How to fix Mac not detecting display

Working on a MacBook is great when you’re on the go or don’t have to watch a lot at once. But the moment your tasks get more complicated, you really want to be able to see the big picture to get things done.

Whether you’re creating layouts, working with multiple windows open, or just want your content to be large and easy to navigate, we’re here to help you connect your MacBook with an external display.

Second Mac monitor not showing

If you’ve connected a second monitor to your Mac, but it’s not showing up, there’s no need to panic. In this post, we’ll address known issues and discuss what can help fix them. You’ll find out how to make your Mac recognize an external monitor and where to check the connection.

Was your previously connected second monitor not detected after a reboot? Don’t worry, you can still fix it. And if you just plugged in the second monitor, she blinked, but then no signal seems to come through, that doesn’t mean it’s over.

Let’s see what can be done to try to fix the problem.

How to fix Mac not detecting display

Depending on the nature of the connection problem causing the external display issues on Mac, the solution might be different, so let’s try them all one by one.

Check physical connection

If no signal is coming through once your monitor is connected to your MacBook, start by checking to see if you have the correct cable and inspect the cable and connectors for physical damage. Next, check your ports – dust or particles can cause problems with the connection.

Cheap or damaged cables can not only prevent your Mac from detecting an external display, but can also cause additional problems in the future, such as signal interference or an unstable connection.

To be 100% sure your cables are working properly, try them on a different Mac + monitor combination, and if they work fine, try connecting your Mac to a different monitor. While this may not be possible for everyone trying to troubleshoot this issue, we recommend performing this step when possible.

Note that some adapters may require their own software to initiate the connection between your Mac and the monitor; otherwise, the Mac won’t be able to detect the screen. So check with your display manufacturer for detailed instructions.

Prepare your Mac

Like many other minor errors, sometimes the issue of your MacBook not recognizing an external monitor is resolved with one of two very simple steps: restart your Mac and/or update its software.

To restart your macOS, click the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your Mac screen and select Restart… Confirm by clicking Restart in the pop-up window.

To check if your Mac requires a software update, go to System Preferences… > Software Update .

If an update is available, you will see the new version of the software and an Update Now button . Click on it to start the update.

If you see the message “Your Mac is up to date,” you don’t need to do anything.

Change display settings

Your external display is likely to be much larger than your MacBook’s monitor, so a change in your display settings might help fix any inconsistencies.

To set a new screen resolution, go to System Preferences… > displays > Resolution: > select Flaky and select one of the options on display:

Also, try increasing the screen brightness in case the default brightness on your external display is too low.

If you are connecting more than one external monitor, check if your device supports this feature. Your Mac may not detect a monitor simply because there is a limit to the number of connected displays.

You can find this information on the official Apple website. Technical specifications page . Simply copy and paste your Mac’s serial number into the search bar and hit Enter .

Control your external displays

DisplayBuddy is a tool that helps you control external monitors from your menu bar. If you don’t want to access your monitor every time you need to adjust its brightness, contrast, or volume, use DisplayBuddy for quick actions.

✕ Remove app banner

Do you need to do more than connect an additional display? Connect to a remote computer with Screens and work on your tasks from anywhere.

✕ Remove app banner

Final Thoughts on Mac Screen Detection Issue

A second or even a third monitor can make all the difference in your daily work on your Mac. Sometimes you need a bigger screen just to view entertainment content, but most of the time it helps avoid being overwhelmed by all the open windows. that you have to juggle, makes drag and drop much more efficient and allows you to see all the detail you need in your designs or projects.

If your Mac doesn’t detect a second monitor, it’s usually a benign problem. Simply double check your connectors and adapters, restarting or updating your device can easily fix the problem. However, if after all the steps we’ve outlined in the previous article, your MacBook still doesn’t detect an external display, it might be time to go for service.

Once you’ve got your monitor set up and there are no more issues, you can use tools like DisplayBuddy to make your multi-display setup even more manageable. The app helps you control your external displays from the menu bar.

You can try DisplayBuddy together with another application that we mentioned in the article, Screens for remote access to your device, in Tecnologar. This one-time subscription service gives you access to over 230 apps for Mac and iOS, all with a single payment. Don’t worry about multiple bills, just your multiple screens! Give Tecnologar a try with a 7-day free trial and see what apps you can add to your daily routine.


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