How to Use Two Monitors on a Mac

By KR Knowlin

In late 2008, Apple introduced a new-form, external display technology for the Mac OS: the mini DisplayPort. The mini DisplayPort replaced the DVI interface Apple used on their older machines. External displays allow users to add comfort, style and more functionality to their workspaces. Set your dual-monitors to mirror each other or use them to display two unique workspaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Mini DisplayPort adapter or
  • Mini DisplayPort to mini DisplayPort cable

Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort

Step 1

Plug one end of your mini DisplayPort cable into the mini DisplayPort of the external monitor.

Step 2

Insert the other end into your Mac's mini DisplayPort slot. The ports are small and rectangular.

Step 3

Turn on your Mac computer.

VGA to Mini DisplayPort

Step 1

Connect your external monitor's VGA cable into the VGA slot on the display. Tighten the knobs of the connector base to attach the cable to the monitor.

Step 2

Connect the other end of the VGA cable to the VGA end of your mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter. Tighten the knobs of the VGA connector base to secure it to the mini DisplayPort adapter.

Step 3

Plug the mini DisplayPort end of the adapter into the mini DisplayPort on your Mac.

DVI to Mini DisplayPort

Step 1

Connect your external monitor's DVI cable into the DVI slot on the display. Tighten the knobs of the connector base to attach the cable to the monitor.

Step 2

Connect the other end of the DVI cable to the DVI end of your mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter. Tighten the knobs of the DVI connector base to secure it to the mini DisplayPort adapter.

Step 3

Insert the mini DisplayPort end of the adapter into the mini DisplayPort on your computer.

HDMI to MiniDisplayPort

Step 1

Connect your external monitor's HDMI cable into the HDMI slot on the display. Tighten the knobs of the connector base to attach the cable to the monitor.

Step 2

Insert the other end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI end of your mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter.

Step 3

Insert the mini DisplayPort end of the adapter into the mini DisplayPort on your Mac.

Edit Settings

Step 1

Open "System Preferences" on your Mac.

Step 2

Click on "Displays" under the Hardware section. The Displays dialogue will launch.

Step 3

Click the "Arrangement" tab at the top of the window next to the Display tab. If the Arrangement tab is not available, click the "Detect Displays" button in the bottom-right of the window. Your Mac will detect the external display and the Arrangement tab will appear

Step 4

Rearrange the displays by dragging the onscreen representations to the position where you desire them.

Step 5

Relocate the menu bar by dragging it from one of the onscreen display representations to the other.

Step 6

Select the "Mirror Displays" check box at the bottom-left of the window if you want both monitors to display the same thing.

Step 7

Exit the "Displays" setting window by clicking the "Close" button at the top-left area of the dialogue.