I have a Macbook Pro Retina, manufactured in August of 2012 (mid 2012). The laptop seems to be incapable of continuously driving an external display. On some monitors it will lose the signal once or twice a day; on my home monitor it will lose the signal many times an hour, sometimes taking minutes to "settle down". The effect is as if I had un-plugged and re-plugged in the HDMI cable. However I see this happen on three different monitors, two of which come in through HDMI and one through Thunderbolt. I even bought an apple monitor for $1000 that I returned, because on that one every now and then the MBPR just wouldn't detect it at all (and I would still see it quickly drop and re-establish the signal a few times an hour).

Here is a video of what that looks like, as it flashes to blue repeatedly: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19671563/IMG_1363.m4v

I tried gfxCardStatus and using Discreet Only, no luck.

The apple store guys were no help. They claim they have never heard of this issue even though I repro it daily. When I check the Console, this is the first message I always see during an incident (for the worst-performing monitor, at least):

8/24/13 4:30:01.312 PM WindowServer[82]: Received display connect changed for display 0x3f003d

I have tried every conceivable Display setting (Best for Retina display, Best for External display), and I am mirroring. I never had even a single problem on my older Macbook Pro; I have had problems since day 1 on my MBPR and they are getting worse (i.e., the external monitor is losing its signal more frequently every day).

Can anyone recommend a solution or suggest a cause?

  • How many monitors (both total and the number of different models) do not work with this one computer?
    – bmike
    Aug 28, 2013 at 16:07
  • I have tried this with 4 monitors: an Apple Thunderbolt Display, a Samsung, an Acer, and a Best Buy brand TV (insignia I believe). The Apple I only had for a week. In a 24 hour period it would flash to black and come back 2 or 3 times. The Samsung can hold a signal most of the day; I only see failures about once or twice a day. The TV has a hard time in the first 10-15 minutes and may lose the signal 2 or 3 times before it holds the rest of the viewing period. The Acer cannot hold a signal more than 10 minutes, and sometimes in a 10 minute span will drop 20+ times.
    – esilver
    Aug 28, 2013 at 18:35
  • It looks like the same problem I have. 13" MBP Retina. The external Display looses signal 10 times a day (between 1second and 30 seconds). I can still continue typing -> Computer is not in sleep mode. Apple support says Macbook is ok and they do not know this problem. Did you get any solution?
    – user59773
    Oct 18, 2013 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


I was able to resolve this issue by using this $10 adapter: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A8DSY2/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1

For whatever reason, the MBPR likes the monster adapter much better than the Dynex DVI to HDMI cable I purchased from Best Buy. Now I use a DVI to DVI Dynex cable connected to a Monster adapter and it is much more reliable.

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