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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

MacBook with an External Monitor and the lid closed

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Member Since: Jan 20, 2007
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Posts: 152
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Hi there

Can I run my MacBook with the lid closed and connected to a Apple Cinema Display?

I tried to close the lid with the monitor plugged in but the MacBook seemed to go to sleep.
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Member Since: May 21, 2007
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Mac Specs: 15" Macbook Pro, 2.16gz, 2gb RAM || 20" iMac, 2.4gz, 2gb RAM

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You wake it up by either,

- Inserting a Usb
- Pressing a button on the provided Apple Remote.

I usually do the latter when connecting up to my 32" HD
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Member Since: Dec 06, 2006
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...or by an external keyboard or mouse.

iMac, MB, MB Air, nano
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Member Since: Sep 18, 2006
Location: Windsor, Ontario
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Youc an go to and download screen spanning doctor (or something similar to that). When you install it make sure you click the clamshell mode. So now when your macbook is closed the external screen will stay on. With this program instead of the external monitor mirroring whats already on the built in one, it will extend the desktop.

"Come on big operating system, big operating system!" - PC
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Member Since: Aug 25, 2007
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I too am very interested in this option. I haven't found anything that works with the latest version of OS X. Also the clamshell mode sounds cool but I don't want my displays to be spanned, I just want my Cinema HD monitor to be the main display with my lid closed on the laptop.
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Member Since: Apr 28, 2006
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Closing the lid is not recommended as those macbooks generate heat and would reduce the life of the machine. Why not leave the screen up while turning down the brightness 100%? Works for me.
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Member Since: May 28, 2007
Location: Denver
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I haven't had any issues with heat with the lid closed. The fan kicks in to high speed at the same times with lid open or closed.

I just close the lid with the monitor connected and click the mouse and it wakes up. No software needed.
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