Is there a way to connect my MacBook Pro to two external monitors (either VGA or HDMI; no Thunderbolt) in such a way that the Mac screen serves as a third monitor?

What hardware do I need?

  • The internal screen is always going to revert to being primary, if the others are disconnected. For Hardware, try Google
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 9, 2015 at 18:54
  • So you want to know which hardware to use and how to use the mac displyay as another monitor? I mean, set one of the external displays as the main one? Jul 9, 2015 at 19:38
  • It really does not matter to me if it is the main or secondary. As long as it behaves the same as in My Linux's Gnome desktops. Jul 10, 2015 at 2:10

3 Answers 3


To get a three screen setup (two external screens, and laptop screen) connected without daisy chaining Thunderbolt displays, you need:

  • One external monitor hooked up to the Mini DisplayPort
  • One external monitor hooked up from USB to DVI

I am assuming you already have the first item taken care of as it is the easiest. So, let's focus on the second one:

You need something like the Diamond BVU195 HD USB 2.0 to VGA / DVI / HDMI Adapter. This will give you your "display adapter" for your second external monitor.

Now, you would set your primary monitor the same way you would in a dual monitor setup. This article from OS X Daily details it nicely.

When you disconnect, as was mentioned in one of the comments above, your main display will revert back to the laptop screen.

That's it. You're done. But if you want to see this working, check out this YouTube Video.



Yes, there is a way, in fact I have my rMBP connected to a monitor right now via HDMI.

Firstly, I suggest HDMI, because that's what I have and it works well for me. :)

  1. Connect the Macbook (from now on, MB) to the monitors.
  2. Open up System Preferences.
  3. Select Displays (2nd row, 1st item). 3a. You will be greeted with a window for each monitor This is monitor This is MB

  4. Select Arrangement for the MB window (2nd tab)

  5. Turn off Mirror Displays 5a. If you ever want to mirror on a whim, turn on "Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available".
  6. Arrange your monitors using the blue rectangles. This is how mine is set up.

I hope this answers your question!


Some MacBook Pros only allow 1 external monitor. The way to get around it is with adapters (see the article "How to connect two or more external displays to an M1 or M2 MacBook") and drivers. Many places on the internet suggested using USB adapter hubs with DisplayLink as a driver. Unfortunately, DisplayLink didn't work for me, but when I used the same adapter hub with InstantView, it worked straight out of the box.

Personally, I used the EZQuest USB-C Hub 12-in-1 USB-C Docking Station, one of my monitors is plugged into the VGA input, and the other into the HDMI input.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .