All possible configurations of connecting multiple displays to M1 MacBook

Diagram of connecting multiple monitors via Adapter(s).

Connecting adapters that do not have a USB-C output is possible only by using a USB-C Multiport / Hub. Adapter(s) are connected to the USB-C Hub, and the USB-C Hub to 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

Diagram of connecting multiple monitors via USB-C Hub.

Connecting multiple monitors to the MacBook M1 using a USB-C HUB is a solution that we especially recommend to users who frequently travel or change their work stations. Hubs are available at a good price and will help you to connect many monitors to the M1, as well as allow you to connect an SD card or a projector when the need arises.

hub configuration schema

Diagram of connecting multiple monitors via Docking Station.

Connecting multiple monitors to the MacBook M1 is most convenient via the docking station. Most of docking stations have built-in Power Delivery, thanks to which we can limit ourselves to only use one cable that plugs into the MacBook. It is the most reliable and, at the same time, the most expensive solution. If you use your Mac for work - don't save on the docking station.

dock configuration schema

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many displays can you connect to a MacBook Pro?

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

  • How do I connect multiple monitors to my M1 MacBook 2020?

    You have to have device that supports DisplayLink technology.

  • Why I cannot connect more than one display to my Apple M1 MacBook?

    To a surprise to many, new M1 MacBooks have hardware limitation of only 1 native display.

  • Why is my Mac not detecting displays?

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

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

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

  • How do I connect USB Type A adapter do my M1 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 MacBook?

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

  • What is DisplayLink technology?

    DisplayLink technology creates a "fake" display buffer in RAM in order to overcome hardware limitations. Refer to the official site or this great article for more information.

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

    Overall quality is good for a daily use. There could be a slight difference between natively connected display and software accelerated one. Most of the devices can run 2.5k at 50-60 Hz - make sure to 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 provides additional ports for connectivity (...)" read more.