How to Add a Display on Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Adding a display to your Mac can significantly enhance your productivity and overall computing experience. Whether you’re a designer, developer, or simply someone who enjoys having more screen real estate, connecting an external monitor is a simple process. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to add a display on Mac and make the most out of your dual-screen setup.

Step 1: Gather the necessary equipment

Before we dive into the setup process, let’s make sure you have all the required equipment:

  • A Mac computer with an available Thunderbolt or USB-C port
  • An external display or monitor
  • The appropriate cable or adapter to connect your Mac to the display (e.g., Thunderbolt to HDMI cable)

Step 2: Connect your Mac to the external display

Once you have all the necessary equipment ready, follow these steps:

  1. Power off both your Mac and the external display.
  2. Connect one end of the cable or adapter to your Mac’s Thunderbolt or USB-C port.
  3. Connect the other end of the cable or adapter to the appropriate port on your external display.
  4. Power on both your Mac and the external display.

Note: Depending on your specific setup, you may need to adjust some additional settings. We’ll cover that in Step 3.

Step 3: Configure display settings on your Mac

Now that you’ve successfully connected your Mac to an external display, it’s time to configure its settings:

Arrangement and resolution

By default, your Mac will mirror the display on both screens. If you want to extend your desktop and use the external display as an additional workspace, follow these steps:

  1. Go to “System Preferences” from the Apple menu.
  2. Select “Displays.”
  3. Click on the “Arrangement” tab.
  4. Uncheck the “Mirror Displays” option.

Once you’ve disabled mirroring, you can drag and arrange the displays according to your preference. You can also adjust the resolution of each display individually by selecting it from the Display pane.

Scaling and text size

If you find that text or icons appear too small or too large on either screen, you can customize their sizes:

  1. Go to “System Preferences” from the Apple menu.”
  2. Navigate to the “Display” tab (if not already selected).
  3. Adjust the “Resolution,” “Brightness,” or “Text Size” sliders according to your preferences.

Experiment with these settings until you achieve a comfortable visual experience across both displays.

Step 4: Arrange windows and optimize productivity

Now that your external display is set up and configured, it’s time to make the most out of your dual-screen setup:

  • Drag windows between screens: Simply click on a window’s title bar and drag it from one screen to another. This allows you to organize your applications and workflows more efficiently.
  • Use full-screen apps: Many apps on Mac support full-screen mode, which can be handy when you want to focus on a specific task on one screen while keeping other apps visible on the other.
  • Take advantage of Spaces: Spaces is a macOS feature that allows you to create multiple virtual desktops. You can assign different applications or windows to each space, making it easier to switch between tasks.

Experiment with these features and find a workflow that suits your needs best.


Adding an external display to your Mac is a fantastic way to boost productivity and enhance your overall computing experience. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you should now have a fully functional dual-screen setup. Remember to adjust display settings according to your preferences and explore additional features like Spaces for optimal multitasking.

Enjoy the expanded workspace and take your productivity to new heights!

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