Having trouble with an external display on your Mac? try these steps (2023)

Many people use an external display with their Mac, either by mirroring the display to a larger screen orExpand your screen area to increase productivity.sounds great, but sometimes there are external display issues that need attention to fix.

In this article, we will discuss various issues that can occur with an external monitor and some possible troubleshooting steps to resolve them.

Having trouble with an external display on your Mac? try these steps (1)

Table of Contents to hide

1) What could be wrong with my Mac's external display?

2) No picture: the screen is black or other colors

2.1) Are the monitors compatible?

2.2) Is your brightness the lowest?

2.3) Check the power plug of the external monitor

2.4) Connect the Mac laptop power supply

(Video) How To Fix External Monitor Not Working on Mac OS Ventura

2.5) Restore video connection

2.6) Are you using the correct port?

2.7) Avoid video adapter chaining

2.8) Does the monitor work with other connections?

2.9) Is the video cable damaged?

3) The resolution of the external display is abnormal

3.1) Manual resolution setting

3.2) Select the default resolution

3.3) Reset NVRAM and SMC

(Video) MacBook M1 Not Detecting External Monitor after macOS Monterey Update

3.4) Change the resolution settings to safe mode

3.5) Check for software updates for your application

3.6) Check for new drivers for your monitor

4) The color problem of the external display

4.1) Playing with the monitor's color profile

4.2) Screen color calibration

4.3) Find the compare button

4.4) Find the color button

4.5) Brightness adjustment

4.6) Change display mode

(Video) How to Fix External Monitor Not Working on Mac/Second Display Not Working on macOS Ventura

4.7) Do you have dead pixels, bright spots or weird pixels?

5) Fix Mac external display problem

What could be wrong with my Mac's external display?

Outdoor monitors, whether you bought them or notApple's rather expensive choiceor when you leaveThird party brands like LG, Samsung or Dell, are subject to potential problems.

While Apple does its best to keep it working, other manufacturers often have very different standards, which means you may have to deal with issues or take extra steps to configure your display to works properly with your device. Mac.

Even if your monitor is not brand new, you may have pressed the settings button by mistake, which can cause various problems with its performance. It's even harder to tell if you're not the one pushing the button and it happens when you're not even home because one of your kids is playing or someone else using the computer changed a setting. from what is happening.

Some problems that can occur with external monitors include:

  • Display a black and white image
  • Displays blurry or incorrectly scaled images
  • Inaccuracies and color problems occur.

Have an overview of some of the things that can go wrong, sound familiar? If so, follow the process as we discuss some possible solutions to these problems.

No picture: the screen is black or another color

Whenever the external display shows black or other solid colors, it usually indicates a problem with the display signal, but not always. It could also mean there is a power issue, eg.Brightness is too low, or something else. After turning on the external display for the first time (because nobody ever forgets), here are some things to check:

Are the monitors compatible?

With many 4K and 5K displays, you'll need a Mac with a powerful graphics card to drive that many pixels. A general rule of thumb is that most modern Macs made after 2013 support such a high resolution (but not all). you can goApple technical specifications page, select your Mac and see which displays it supports.

Is your brightness the lowest?

I am guilty of this. Once, while watching a movie in the living room, I used the MacBook Pro as a video source for the HDTV, then turned the MacBook Pro's brightness all the way down so I could focus all my attention on the TV. When I unplugged the cable, I thought my MacBook Pro screen was broken because the screen went black. What a fool, I forgot to turn the brightness back on. This can also happen on external displays. So press itMando + F2on your keyboard.

Check the power plug on the external monitor

Hey, something went wrong! If you live in an earthquake-prone area or if you always have noisy children running around, the plug is bound to fall out. Check to make sure the external display connector is not loose or connected.

Connect the Mac laptop power supply

Some Apple laptops don't have enough power to drive the extra pixels of an external display. If you're using an Apple laptop such as a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, one of the things Apple suggests you try is plugging in the power adapter to give it extra power.

reset the video connection

Eliminate the possibility of a loose display connection by disconnecting the display cable and reconnecting it properly. Loose connections can prevent proper electrical connections and can cause problems with external displays.

Are you using the correct port?

This doesn't work on most Macs, but on Late 2013 Mac ProsIt can be more demanding.Make sure your monitor is connected to the correct port.

Avoid video adapter chains

Apple states that connecting two incompatible video adapters to make your Mac compatible with one or more external displays can cause problems. it doesn't work at all. If possible, remove one of the adapters and avoid chaining them together.

Does the display work with other connections?

Try another computer or video source to see if the display works with this video connection. If not, the problem may be with the display itself, not your Mac.

Is the video cable broken?

Those cheap $0.99 eBay HDMI deals are great for the wallet, but they tend to have a short lifespan. Try a known good video cable and see if the problem persists. It's usually just a matter of replacing the video cable that connects the external display to the Mac.

(Video) Fix- External Display Isn't Detected When Connected to your MacBook M1

The resolution of the external display does not seem correct

Screen resolution issues can cause image problems. Due to resolution issues, your image may appear blurry or scaled incorrectly.

Normally, when you connect an external display to your Mac for mirroring, your Mac automatically adjusts its own screen resolution to match the external display. Sometimes things don't go so well. Not all resolutions translate well to other resolutions, which can cause scaling issues, making some things look stretched or too tall.

Set the resolution manually

You can manually adjust the screen resolution, which you can do from System Preferences on your Mac. From the menu bar go to  >System Options>ScreenAnd adjust the resolution setting until it looks comfortable on your eyes.

Having trouble with an external display on your Mac? try these steps (2)

Select default resolution

If you're already using scaled resolutions, maybe that's why your image looks weird in the first place. Try setting your monitor to use the default screen resolution in the same preference panel above.

related:How to manage external display settings on Mac

Reset NVRAM and SMC

Apple also recommends resetting NVRAM and SMC if you're having resolution issues with your external display. The resolution setting is only one type of information stored in NVRAM, thereforeReset the NVRAMIt can help determine what they should do. The Mac's SMC handles display management and DisplayPort ports on the Mac andReset your SMCResolution issues can be resolved.

Change the analysis settings to safe mode

Sometimes you may not be able to change external display settings during normal startup. If this happens to you, Apple recommendsStart your Mac in safe modeSee if the settings can be reset to defaults.

Check for software updates for your app

Some apps may appear blurry at times. If you're using a Mac with a Retina display, you need to make sure you have the latest software. If only one app appears blurry, check the Mac App Store or the developer's website for a newer version of the app that can support Retina displays.

Check for new drivers for your monitor

If all apps on the screen appear blurry, your screen may need a driver update. Check out the Mac App Storerenewtab or the manufacturer's website for the latest driver software. Sometimes newer versions of macOS may include pre-installed drivers, so make sure your macOS is always up to date.

Color issues on external displays

Sometimes display issues aren't related to unavailable or scaling performance issues, but to color. Maybe your color scheme doesn't look right, the pixel areas on your screen don't look right, or your screen isn't calibrated. Regardless, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot color issues with your Mac's external display:

Use your monitor's color profile

Επίσκεψη>System Options>exhibitFrom your Mac's menu bar, you can accesscoloursection and select the color profile that suits you best. Sometimes different external displays look better with different non-factory color profiles. Experiment with these settings until you see something you like.

Having trouble with an external display on your Mac? try these steps (3)

Screen color calibration

If none of the defaults in the list work for you, try clicking the Calibrate button on the Color tab in the external display's display settings. This will allow you to calibrate your monitor's colors and give it custom color settings.

Find the compare button

Many third-party, non-Apple external displays have a custom contrast button. You can usually press these buttons on your screen to adjust the contrast and make it easier to distinguish colors.

find the color button

Like the contrast button, some third-party, non-Apple external displays have RGB buttons that allow you to manually set the display's red, green, and blue levels. If the screen is too orange for you, give it a little more green and blue. If you think it's too blue, give it some more orange and green.

adjust your brightness

The brighter the screen, the richer the colors, since more light means more visibility. Your eyes use light to distinguish colors. try to useMando + F2keyboard shortcut or try to find the brightness button on your screen.

change view mode

Apple notes that some third-party displays have "Display Mode" and "TV Mode". Monitor Mode will provide the richest colors for your PC experience, and if you're using an external monitor as your monitor, you should probably set it to Monitor Mode. Not all monitors have this feature, but you should check with your monitor manufacturer or instruction manual for more information.

Do you have dead, glowing or weird pixels?

Apple refers to dead or bright pixels on the screen aspixel anomaly.This happens when a single pixel on the screen malfunctions and continues to output color incorrectly or at all. It can also happen when a foreign object gets caught between the display glass and the pixels. If the display is made by Apple, they can have it repaired at an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. If it is a third-party monitor, you should contact the manufacturer.

Having trouble with an external display on your Mac? try these steps (4)

(Video) How To Fix Lag on External Monitor (Mac OS)

Fixed Mac external display issues

Here are some of the most common problems that can occur when using an external display with your Mac. Hopefully, after trying the steps listed here, you'll be able to use your external display like you thought you would.

If you found this tutorial helpful, we would greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to explain what went wrong in the comments.

Additional Mac troubleshooting guides:

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  • iCloud contacts missing or not syncing with Mac? Here are 11 fixes
  • 5 Ways to Fix Your Mac Screensaver Stuck or Refused to Turn Off
  • How to Fix Globe Icon with Exclamation Mark on Mac


Having trouble with an external display on your Mac? try these steps? ›

Make sure the cable connecting your PC to your external monitor is secure. Try changing the cable connecting the external monitor. If the new one works, you know the previous cable was faulty. Try using the external monitor with a different system.

How do I get my Mac to recognize an external monitor? ›

Connect one or more external displays with your Mac
  1. Choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Displays in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.) Open Displays settings for me.
  2. Click the. pop-up menu on the right (below the name of your Mac), then choose your display.

Why are my external Displays not working? ›

Make sure the cable connecting your PC to your external monitor is secure. Try changing the cable connecting the external monitor. If the new one works, you know the previous cable was faulty. Try using the external monitor with a different system.

Why wont my Mac connect to an external monitor? ›

Unplug the cable from your Mac and plug it in again. Unplug the cable from the display and plug it in again. Check the correct input is selected in the display's settings. Turn off the display and then turn it on again.

Why is my external display not working Mac? ›

Disconnect your monitor's adapter for at least ten seconds and then reconnect it. If the problem persists then you can disconnect your adapter, turn off your Mac, plug in your adapter, and then turn on your Mac computer.

How do I get my computer to recognize my external monitor? ›

Method 1 - Manually detect Monitor settings
  1. Click on the Start button to open the Settings window.
  2. Under the System menu and in the Display tab, find and press the Detect button under the heading Multiple Displays. Windows 10 should automatically detect and other monitor or display on your device.

Why is my monitor connected but not displaying? ›

Turn the display off and then on again. That may be all it needs to recognize the video feed and start displaying it correctly. Verify cable connections: A loose cable can cause “no signal” errors more often than any other problem. If they do seem well secured, unplug them and plug them in again just to be sure.

How do I enable external monitors? ›

Select Start , then open Settings . Under System , select Display . Your PC should automatically detect your monitors and show your desktop. If you don't see the monitors, select Multiple displays , then Detect.

Are all external monitors Mac compatible? ›

Most monitors that use standard HDMI, USB-C or DisplayPort interfaces are compatible with Macs, but BenQ has a number of displays that also include Thunderbolt 3 and are specifically designed for Macs.

How do I get my Mac to recognize HDMI? ›

Choose Apple menu > System Settings (or System Preferences), then click Sound. In the Output pane, make sure that your HDMI device is selected. If you're connecting from a Mac mini, disconnect any audio device from your computer's headphone jack.

How do I get my computer to recognize my second monitor? ›

To detect a second monitor manually on Windows 10, use these steps:
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Display.
  4. Under the "Multiple displays" section, click the Detect button to connect to the external monitor.
Jan 30, 2023

How do I get my external monitor to work? ›

Plug your display into an outlet and press its power button. Once you attach your external display to your laptop with the appropriate cable (or adapter and cable), you may be required to press some keys on your keyboard for it to function properly. This shortcut key varies based on the laptop brand you own.


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