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I have a mac mini with two monitors but I often access it remotely over VNC. Screen Sharing (and other vnc clients) allow me to select a single display (or view both at once), but neither work well because if I view a single screen then windows will open on the other one, alerts will pop up, etc. It's also basically impossible to use with both displays shown at once on a 13in laptop screen.

I'm looking for a way to software disable one of the monitors so that I can switch to a single display when I need to.

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  • I have my monitor connected to a WEMO switch, which I turn on off via a variation of this shell script: moderntoil.com/?p=839 – Wowfunhappy Apr 27 at 22:27
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I finally found a solution: the open source project DisableMonitor 3.1 let's you easily disable, enable or change the resolution of all monitors attached to your Mac. It supports macOS 10.15 Catalina and Big Sur (Intel) 11.1.

DisableMonitor 3.1 is a fork of the original project DisableMonitor, which is no longer maintained.

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I presume that you switch between local and remote use frequently enough that disconnecting the second screen is not a viable solution?

One workaround would be to set your secondary display to mirror the main display. This would effectively reduce the 2 monitors to one logical display.

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  • Correct, remembering to physically disconnect isn't really viable. I've tried mirroring but this causes a weird glitch where the screens will constantly reinitialize several times a second when connected over VNC making it unusable. – Josh Harrison Mar 12 at 19:56

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