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Use external monitors with your Mac

Learn how to connect another display to your Mac and choose how your displays work together.

MacBook Pro and Pro Display XDR together showing macOS desktop

Check display support

You can connect one or more external displays depending on your Mac model. To find out how many external displays your Mac supports, check its technical specifications: 

  1. Choose Apple menu  > About This Mac.
  2. Click the Support tab.
  3. Click Specifications.
  4. On the webpage that appears, the number of displays your Mac supports appears under Video Support or Graphics.

If you're using a Mac with Apple silicon, you can connect a single external display to your Mac using one of the Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports. Docks don't increase the number of displays you can connect as an extended desktop. On Mac mini (M1, 2020), you can connect a second display to the HDMI port.

Connect your display

Connect your display to power, then connect your display to your Mac. Check the ports on your Mac to find out whether you need an adapter.

Change display options

After you connect your display, you can choose to extend your desktop or mirror your displays.

Use extended desktop mode

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Displays.
  2. Click the Arrangement tab.
  3. Make sure that the Mirror Displays checkbox isn’t selected.
  4. Arrange your displays to match the setup on your desk. To change the position of a display, drag it to the desired position. A red border appears around the display as it's moved.
  5. To set a different display as the primary display, drag the menu bar to the other display. The primary display is where your desktop icons and app windows first appear.
    The Arrangement tab of Displays in System Preferences

Mirror your displays

  1. Make sure that your external display is turned on and connected to your Mac.
  2. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Displays, then click the Arrangement tab.
  3. Make sure that the Mirror Displays checkbox is selected.
    The arrangement tab of Displays in System Preferences with Mirror Displays enabled

Use AirPlay

With Apple TV, you can use your TV as a separate display for your Mac. Learn how to use AirPlay to mirror or extend your Mac display.