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How to connect two or more external displays to Apple Silicon M1 or M2 Macs

Apple’s variety of MacBooks that use the company’s very own Silicon M1 or M2 processors can’t natively join a couple of outside reveal, that is a large problem at the preceding Intel-primarily based totally technology of Mac laptops that would run  presentations whilst linked to a USB-C or Thunderbolt three docking station or hub.

The M1 Pro and M1 Max do guide more than one outside presentations, so proprietors of those Mac laptops can relax.

We was hoping the M2 might lose the M1 problem, however it survives on the obvious M2; whilst to be had, assume the M2 Pro and M2 Max to guide greater presentations, similar to their M1 siblings.

  • M1 MacBook Air: Maximum one outside show
  • M2 MacBook Air: Maximum one outside show
  • M1 MacBook Pro: Maximum one outside show
  • M1 Pro MacBook Pro: Maximum  outside presentations
  • M1 Max MacBook Pro: Maximum 3 outside presentations

However, there are methods round this undeniable M1/M2 problem, permitting you to run  outside presentations off an M1/M2 MacBook, which we are able to define right here. There’s a software program motive force plus dock workaround and a hub/adapter workaround. 

With the software program workaround, there are a few dangers concerned as you’ll be required to put in third-birthday birthday celebration drivers, and those may later be unsupported via way of means of destiny updates of the macOS. And you’ll probably have to shop for as a minimum one adapter, wherein formerly a dock plus a show cable in line with outside display screen might have sufficed.

The hardware answer entails a dual-HDMI adapter that calls for a bit tinkering in System Preferences at setup.

If you waited for Apple’s contemporary 14in or 16in M1 Pro M1 Max MacBook Pro fashions, you’re in success as those laptops do guide more than one outside presentations. Laptops with the M1 Pro can connect with up to 2 outside presentations with as much as 6K decision at 60Hz, at the same time as MacBooks with the M1 Max can join to 3 outside presentations with as much as 6K decision and one outside show with as much as 4K decision at 60Hz.

M1/M2 proprietors, begin saving for a brand new MacBook Pro or examine on.

External presentations: huge trouble for M1 and M2 Macs

Apple’s Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro 13in have been the primary Macs to function the Apple-designed M1 CPU. They obtained rave opinions for his or her velocity enhancements over Intel-primarily based totally laptops, along with right here on Macworld.

See our contrast of the 13in MacBook Pro (M1) vs MacBook Pro (Intel) and MacBook Air (M1 Silicon) vs MacBook Air (Intel). We have additionally checked out the variations among the Mac mini (M1) and Mac mini (Intel), and study what we will assume from the brand new M2 Macs.

But in case your MacBook setup consists of jogging a couple of outside show, you’ve got got a primary trouble. Apple’s M1 or M2 chips in reality won’t don’t forget it—as a minimum natively.

Apple states withinside the M1 and M2 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro tech specifications that they guide handiest “one outside show with as much as 6K decision at 60Hz”.

Apple M1 and M2 Display Support tech specifications


While the M1 and M2 MacBooks natively guide simply one reveal, the M1 Mac Mini does natively guide up to 2 outside monitors—one thru the HDMI port and a 2nd thru USB-C. But the M1 fashions of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro guide handiest one outside show.

Apple has seemingly promised to restore the trouble in a destiny macOS update, however the appearance of the later M1 Pro and M1 Max—and greater these days the M2—propose that M1 proprietors can be ready a protracted time. We have this manual to Monitors for M1 Macs and what you want to realize earlier than buying. We additionally cowl the fundamentals of a way to join your Mac to an outside reveal.

Workaround #1: set up DisplayLink software program drivers

You can use a aggregate of show technology to get across the M1/M2 MacBooks’ unmarried-reveal problem. This ought to paintings with maximum third-birthday birthday celebration docks, even though a few manufacturers, which include Caldigit, don’t suggest it.

For example, Plugable’s multi-show docks use a aggregate of local USB-C Alternate Mode (local “Alt Mode” video output) and DisplayLink era. This aggregate serves as a workaround to the M1/M2 platform helping handiest a unmarried outside show thru USB-C.

Note that DisplayLink calls for a third-birthday birthday celebration motive force to be established at the Mac. There are one of a kind variations of the DisplayLink motive force, and a few deliver their very own compromises to the birthday birthday celebration.

The DisplayLink macOS app or DisplayLink Manager app are methods of allowing DisplayLink era on macOS. The app is to be had as a standalone installer in place of thru the mac App Store.

Plugable UD-ULT4K dock M1 Mac

Plugable docking station and 3 outside presentations thru DisplayLink.

  1. First, down load the contemporary Mac DisplayLink motive force.

DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity App v. is well suited with macOS Catalina 10.15, macOS eleven Big Sur and macOS 12 Monterey. It may be controlled thru the DisplayLink icon withinside the Apple Menu bar.

The macOS calls for the consumer to permit “Screen Recording” so as for DisplayLink gadgets to paintings properly. This may be observed in System Preferences beneathneath Privacy in Security & Privacy; navigate to Screen Recording withinside the listing at the left, then tick the Screen Recording permission for DisplayLink Manager after unlocking the padlock the usage of your admin password. You can also additionally want to cease and restart DisplayLink Manager afterwards.

More in-intensity information on DisplayLink Manager beneathneath macOS Big Sur, Catalina and Monterey, on this DisplayLink guide page.

Installation is straightforward. Older variations did now no longer guide laptops’ closed-show/Clamshell mode, however does guide Clamshell mode if the MacBook is Intel-primarily based totally jogging macOS 12 or if the MacBook is M1-primarily based totally jogging macOS eleven or 12.

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