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I have a 2017 MacBook pro w/ touchbar and the Dell WD 15 dock (work issued it to me). The dock has thunderbolt, HDMI, and VGA on the back. A single USB-C cable comes off of the dock.

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The issue I have noticed is that if all three of my monitors are plugged into the dock, the Mac only recognizes them as a single monitor so its just 3 monitors mirroring my MacBook.

Currently, I had to solve this by using a dongle for two of the monitors, leaving only one hooked up to the dock.

This is not that ideal, for cable management and the fact that USB-C is supposed to be able to handle multiple monitors.

Are there any driver updates or hacks I can apply in order to get these monitors to be independent and not show up as a single monitor? Is this an Apple limitation in place or something else?

Edit: Use this link to install the drivers and the DELL Dock will start working Drivers

  • I've a 2017 15" Macbook Pro connected to the Dell WD15. I've a Dell P2416D monitor connected. It's running at 2560x1440 60hz through the mini-displayport. Other USB accessories (keyboard/mouse/hard drive) are detected and working fine as well. However, I can't get the ethernet to be recognized. On the Mac System Preferences Network panel, the 'Thunderbolt Bridge' is saying not connected; the link and activity lights of the ethernet port are lite (left with orange and right with blinking yellow). – k.c. sham Feb 13 '18 at 20:15
  • @k.c.sham Do your monitors support MST? dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln293813/… And if so, can you try that to see if it'll support multiple monitors? – gh0st Jun 6 at 15:15
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Allright, just confirmed that this product is not fully compatible with a MacBook. The dock doesn't communicate powerinfo with the Macbook so doesn't supply it with enough power. (Charging takes more than 10 hours.) Other peripherals do work.

USB: Works

Ethernet: Works

Display: VGA/Displayport/HDMI Works

Very low powersupply Network Works

  • Any audio via the headphone jack works? Doesn't seem to for me – Joe Phillips May 23 at 21:11
  • @JoePhillips Do your monitors support MST? dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln293813/… And if so, can you try that to see if it'll support multiple monitors? – gh0st Jun 6 at 15:14
  • @ghost MST is not supported on macOS, it will not work. – jksoegaard Jun 6 at 16:58
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This is a hardware limitation.

I tested Dell WD 15 with my 2016 Macbook Pro 15. I used VGA and HDMI to connect my 2 monitors with Dell WD15 but Mac recognized both monitors as one.

Later, I connected one monitor with Dell WD15 and another monitor directly with my mac through USB-C to VGA and it worked fine.

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First off the dock actually does not have Thunderbolt as you write - it is instead a mini-DisplayPort connector. Dell has a much similar product called TB15 which has Thunderbolt support. The WD15 does not. Note that TB15 was discontinued/recalled because of stability issues, and a newer product named TB16 is now available.

Dell does not support macOS for this product, so they do not express any guarantee that it is supposed to work with your MBP running macOS.

Dell writes on their support page (linked below) that the dock does not support 3 monitors in "extended mode" (i.e. each monitor is independent). With a 3rd display connected via VGA that display will always be in "clone mode" (i.e. just a mirror of another monitor).

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln296829/how-to-use-and-troubleshoot-the-dell-dock-wd15?lang=en

This seems to be a hardware limitation, and thus no driver changes or software hacks will ever allow you to run 3 independent displays.

In addition to this, your MacBook Pro does not support MST (multi-stream transport) via the USB-C cable you plug in. MST is required for this dock's "extended mode" to work even with just two monitors.

I would recommend buying a dock that specifically supports your Mac. For example the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD, although it will still only allow connecting 2 ordinary (i.e. non USB DisplayLink) monitors to the dock.

  • Do your monitors support MST? dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln293813/… And if so, can you try that to see if it'll support multiple monitors? – gh0st Jun 6 at 15:15
  • @ghost They're not my monitors. Also, macOS does not support MST at all, so it doesn't matter if the monitors support it. – jksoegaard Jun 6 at 16:58
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For my 2017 MacbookPro 15" using Dell WD15 as a docking solution, external display with a Dell P2416D is working out of the box through mini-displayport. Gigabit Ethernet requires me to download a driver from Realtek here. Download the version for MacOS as shown below. Power charging is slow (approx. 1hr to go from 80% to 100%), but at least not draining power.

Download the driver for 'Other' OS

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While searching for a solution to this very same issue and testing things out I discovered that while running Windows 10 via Bootcamp, the single USB C cable will support 2 external monitors (each as extended desktops), Power, & USB peripherals (Keyboard, Mouse, external HDD). Charging does seem a little slow but not terrible (approx. 20min to go from 80% to 100%). So seems more like a software issue then a hardware issue.

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protected by Community Dec 5 '18 at 10:38

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