M1 MacBook Dual Monitor Setup That Works

M1 and M2 MacBooks don't support more than one external monitor natively

We have listed all the devices that will let you connect two or more external displays to your Mac

Last updated: November 2022Visualisation of connected monitors via Dell D6000

How to do it?

  1. Get yourself any adapters/hubs/docks from our curated list (below).
  2. Install required DisplayLink drivers.
  3. Grant DisplayLink Manager the "Screen Recording" permissions (System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Screen Recording).
  4. Connect the monitor to the device.
  5. Configure the monitor as you typically do in the System Preferences -> Displays.
👉 read full post about Dell D6000

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Browse 30 MacBook-compatible devices


Multiple external monitors - the hardware limitation in M1 & M2 Macs

Everyone knows how powerful the new M1 and latest M2 MacBooks are, but until you try to organize your workstation, you don't know a "little" surprise is waiting for you.

Unlike previous generations, new M1-powered or M2-powered MacBooks and Macs only support one additional monitor natively.

With all these great devices can offer, the support of only one extra monitor natively makes your work much more difficult.

Fortunately, there is a workaround. On this page, you will find all the information on connecting more than one additional monitor to organize your workstation precisely as you need it.

New Apple M1 chip visualisation

3 possible workarounds that will let you connect at least two external monitors

Setup #1 - Connecting multiple displays by using Docking Station (recommended)

Connecting multiple monitors is most convenient via the docking station. Most docking stations have built-in Power Delivery; thanks to this, we can limit ourselves to only using one cable plug into the MacBook. It is the most reliable and, at the same time, the most expensive solution. So if you use your Mac for work - don't save on the docking station. With some devices you can connect up to 5 displays!

dock configuration schema

Setup #2 - Connecting two or more monitors using USB-C Hub

Using a USB-C HUB is a solution we recommend to users who frequently travel or change their workstations. Hubs are available at a reasonable price and will help you connect many two or more monitors.

hub configuration schema

Setup #3 - Using USB-A adapter(s) (not recommended)

Adapter(s) are connected to the USB-C Hub and, the USB-C Hub is plugged into your MacBook. This configuration is the most convenient when we want to connect only two external monitors, one of which is connected natively via a DisplayPort or HDMI to USB-C cable, which we plug directly into the MacBook, and the other through the Adapter - to the Multiport. But for three and more displays, we recommend these Docking Stations or USB-C Hubs.

adapter configuration schema

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General overview of device types

Which will best suit your workflow?

AttributeAdapterHUBDock
Neat Cable Management
Power Delivery
Mobility

Frequently Asked Questions

How many displays can you connect to an M1 MacBook Pro?

With the devices listed above, you can connect up to 4 display monitors: 1 native + 3 externals via DisplayLink technology.

How many displays can you connect to an M2 MacBook Air?

M2 MacBook Air came out with the same limitation of only one natively supported external monitor.

How do I connect multiple monitors to my M1 (or M1) MacBook?

You have to have a device that supports DisplayLink technology.

Why can I not connect more than one display to my Apple M1/M2 MacBook?

To a surprise to many, new M1 (and M2) MacBooks have hardware limitations of only one native display.

Why is my Mac not detecting displays?

If you have a MacBook powered by an M1 or M2 chip and you are trying to connect the second additional display - you are blocked by the hardware limitation of new Macs.

I have bought the required adapter/dock/hub - what do I do now?

Refer to DisplayLink page, select your operating system and download the required drivers (DisplayLink Manager).

How do I connect a USB Type-A adapter to my M1/M2 MacBook?

You need USB-C Multiport Adapter to do so. But If you don't have it already, we suggest considering hub or a docking station instead.

Is there a way to connect multiple displays to my M1/M2 MacBook?

Yes - it's possible BUT only with specific devices. We have listed most of the compatible ones above.

What is DisplayLink technology?

DisplayLink technology creates a "simulated" display to overcome hardware limitations. Refer to the official site or this article for more information.

Will quality get decreased by using an adapter/dock/hub?

Overall quality is suitable for daily use. There could be a slight difference between a natively connected display and a software accelerated one. Most devices can run 2.5k at 50-60 Hz - check those details directly on a product page.

What is a Docking Station?

In short: "A docking station is a device that connects to a laptop and provides additional ports for connectivity (...)" read more here.