I've got a MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) running Catalina 10.15.3 (cant upgrade OS since its a work laptop) and 3 external monitors. All 3 external monitors are connected and working fine.

All external monitors are connect via a HyperDrive GEN2 USB-C Hub 18-in-1. In particular the HyperDrive has 2 HDMI ports and 1 VGA port (all of which I am using). The HyperDrive is connected to my Mac via a USB-C port.

My MacBook has 4 x USB-C ports and seemingly no other ports.

I want to extend the display to all 3 monitors (like I can on Windows).

When I choose to extend the displays via ... System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement tab and then uncheck "Mirror Displays" ... It extends the display on the laptop monitor to the 3 external monitors, however, the display on the 3 external monitors duplicates/mirrors the display on the other external monitors (but not the laptop monitor).

I don't want any of the displays to be duplicated! Is this possible on Mac out the box or is there any software to support this?

I read here ... https://hypershop.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044788432-Does-the-12-or-18-port-allow-me-to-display-multiple-monitors- ... that:

Mac OS only supports Single Stream Transport (SST) meaning it can only support one extended display over a single USB-C connection. The 2nd display will a mirror of the 1st display.

Windows OS supports Multi-Stream Transport (MST) on supported computers and can support 3 extended displays over a single USB-C connection.

So I'm starting to lose hope that I can achieve what I want on my Mac which is 4 extended displays (including the laptop monitor). Any thoughts or help on this?


No, second screens are addressed as separate windows and not spanned. You can run 6 plus displays on the macOS window manager even without external GPU, so it’s not about ports or cables or protocols. It’s the window manager design you’re fighting.

This came about in Mavericks and there’s no sign Apple is reversing decision on this.

The best you can do is in mission control, enable displays have their own spaces.

You also might be very happy with an external GPU since it simplifies cable management and unlocks performance far past the MacBook Pro / Intel chipset alone can deliver.


It turns out my MBP ports were TB3 ports not USB-C ports.

Herein Type C refers to a cable that supports USB-C and TB3.

I solved this by simply buying cables as follows:

External Monitor 1 ... Type C (MBP TB3 port) ---> HDMI Cable (Monitor)

External Monitor 2 ... Type C (MBP TB3 port) ---> HDMI Cable (Monitor)


Cable from MBP TB3 port ---> HyperDrive (Cable came with HyperDrive)


External Monitor 3 ... VGA (HyperDrive VGA port) ---> VGA Cable (Monitor)


Voila - Monitor extends to all 4 displays (including laptop display).


And I have 1 TB3 port left for the power. Perfect!

The only reason you need a HyperDrive at all is so that you have some ports for USB-A / USB-B devices, etc.

Generally speaking, you can purchases cables from any port type to any port type. I think they even do Type C to VGA if you need it!

I purchased my cables from Amazon Prime and they arrived next day. Companies I purchased cables from were UGreen and Uni. All cables purchased worked great. God is good! Jesus is amazing!

  • 1
    I’ll second the UNI recommendation, they are relatively new (to me at least) but worth checking out for the price point. Also monoprice is amazing in the non-Belkin adapter space. (Belkin are amazing, but cost a bit more) – bmike Nov 30 '20 at 1:04

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