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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Closed Macbook Pro display remains active when using external monitor

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Member Since: Sep 09, 2010
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I have a 2011 Macbook Pro 13" that I use with an external LCD monitor. When I use the external monitor I close the lid of my Macbook Pro so I only have a single large monitor. What concerns me is that even though the display of my Macbook Pro turns off when I close the lid down it still shows up as an active display in the System Preferences > Displays applet.

Within the System Preferences > Display applet if I place the smaller screen of the Macbook Pro underneath the display of the external monitor my application dock moves down to the Macbook Pro display even though it's lid is closed.

My concern is the following ....

1) Is the Macbook Pro internal display really shut off or is it just dimmed? My concern is heat and wear and tear on the internal display.

2) I like keeping my Macbook Pro internal display below my external monitor in the Display applet because that is where my Macbook Pro actually sits. I don't however like the fact that my application dock moves down to the internal display. I would like to see the application dock at the bottom of my external monitor.

I would have expected that when closing the lid of the Macbook Pro that it would no longer be listed as a display until the lid was opened again. Am I missing something here? Is this how the internal display is supposed to function when using an external monitor?

Here is my setup:

Macbook Pro 13" Early 2011 (Core i7 2.7 Ghz)
OS X Lion (10.7.4)
MiniDisplay port to DVI cable
Power adapter plugged in

Thanks for any help.
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The screen does not disappear from the Displays preference pane. AFAIK the only time a screen disappears is if it is no longer connected to the Mac.

The Dock will appear on the screen that is designated as the primary monitor. Here's an article with a few tips that seem relevant. Disable the Internal Screen on a MacBook Pro or Air in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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