but we will update our customers when we have one.

Mike Trovato
Mike Trovato

October 20, 2016

ETA on docking stations for 2016 Macbook?

Henge Docks
Henge Docks

September 02, 2016

@Havard, we do have something in the works for the newest MacBook! We will let our customers know a more accurate timeline once we have one.

Håvard Pedersen
Håvard Pedersen

August 30, 2016

That is a MacBook Pro, sadly you don’t have a dock for the MacBook.

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