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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jul 26, 2009
    Using external monitor only while notebook is open
    I primarily use my macbook (13" silver, new in January) on my desktop with an external monitor. I'd use the clamshell mode, but when the lid is closed I get bad WiFi reception. I want to use my external monitor (with the laptop monitor off) while the laptop lid is open. Right now I have to go through the following process every time I wake my machine up:

    1) Wake the machine up with a keyboard stroke.
    2) Close lid
    3) Enter another key stroke to wake up in clamshell mode
    4) Open the lid again

    Needless to say, this is a tedious process to go through every time I wake my machine up.

    Is there a way to operate in "clamshell mode" by default whenever the lid is open and there's an external monitor hooked up?

  2. #2

    MYmacROX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
    2008 15" MBP Yosemite, 2012 21.5" iMac Yosemite
    Just dim the screen to black (F1 button).
    Or set your system preferences so the hard drive never sleeps and the monitor turns off after a minute.
    I can't say for sure if the second suggestion will work, as I've never tried it but it sounds like it might work.

    I've only used an external monitor (my TV) to watch movies, so I haven't had problems with closing the Mac lid.

  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Is there a way to operate in "clamshell mode" by default whenever the lid is open and there's an external monitor hooked up?
    Not completely, but here's what I do (perhaps you can try it also):

    I boot my MacBook with the lid closed and my external Samsung 22" attached via the mini DVI output to the DVI input of the monitor. That starts the machine up in clamshell mode - in other words, the internal 13" monitor remains off while the MacBook boots to the Samsung.

    I get excellent WiFi reception with the lid closed and have no reason to open it unless I'm running streaming video and want the machine to cool faster.

    You can do the same thing that I do but after the machine boots to the desktop, open the lid of the Mac. The internal monitor will remain off while the external will continue to function normally.


  4. #4

    Member Since
    Jul 26, 2009
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Holding F1 just dims the laptop monitor and I can't access my dock, etc from my monitor. Do you think that setting the HD to never sleep shortens its lifespan?

    What you suggested is precisely what I've been doing. However, whenever I have to wake my computer up, the laptop monitor comes on (b/c it's open). I then have to go through the process of closing it, waking the computer up again, and opening it again.

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