I have a Dell monitor which supports VGA - so I am using a VGA cable, VGA to HDMI adapter, and the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (Apple) to connect to my MacBook Air 2020 (running macOS Catalina Version 10.15.5).

However, the screen on my MacBook keeps flickering - in the Displays window (under System Preferences) I can see it detects the monitor and then loses connection very quickly.

I tried the same setup with an older MacBook Air 2015 (running macOS Catalina 10.15.4) - the only difference was that I did not need a USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter, instead I used a HDMI to Mini DP adapter. And it worked like a charm!

Is there any reason the newer MacBook Air would cause a problem?

P.S - to troubleshoot this better, I connected the MacBook Air 2020 with a monitor that supports HDMI with the Multiport Adapter and an HDMI cable - and it worked smoothly without any flickering.

  • Your cabling info is very confused. Signals run from the computer to the monitor, so that's how you should describe your cabling.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 15:37
  • It could also be a bad VGA cable. But IconDaemon is correct about using too many adapters. Try swapping the VGA cable or reversing its direction by swapping the ends. Also try swapping the VGA to HDMI adaptor. I’ve not seen a monitor without DisplayPort in over ten years. See if you have a DisplayPort connector on the Dell and get a USB-C to DisplayPort cable. Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


Using two or more adapters in series is not recommended. While not dangerous, they rarely work, or at best, work badly. Find the right adapter for your needs.

I've used this Belkin adapter and this one, to connect different USB-C Apple laptops to a small selection of VGA-only monitors.

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