Connect one or more external displays with your Mac
Depending on the capabilities of your Mac, you may be able to connect multiple displays. You may want to do this to make it easier to work in multiple programs, switch between the things you’re working on, or just have more screen space.
Before you begin
Before you can connect your Mac to a display, you need to determine a few things:
What kind of video ports your Mac has.
How many displays your Mac can support.
Whether or not you have the right cables.
With this information, you can connect your displays to your Mac.
Step 1: Identify the video ports on your Mac
Before you can connect displays, you need to know what type of video ports your Mac has. The ports you have determine what kind and how many external displays you can connect, and how you connect them.
Use the table below to determine what video ports your Mac has.
What it looks like
Type of port
Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), Thunderbolt / USB 4, and Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C)
Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2
For more information, see About the video ports.
Step 2: See how many displays your Mac supports
Next, you need to determine whether your Mac supports the number of displays you want to connect.
For Mac computers with the Apple M1 Chip: You can connect a single external display to your Mac. Docks don’t increase the number of displays you can connect. On a Mac mini with M1 chip, you can connect a second display to the HDMI port . See the Apple Support article Mac computers with Apple silicon.
For Mac computers with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) : You can connect a single display to each port. If you connect multiple Thunderbolt devices to each other, the Thunderbolt 3 display must be the last device in the chain. If your Thunderbolt 3 display has USB ports, those can be used for data and power.
For Mac computers with Mini DisplayPort : You can connect up to two displays. A DisplayPort device must be the last device in a chain of connected Thunderbolt devices.
For Mac computers with Thunderbolt, or Thunderbolt 2 : You can connect up to two displays. If the displays themselves have Thunderbolt ports, you can connect one display to another, and then connect one of the displays to a Thunderbolt port on your Mac. If your Mac has two Thunderbolt ports, you can connect each display to separate Thunderbolt ports on your Mac.
For Mac computers with Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) and HDMI ports : You can connect up to eight external displays to your Mac, depending on your Mac model.
To get more detailed information about the type of video display your Mac supports, check the tech specs for your Mac: Choose Apple menu > System Settings, then choose Help in the menu bar. Choose [your Mac’s name] Specifications, then scroll down to Display Support or Video Support (depending on your Mac).
Step 3: Make sure you have the right cables and adapters
If your displays come with cables that match the ports you want to use on your Mac, you can use those cables to connect the display to your Mac.
If your displays don’t have cables, obtain cables that fit the available ports on your Mac and displays.
If you have display cables, but their connectors don’t match the ports you want to use on your Mac, you may be able to use an adapter.
See the Apple Support article Adapters for the Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, or USB-C port on your Mac to identify what type of adapter you need, see what it looks like, and learn what it can be used for.
Step 4: Connect your displays to your Mac
Connect your displays to your Mac using the identified video ports, cables, and adapters (if needed).
After your displays are connected, you may want to adjust their settings. Choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Displays in the sidebar to see your displays’ settings, including resolution, brightness, and color profile. You can also decide whether to extend or mirror your Mac desktop across multiple displays across your external displays.
If you have a third-party display, check the documentation that came with the display to get more information on the display’s video ports and cables, and to make sure you’re connecting the display according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.