How Many Monitors Can a MacBook Pro Support

There are many different ways to utilize all of the capabilities of your MacBook Pro.

These computers can allow you to accomplish a wide variety of tasks with ease and speed, making them a favorite among many people for personal and professional reasons alike. You might have purchased your MacBook for a specific reason and are not even yet aware of all that it can do.

One feature of a MacBook Pro that can be really useful and is just good to know is that it can support multiple monitors. This means you can run several different screens from your laptop computer.

This feature can be useful if you use any sort of software where multiple screens can be useful in certain situations where you find easy to multi-task.

How Many Monitors Can Your MacBook Pro Support?

The exact number of monitors your MacBook Pro can support depends on the model and year in which it was made.

The most recent MacBook Pro’s can support up to 4 external displays at 4k resolution or 2 monitors at 5k resolution. This is pretty impressive and a nice feature to have if you’re in the need for multiple monitors.

If you don’t have a MacBook from the last several years, you might not be able to support quite as many monitors as the newer models. It’s easy to check the capabilities of your computer from the Apple website.

First, you need to get your computer’s serial number which can be found on the backside of your computer or by going to the About This Mac tab in the Apple menu on the top-left corner of your screen.

If you have your serial number you can go to the Apple website to enter it and find out the exact specifications of your computer. If you go through the About

This Mac tab, click on the Support tab when the window pops up and it will take you to all of the specifications of your computer including how many monitors it can support.

Why Use Additional Monitors?

External monitors can be useful in a variety of situations and are a nice feature of your MacBook Pro.

One common reason to use an extra monitor is to utilize the size of the screen on a larger display. This comes in handy if you are watching movies or playing games on your computer. A larger display can make the experience more enjoyable, allowing you to see the images on a grander scale that many people really like.

Another reason to use multiple monitors is if you are using any sort of software program where you can utilize multiple screens to your advantage. I personally do a lot of audio production work with Logic Pro X and having the ability to use multiple screens at once can really improve my workflow and productivity. It is really nice to have one screen set up as my main mixer for audio and another with external plugins or other tools that aid in my recording.

Similarly, if you edit video or photos often, or are a professional at this, multiple displays can help you get your work done. While it is possible to use a single display that’s built into your computer, the ability to have multiple screens running at once can really benefit you if you are looking for any sort of professional or creative capacity.

How to Use Multiple Monitors with Your MacBook Pro

If you want to use multiple monitors with your MacBook Pro, it’s pretty easy to get things set up for this and working.

A good thing to know when getting started with this is that you can either use an extra display to mirror the image on your main screen or you can set things up as extended desktop mode to have different workspaces on different displays.

First things first, you should check your requirements on your computer and external displays to make sure you have the right cables to make the connection.

If you don’t, you might need to get an adapter a specific cord to allow your computer to connect to a display or to multiple displays. After you have the right cords and are sure that your MacBook can support the extra displays you want, follow these next steps to get everything to work:

For Screen Mirroring:

  1. Connect your computer to the extra monitor or monitors.
  2. Go to the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  3. Click on System Preferences.
  4. Click on Displays.
  5. Click on the Arrangement tab.
  6. Click on the Mirror Displays checkbox.

For Extended Desktop:

  1. Connect your computer to the extra monitor or monitors.
  2. Go to the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  3. Click on System Preferences.
  4. Click on Displays.
  5. Click on the Arrangement tab.
  6. Make sure the Mirror Displays checkbox is not checked.
  7. Arrange your multiple displays however you want them to be arranged.

Final Thoughts

Utilizing multiple monitors can be great for a number of reasons and it is a really awesome feature on a MacBook Pro.

I use this feature all of the time and it comes in handy both for personal and professional uses. I like the ability to use a larger display when I need or want to while also having the portability that a smaller laptop computer offers.

I’d recommend trying to use an extra monitor at some point just so you are familiar with how to set it up.

Have you ever used additional monitors with your MacBook Pro? What did you use them for?

6 thoughts on “How Many Monitors Can a MacBook Pro Support”

  1. I have used additional monitors with my mac pro. the extra real estate comes in very handy when developing documents and doing cutting and pasting from one document to another. It easily cuts down my development time in half.

    Reply
  2. I’ve got a MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) running Catalina 10.15.3 (cant upgrade OS since its a work laptop) and 3 external monitors. All 3 external monitors are connected and working fine.

    All external monitors are connect via a HyperDrive GEN2 USB-C Hub 18-in-1. In particular the HyperDrive has 2 HDMI ports and 1 VGA port (all of which I am using). The HyperDrive is connected to my Mac via a USB-C port.

    My MacBook has 4 x USB-C ports and seemingly no other ports.

    I want to extend the display to all 3 monitors (like I can on Windows).

    When I choose to extend the displays via … System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement tab and then uncheck “Mirror Displays” … It extends the display on the laptop monitor to the 3 external monitors, however, the display on the 3 external monitors duplicates/mirrors the display on the other external monitors (but not the laptop monitor).

    I don’t want any of the displays to be duplicated! Is this possible on Mac out the box or is there any software to support this?

    I read here … https://hypershop.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044788432-Does-the-12-or-18-port-allow-me-to-display-multiple-monitors- … that:

    “Mac OS only supports Single Stream Transport (SST) meaning it can only support one extended display over a single USB-C connection. The 2nd display will a mirror of the 1st display.

    Windows OS supports Multi-Stream Transport (MST) on supported computers and can support 3 extended displays over a single USB-C connection.”

    So I’m starting to lose hope that I can achieve what I want on my Mac which is 4 extended displays (including the laptop monitor). Any thoughts or help on this? many thx

    As a bonus question, if there’s no solution with my current setup, would connecting multiple monitors over multiple USB-C ports allow me to achieve my goal?

    As a second bonus related question (but of less immediate importance to me), is it possible to connect a monitor directly to a USB-C port or is a HyperDrive always needed? thx again

    Reply
    • Yes, connecting multiple monitors over multiple USB-C ports allow me to achieve your goal. I currently have 3 monitors running on my macbook pro.

      Reply
    • You don’t need a hyper drive. Just get a USB-C to HDMI adapter to plug each extra monitor into. If you need to power through one of the ports or want additional USB ports get any USB hub that has power pass thru (check the rated wattage to ensure it covers what you need) and the ports that you need alongside a HDMI port.

      Reply

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