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I have a 13" retina MacBook Pro and an Acer X223W external display, connected via an official Apple Mini DisplayPort > VGA adapter. The Acer is set to 1680x1050 (its default resolution).

I wanted to adjust the colors on the Acer, so as a start I hit the physical Auto button on the display. As soon as I did this, the image on the display jumped over to the left by about 2". So the image is now cut off on the left, leaving a big black gap on the right.

If I switch the resolution to anything else, e.g. 1440x900, it'll fill the display like normal again. But if I switch it back to 1680x1050, it gets shifted over to the left again.

I tried adjusting the horizontal position of the image with the display's on-screen controls, but (a) it was already set to 50/100 (which should be the center), and (b) the maximum value of 100 doesn't move the image far enough to the right to eliminate the gap. So that apparently isn't the issue.

I also tried:

  • Restarting/rebooting the laptop
  • Turning the external display off and back on
  • Unplugging the Mini DisplayPort > VGA adapter and plugging it back in
  • Restarting/rebooting with the adapter unplugged, then plugging it back in
  • Repairing permissions
  • Repairing color profiles
  • Using different color profiles (including one downloaded from Acer's website)
  • Forcing OS X to detect displays (System Preferences > Displays, hold Option and click the "Detect Displays" button)
  • Resetting PRAM
  • Plugging the adapter into the laptop's other Thunderbolt port
  • Switching the arrangement of the displays
  • Changing which display is the primary
  • Enabling/disabling mirroring
  • Resetting the display via the OSD's built-in reset function
  • Hitting the Auto button again

None of those steps made any difference.

Then I tried plugging the adapter into a different MacBook Pro entirely (non-retina 13"). Amazingly, it does the same thing – the image shifts 2" over to the left at 1680x1050.

I'm running OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 on both MacBook Pros if that's of any relevance, but it seems like the issue is with the display itself since everything was perfectly fine until I hit the Auto button.

Furthermore, if I take a screenshot of the external display, it captures the full image. So that suggests the laptop is outputting the image to the display correctly, but the display itself is showing it off-center.

I've found other forum threads that suggest using a different adapter (e.g. DVI instead of VGA), but given that I've always used this display at 1680x1050 with the same adapter, I know it works...

I'm at a loss as to what else I can try to get the image to reposition correctly. Any help appreciated!

  • Getting the same thing, running Yosemite (10.10.5), except that the screen is shifted about two inches to the right. Occasionally it works correctly, but I'm unable to discern a pattern nor find a fix. Sadly my monitor is an AOC and doesn't have an auto button. Only works in 1920x1024 resolution, which is the only resolution that this monitor/computer displays in the correct proportions. Sigh. – Scott Biggs Mar 27 '18 at 6:42
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Solved it! I had to plug the adapter into my non-retina MacBook Pro, then hit the Auto button on the monitor. It readjusted itself and moved the image back to the center of the screen. Now it's plugged back into my retina MacBook Pro and working perfectly.

So I guess it's some kind of weird issue between the retina MacBook Pro specifically and the monitor, since the non-retina MacBook Pro is running the same version of OS X (10.9.4).

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I had the same problem but with an iMac and a second monitor, where the second monitor, on applying a custom resolution, shifted the screen 2 inches right.

Unplugging the monitor from the back of the iMac, and plugging it back in adjusted the shifted screen back into place.

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VGA is analogic, so you have to use Auto function of your monitor to calibrate it's correct size/position. You can also set it from the monitor's OSD control.

  • I addressed both of these things specifically in the question. Hitting the Auto function is what caused the whole problem to begin with, and the manual adjustment doesn't let me move the image far enough to get it back in the correct position. – daGUY Jul 22 '14 at 14:46
  • @daGUY Reading your response above, this means that it could had been adjusted with OSD control. Auto option doesn't have a bigger offset option than OSD control. – denisvm Jul 24 '14 at 3:00

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