When in my office, I want to disable the internal display of my 16" MBP 2019 since it's disturbing and uses extra resources.

The Windows solution would be pretty simple: WIN + P > external display only

I cannot figure out how to do the same on MacOS

Not a fix is

  • Just turning down the brightness
    • it keeps turning back on
    • the monitor is still used and everything is rendered on two resolutions
    • even though it's very dark, you can still see the contents
  • Closing the lid
    • I want to be able to use trackpad, touch-id, keyboard, touchbar
  • Using a magnet
    • couldn't figure where to place the magnets

I already wasted hours trying to find a solution and it seems to be such a trivial problem to solve ...

my setup

  • 1
    I think this has been covered quite in depth here already. In your searching - what post was the one you felt was closest to your ideal solution? apple.stackexchange.com/questions/269853/… shows many ways on older gear. With the T2 chip, your answer may be a simple no - you don't get this as it's not implemented in the SMC. Also - even if this is a duplicate, I'm going to +1 this - it drives people to become emotional since their expectations are not satisfied by the design.
    – bmike
    Jun 8, 2020 at 11:52
  • There’s unfortunately (still) no work around for this and the only thing twe can really do is submit feedback to Apple at apple.com/feedback. I’ve done this myself and even had the opportunity to show an Apple Engineer the usefulness of the feature with a Dell laptop who promptly disagreed with me. I fear this is an uphill battle.
    – Allan
    Jun 8, 2020 at 14:07
  • @bmike the first post is indeed a similar question, I haven't found this one before, sadly it has no solution. But I would consider my explanation of the problem with the image above a little better :). The other post and the posts linked subsequently do not contain a suitable solution or workaround.
    – themenace
    Jun 8, 2020 at 14:36
  • @Allan just used the feedback button as well. Let's see if they will think again after many people have the same issue.
    – themenace
    Jun 8, 2020 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


At the risk of being publicly wrong, this isn't something that's easy. macOS just wants you to close the clamshell to put off the screen. I understand you understand and reject this solution, but it's the only practical one we know of today.

I believe that people that used to do that at work with space for two large displays now may work from home and we'll see lots of changes as a result of common pain points, but there will need to be a change in the operating system to make this easy.

The closest you could get is using bluetooth / usb keyboard and trackpad but you'll lose the physical trackpad / physical Touch ID and the task bar when you close the lid.

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