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I have an Early 2015 13" MacBook Air with Intel HD Graphics 6000 1536 MB. I'm trying to figure out what its capabilities are in terms of connecting two external monitors.

First, if I just used the two external monitors and did not use the MacBook Air's built-in monitor, what is the maximum resolution I could run both external monitors at simultaneously? For example, could they both do 1080p resolution, or perhaps higher? And does it matter whether I use the built-in monitor? (I've scoured the internet looking for information about this but haven't found anything so far!)

Second, is there a device I can use just for connecting two external monitors via DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort to the MacBook Air's Thunderbolt 2 port, other than an expensive general purpose Thunderbolt 2 dock like one of these? I should add that I'm not interested in using devices that connect to a USB 3 port and use a DisplayLink driver.

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Just for posterity I'll answer my own question:

After doing quite a bit of searching around, I eventually figured out that the easiest and cheapest way to accomplish this would be to use the StarTech brand Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station. Even with a MacBook Air, you can still plug in two external monitors simultaneously. I found reports that it works as advertised. Note that I have not purchased one and tried it myself, though.

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  • Hi! I have the same setup, looking to connect a Cinema display and a Thunderbolt display to an early 2015 13" MacBook Air. Did you ever try this out? Thanks! – Don Jan 28 '19 at 16:17
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If anyone is still interested-- a great way to get dual monitors for the MacBook Air (early 2015) 11" (in my case) is to utilize the Thuderbolt port for one of the monitors...... and then use an old Apple TV and use AirPlay for the second.

Ultimately, you'll need to know how to use your Apple TV to cast your MacBook Air onto another display (e.g., a TV), but when you do (while already being connected to one display through your Thunderbolt port, you can find the option to 'Use As Separate Display' when you click the "screen cast" icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

Using this method, you can get 3 screens in total:

  1. The Thunderbolt port monitor
  2. The Apple TV-connected monitor
  3. Your MacbookAir's monitor

Hope this helps someone (and I hope I capitalized all my proper nouns correctly).

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  • Just want to know if you or anyone else has successfully set this up? – Avery-Dante Hinds Mar 11 at 0:54
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The MacBook Air (Early 2015) can natively support a single external display with a resolution up to 3840x2160.

From the Technical Specifications:

Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 3840 by 2160 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors.

To get a second external monitor, you will need a USB to DVI or HDMI or VGA adapter.

I should add that I'm not interested in using devices that connect to a USB 3 port and use a DisplayLink driver.

You have to. The integrated graphics chipset only supports a single external monitor so you need another adapter to support an additional monitor; there's no getting around this.

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    The Apple technical specifications frequently don't include all the capabilities of a device, though. For example, it is (allegedly) possible to connect two external monitors to a Macbook Air via its thunderbolt 2 port by daisy-chaining thunderbolt 2 devices (meaning you need either two thunderbolt 2 docks or one of the monitors needs to be a thunderbolt monitor). But I don't know what the limitations of such a setup are, or if there's a less expensive way to accomplish it! However if the MacBook Air can support a single 4K monitor, it can surely handle two 1080p monitors. – GuyGizmo May 18 '18 at 19:24
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    However if the MacBook Air can support a single 4K monitor, it can surely handle two 1080p monitors. That's not the way it works. It comes down to bandwidth (display port channels) supplied and the MBA simply doesn't have the bandwidth to daisy chain two monitors. It can support one external monitor, period. – Allan May 18 '18 at 19:27
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    I've always found a few reports by users saying they were able to get two external displays working via Thunderbolt daisy-chaining. – GuyGizmo May 18 '18 at 19:42
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    So if your research shows yes, then go do it... – Solar Mike May 18 '18 at 20:28
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    Buy from Amazon (or somewhere else) with a 30 return policy. If it doens't work, return it. If it does, then awesome. Either way, write it up here so others will know. – Allan May 18 '18 at 21:32
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Sharing this in case anyone finds it useful. You can get 2 thunderbolt displays, plug the thunderbolt end from one of them into the other thunderbolt display's port, then plug that display's thunderbolt end into the MacBook Air's thunderbolt 2 port.

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I used a white GE Thunderbolt adapter from Walmart to connect a to a VGA monitor. Then I used an Apple TV 4K box with AirPlay from my 2015 MacBook Pro to an HDMI monitor hooked up to the Apple TV. It works like a charm and is not that expensive; under $100

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  • I heavily edited your post so that it focuses on the answer, not the unimportant details. Answers that are not direct and easy to follow tend to get down voted. Also, you want to be specific as to what adapter you used "GE brand, white from Walmart" isn't a very helpful description for someone looking to try your solution. Consider putting in the model or part number of the adapter. – Allan Feb 19 '20 at 18:26
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I have the same computer and situation as most people here. Buy this adapter and it will work: j5create USB to HDMI Adapter - Dual HDMI USB 3.0 Multi-Monitor Cable | 4K Ultra HD | Compatible with Microsoft 7, 8.1, 10 / Mac OS X v10.6 and Above https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XKWTXX9/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_VT0H466QDJRKF58XMJ25?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Install the driver in the instruction booklet before you insert the adapter into your computer. After you install the driver, restart your computer. After you restart your computer, go to system preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy again > Screen Recording > then check the box for DJTVirtualDisplayAgent. You will need to restart your computer again. After the second restart, you are good to insert the adapter, plug in your HDMIs and rearrange the digital screens. This saved my life and it is the solution to this problem. Spreading the gospel.

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Any definitive answer on this one? I have a 2015 Macbook Air 11" with one 27" Thunderbolt Display. I'm considering getting a second one (used, obviously), I like them and my MBA couldn't handle 4K or anything more modern anyway.

Any success stories with daisy-chaining here?

Thanks!

Edit: I did connect my TV as a second monitor using Apple TV as suggested above, it works, but 1) the TV is in a different room, I would need to move my desk, unpractical and 2) I can't seem to adjust the definition to be satisfactory (ok for videos from a distance, not so much for reading a text). Any suggestions are welcome!

Edit 2: I have the answer to my own (and the original) question: yes, I can confirm that a Macbook Air 11-inch, Early 2015, 2,2 GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB can in fact support two daisy-chained Apple Thunderbolt 27" monitors. I have just purchased a second-hand second one (I had bought my first one ten years ago and I was still perfectly satisfied with it), hooked it up and it works perfectly. No fans spinning, lots of real estate, great stuff! Absolutely recommended!

It may not be the least expensive solution, but it's so easy, no need for any tweaking, adaptors, changing settings anywhere, it just works! As far as I'm concerned the only way to go for a dual screen solution on MBAs (or MBP, haven't tried, but if an MBA supports it an MBP will too), especially now that you can get an Apple Thunderbolt Display for half what they cost when they first came out.

To anyone wanting to follow suit: go ahead and enjoy!

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