So I've started working with an external monitor connected to my MacBook Pro trough a elgato thunderbolt 2 dock. I've made the external monitor my primary monitor, and since it's ultrawide I rarely use the macbook's monitor, where I usually just have some chats open, or just the wallpaper. The problem is that I don't want to use the macbook in clamshell mode, because I need the extra screen space anyway at least a couple of time during a working session, and because the macbook needs to be connected to the charger. So my question is, or better are

  • Is there a way to have a screensaver only on my macbook monitor, which is the secondary monitor. Or better
  • Is there a way to turn off (not lower the brightness) the monitor automatically without putting the mac to sleep?

Third party softwares are ok.


These question didn't help me for the following reasons:

Ability to automatically dim secondary monitor when focus on primary

Dimming the backlight of the macbook monitor, while it helps with focusing on the primary monitor, doesn't mean the pixels get refreshed since the display itself it's still on. And the point of having a screensaver is just that, to refresh the pixels.

Is it possible to show a screensaver on a secondary monitor while using the primary monitor?

This is a moving wallpaper, not a screensaver, meaning that all the windows will sit on top of it. If I have several windows open on the MacBook monitor, it's possible that the wallpaper isn't even visible. A screensaver on the other hand will display over the windows and go away when the focus (keypress, mouse click etc) returns to the monitor showing all the windows underneath.

Can I change the brightness on a secondary display?

Kinda related to the first one, dimming the monitor doesn't do anything for the pixels.


  • 1
    A post being "pretty old" doesn't mean that it doesn't solve the problem. What have you attempted and what were the results?
    – Allan
    Feb 14, 2019 at 21:58
  • I've tried the first two proposed solutions. Dimming the windows doesn't help since it's the backlight that gets dimmed, the pixel itself doesn't refresh. Having a screensaver as background beside being an annoyance I need to turn on and off, not mentioning the fact that it gets set on both screens. Besides, that doesn't solve the problem per se. Every window open will sit on top of it, meaning that if I have the whole desktop full there's no difference. I would like a way to have the second screen behave like the external screen wasn't connected to the macbook.
    – Muffin
    Feb 15, 2019 at 0:44
  • Please edit your question to explain what you have tried, what the result was, and why it doesn't solve your problem. "not helping" and "pretty old" don't help to find better answers. This answer on Meta explains this in more detail.
    – nohillside
    Feb 15, 2019 at 7:00
  • I've edited my question to explain why those question with related answers don't solve my problem.
    – Muffin
    Feb 15, 2019 at 10:03


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