I run two external displays off my macbook pro 16" but when I'm not working, I much prefer disconnecting from them and using my MBP as my sole screen. Constantly disconnecting them from the ports is a pain in the butt (since i have one plugged into each side of the computer) and I fear it will wear on the jacks. I figured turning off the display's power would do the trick...but it does not. The displays go black (obviously) but the macbook still thinks its connected to them and I can still mouse off screen etc. What's the hack here?
One option is to use SwtichResX
SwitchResX is the most advanced tool for Apple computers to take control of any screen connected to the Mac. No matter whether a MacBook Screen, an external monitor, a Retina display, a TV set or a beamer: SwitchResX can handle them all – if you want, straight from the menubar, a contextual menu or both. It's that easy!
It works as you need.
Yeah, this is annoying. I use my external monitor for meetings, but otherwise prefer just the macbook screen. The mouse goes off the screen, and notifications go to the turned-off monitor.
The best I've come up with is making it easy to unplug the monitor with this outlet switch: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QKPBZX1/. It works because the outlet is right by my chair.
With this setup (laptop via usb-c to docking station; docking station to monitor via hdmi) I can keep everything connected and just click one switch for monitor on/off.