I am running Mac OS X (Version 10.10.5) on a MacBook Pro (13 Inch, Mid 2010) and want to arrange an external monitor of the same type to different positions.

First, let me explain my setup:

  • monitor at my office: DELL U2312HM (located above the MacBook's screen)
  • monitor at home: DELL U2312HM (located left of the MacBook's screen)

As you can see, I am using different monitors of the same type (they have different serial numbers displayed in the System Overview window). However, they are located either above or left of the internal screen.

Since the only way I know to arrange an external monitor is draging the blue boxes in the monitor section of the system preferences, I need to do this every morning after connecting my monitor in the office and every evening after coming home. The monitor arrangement does not depend on the monitor's serial number but on the model since saving the arrangement of different models works as desired.

So is there a way, a hidden setting, a hidden setting accessible through the terminal or even a third-party app which enables different monitor arrangements for the same monitor model but based on the monitor's serial number as shown in the system overview?

The behavior which seems to be a system default is very annoying and does not feel very apple-like.

3 Answers 3


I wrote a free terminal tool called displayplacer that lets describe your monitor layout as a terminal command. I then use BetterTouchTool to execute these profiles via hotkeys. It solved the same problem for me of using the same model monitor at work (in portrait mode) as at home (in landscape mode).

For example, on my 4 monitor setup at home I have this profile: displayplacer "id:A46D2F5E-487B-CC69-C588-ECFD519016E5 res:3840x2160 hz:60 color_depth:8 scaling:off origin:(0,0) degree:0" "id:F466F621-B5FA-04A0-0800-CFA6C258DECD res:1440x900 color_depth:4 scaling:on origin:(-1440,1437) degree:0" "id:4C405A05-8798-553B-3550-F93E7A7722BB res:1440x2560 color_depth:8 scaling:off origin:(3840,-363) degree:270" "id:18173D22-3EC6-E735-EEB4-B003BF681F30 res:1920x1200 color_depth:8 scaling:off origin:(960,-1200) degree:0"

Also available via Homebrew brew tap jakehilborn/jakehilborn && brew install displayplacer


There is a product out there that will remember your monitor configurations - it's called Stay

From their website:

Stay can store a set of windows for every combination of displays that you use with your computer. Stay can also be configured to automatically restore windows as displays are connected and disconnected.


This appears to now be built into the operating system (as discovered when I asked the same question): Is there a way to automate the movement of application windows to assigned monitors?

Thanks to @Hefewe1zen for their answer:

Place the application window on the desired screen. 
Then right click its Dock icon -> Options -> Assign To -> (select desired target)

These functions are especially helpful if you use Spaces.

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