I use my Mac a lot to show movies or play video games on a larger display without a keyboard or mouse attached.

How can I set up my Mac so that it continues to display to an external screen when closed without a keyboard or mouse attached?

  • There’s no easy way to avoid closed clamshell. Why not connect a mouse to get your functionality?
    – bmike
    Feb 9, 2020 at 21:21
  • @bmike When going from place to place such as campus screens or a friends house, it doesn’t make sense for me to carry around an entire keyboard and mouse at all times.
    – Libra
    Feb 10, 2020 at 0:47
  • You’re using the wrong tool for the job. Since this functionality is outside of macOS and part of the hardware, you have two choices: use a travel mouse as it’s small and cheap, or get a Mac mini.
    – Allan
    Feb 10, 2020 at 14:52
  • @Allan There is definitely a way to do this, there always is. I understand now though that there is definitely no native way to do it
    – Libra
    Feb 10, 2020 at 15:20
  • Does this answer your question? Prevent Mac to sleep when lid closed on Mojave
    – Edd Growl
    Feb 17, 2020 at 9:02

1 Answer 1


I would connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse if you can’t have physical cables connected.

This function is in firmware, so you’d need to engineer a solution to change Apple’s conditions for closed clamshell mode.

  • Bluetooth mouse and keyboard are still physical haha. I am open to third party software
    – Libra
    Feb 10, 2020 at 0:43

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