How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac

Go to System Preferences -> Displays. Choose the ‘Arrangement’ tab. Click and hold on the white bar at the top of the current primary display. Drag the white bar across to the other monitor you want to set as the new primary display.

How to make your external monitor your main monitor (Mac)

How to Use Multiple Monitors on Your Mac

Now that you’ve arranged your monitors on your desk, plugged them in, and turned them on, it’s time to consider the software side of things. This is how you create a consistent experience between displays. You want your mouse cursor to flow naturally from one display to the other, and in the sequence in which they are arranged.

Furthermore, if you put even more strain on your hardware with GPU-intensive tasks, like video editing, the drop in performance will be even more pronounced. If you use your Mac for these types of tasks, an external GPU (eGPU) might provide the extra power you need to drive external displays and get the job done.

Thunderbolt 3 monitors are another great choice. They use a simple “active” Thunderbolt 3 cable, which usually simultaneously charges your laptop. Apple’s official cables are $40 and “officially” supported, but you can find cables that cost half that online, like these from Zikko. Just make sure you get a certified, 40-Gbps cable that supports up to 100-watt charging.

Search for your exact model on Apple’s website (e.g., “MacBook Pro Retina mid-2012”), and then click “Support” to reveal the technical specifications sheet. Under “Graphics and Video Support” (or similar), you should see something like, “Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display, and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on up to two external displays.”

If you set the dock on the side of the screen where your external monitor connects to your MacBook or iMac, the dock appears on your external display regardless of what you do. You can’t “force” the dock to stick to your iMac or MacBook display. You either have to live with the dock at the bottom of the screen, change your display arrangement, or look at your external display to use the dock.

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