MBP 2015 13, 10.12.2

I want to use an external display via HDMI and turn off my Macbook Pro's display. How can I do it?


There is another question: How do I turn off laptop display when I have an external display?, but I don't think this one should be marked as duplicate.

Its 2017 now and the old question has answers from 2011-2014.

The other thing is - that the old question has also links to other answers and solutions. With this question we have answer with 2 variations of how to do it in one place.

  • 2
    Are you using the internal keyboard and mouse at the same time with the external display or an external keyboard and mouse with the external display? If the latter, just close the lid on the MacBook as an external display, keyboard and mouse will work with the MacBook in clamshell mode. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 15:01
  • 1
    @user3439894 I would use the internal keyboard and mouse if it possible
    – MikroDel
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 16:30
  • 1
    @MikroDel Can't you just turn down the brightness all the way then?
    – owlswipe
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 16:58
  • 1
    @owlswipe please update your answer with this information. It will have than both variation - I will accept it. thanks :)
    – MikroDel
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 17:05
  • 1
    The update needs to be edited - remove the "this isn't a dupe - that's for Ask Different Meta discussion" just make exactly clear how the current situation is materially different from the linked question (keep the link though). If the only difference is old - we strongly prefer to close as dupe and get the correct answer in the old thread.
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


Using an external keyboard and mouse/trackpad

You can use Closed Clamshell Mode. This is a feature built in to Macbooks that allows you to use them like desktop computers, with the lid closed and using a monitor as your only screen.

You'll need:

To put your MBP into Closed Clamshell Mode:

  • Connect your keyboard and mouse/trackpad to the computer
  • Plug the computer into power
  • Connect it via HDMI or Thunderbolt to the external monitor
  • Close the lid
  • OR place a weak magnet next to your trackpad (the sensor for closed lid detection is there & magnetic) for better cooling (I use an old iPad case)

Once in Closed Clamshell Mode, the Macbook's screen will turn off and it will still be outputting picture to the monitor. Read more on Apple's support page.

[![enter image description here][1]][1]

Using the built-in keyboard and trackpad

You can dim your Macbook's screen all the way down (just press brightness down repeatedly) and then connect the Macbook to your monitor with HDMI. Your screen will be off but the keyboard and trackpad built into the Macbook will still be on and available. Optionally, you can download the free app Amphetamine to keep your Mac from sleeping.

enter image description here

  • 70
    Unfortunately, "turning down the internal monitor" is not a solution. When you dim the screen, it does not go off, you just cant see what's on it. when a window opens on this screen for example, its invisible - you can't find it. You have to keep putting the brightness up, moving the window, the putting the brightness down. We still need a way to use the keyboard and FPR and having the screen disabled. This is such a basic feature which is missing. Also, frequently when you close the lid, it's not possible to get the machine to come back on with USB keyboard and mouse. Commented May 21, 2018 at 7:12
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    @JohnLittle is correct. Only the monitor backlight gets turned off, not the actual screen. Another solution would be preferable since keeping the screen opened helps keep the laptop cooler. Commented May 30, 2018 at 4:40
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    @JohnLittle But that's the only solution that actually works. The clamshell mode will stall my wifi speed to a few mbps (while it's 150 mbps when lid is open).
    – LWZ
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 19:03
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    @JohnLittle if you have one external display, you can set display to "mirror", so then when you dim the laptop screen - you don't really lose much. Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 22:53
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    @TamikSoziev thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I have 2 x 32" external monitors, so mirroring is not an option in this case. Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 10:31

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