How do I disable the auto-switch or specify an external display?

When the connection is made, your laptop may automatically switch to the new external display.

Best way to hook up two monitors

Or, you may be required to press one or more keys on the laptop's keyboard to activate the external display. The activation key sequence can vary depending on the laptop, but is typically one of the following: For example, pressing the Fn and F7 keys at the same time could switch between your laptop and external display.

The Ideal Solution for Newer Laptops: Thunderbolt

Consult your laptop's manual if you can't find the key. If you are still having trouble, or you need to download a copy of the manual, contact your laptop manufacturer , or visit their website.

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For computers with macOS X Then, press and hold the Option key. In the bottom right corner of the Displays window, you should see a Detect Displays button. Click that button to force the macOS to look for any external displays that are connected to the computer.

CNET How to: Add a second monitor to your computer

Many laptops can output video to the both the laptop's LCD and the external display, or restrict output to only one of them. Laptops with this feature can toggle between the two modes when the appropriate function key is pressed. See these links for additional details and pictures of these connectors.

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Newer laptops may also have a DisplayPort , which can be used to connect external display devices that utilize a DisplayPort cable. If your laptop is connected to a docking station , there should be a VGA or HDMI port on the back of the docking station for a monitor. Depending on the docking station, the laptop may have to remain open for a dual monitor display. Some docking stations have two ports for connecting two monitors, allowing for a dual monitor display even with the laptop closed.

How to Set up Dual Monitors on an Apple Computer

Check how many displays your Mac supports: On the web page that appears, the number of displays your Mac supports appears under Video Support. Extended desktop Video mirroring AirPlay. Turn on extended desktop mode Make sure that your external display is powered on and connected to your Mac.

Select the Arrangement tab. Arrange your displays or change your primary display So that you can move apps and windows across your displays in one continuous motion, arrange your displays to match the setup on your desk. Arrange your displays or change the primary display: To arrange your displays, drag one of the displays where you want it. A red border appears around your display as you arrange it.

To change your primary display, drag the white bar to another display. Use video mirroring With video mirroring, all of your displays show the same apps and windows.

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Turn on video mirroring Make sure that your external display is powered on and connected to your Mac. Make sure that the Mirror Displays checkbox is selected. To turn on AirPlay, follow these steps: Make sure that your TV is powered on.