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3 Easy Ways to Turn Off MacBook Screen While Using an External Monitor

While using your Macbook, you might have noticed it going to sleep when the lid is closed, even after being connected to an external monitor. When such instances occur, it could be quite frustrating to the user as in between some important work, and their external monitor would also be affected along with the Macbook. Many people would like to keep their Macbook closed while using it against an external monitor.

How to Turn Off MacBook Screen When Using External Monitor?

This article might be quite useful for those people as here we have put together three simple ways to turn off the Macbook screen when using an external monitor simultaneously. Macbook is a high-ranged product, making it even more important to maintain for a longer period. Sending it for repair or servicing isn’t cost-friendly like any other laptop model in the market. Moreover, users are trying their best to save energy by using it in other ways as per the their suitability.


However, if you proceed to follow those ways, here are a few things you need to purchase or keep in close vicinity from your Macbook screen (turn off macbook display without closing lid) as they will be really useful to complete this process conveniently.

  • An external monitor
  • An HDMI cable with suitable adapters
  • An external mouse or keyboard could be wireless or wired
  • Macbook with a charger plugged in
  • Leaving some space out being your Macbook and external monitor

Keeping the External Display on While the MacBook Lid is Closed

For our first way among the 3 ways to turn off Macbook screen while trying to use the external monitor, we will be closely examining a few steps that must be followed to do this method comprehensively.

  • Step 1:

For step 1, you need to connect the external mouse or monitor to the Macbook wirelessly or wired.

  • Step 2:

Once you finish the first step, you must plug the MacBook into the AC adapter while ensuring it is open and on during the process.

  • Step 3:

In step 3, you need to ensure that the external monitor is always powered when the Macbook is working in tandem.

  • Step 4:

Completing the above steps requires connecting the external display monitor to your Macbook using an HDMI cable. Moreover, to make things easier, you can also use a USB port instead of an HDMI cable if an HDMI port is not provided on the device.

  • Step 5:

Finally, you can close your MacBook lid while the external monitor still carries out its designated task.

This is one of the 3 ways to turn off the MacBook screen while trying to use the external monitor. Hence, in this method, you learned how easily you keep your external monitor on while the MacBook is closed behind.

Putting a magnet to use for disabling the Macbook display while the external display is still on

You can find many Macbook users who like to turn off the Macbook display without closing the lid. This sort of behavior has increased for several reasons, which we have summarized below.

  • By keeping the MacBook lid open, the machine can be kept cool even when operating in a hot and humid environment. When a laptop gets heated due to being used for a long time, the chances of it suddenly getting switched off or a drop in performance level could be significantly increased.
  • The other reason behind this decision by many Macbook users could be to safeguard the sound quality of their speakers, which are often damaged by closing the lid of the Macbook frequently in a short period.

Turn off Macbook Pro Display When Using External Monitor: For such instances, where people don’t want to close their Macbook lid while keeping their external monitor on and display off their Macbook, they need to place a weak magnet near your trackpad. In doing so, your Macbook could easily recognize the hall sensors sent by the magnet, thereby commanding it to go into sleep mode while the display of the Macbook is off, but the lid stays open. Here are a few steps you must follow to complete this process comprehensively.

  • Step 1:

First of all, you need to purchase a fringe magnet like an Airpod or a small magnetic disc to serve the purpose of a magnet.

  • Step 2:

After the magnet collection, you need to connect the external display monitor to your Macbook. And, ensure that the charger is also connected to it so that none of the devices gets switched off in between the process.

  • Step 3:

Now, for your third step, you need to revolve the magnet all around the Macbook rim to know the absolute position where it can be placed for sending the Macbook to sleep mode.

  • Step 4:

When the magnet identifies the right area, it can make your display sleep like the method explained before.

  • Step 5:

Finally, to conclude this process, you need to check by pressing a key on your external keyboard, which will wake the Macbook again while working on your external display monitor.

This method, turning off the Macbook display without closing the lid, is quite intriguing to many users as here you can try out some innovative ways to switch off the display of your Macbook while the external monitor is still functioning.

Using the Macbook-Built Features to Turn Off the Display

In our last step of the 3 ways to turn off the Macbook screen while trying to use the external monitor, we will now be using the built-in features present in the keyboard or trackpad of the Macbook.

This method is considered the simplest one as you can just hover around your keyboard of Macbook where you need to locate the brightness button and press it as long as the screen goes completely dark. When the whole screen gets dimmed, it works the same way as when the lid of the Macbook is closed.

But according to our study, this method might not be the ideal solution for you as dimming the brightness to zero will only reduce the display of the Macbook as it would still be on alongside your external monitor. Anything that pops on your Macbook screen wouldn’t be visible when such a thing happens.

In that instant, you will need to crank up your brightness again to see the message sent to you by another source. After seeing it, you need to dim the brightness of the Macbook once again, and the process gets repeated repeatedly.

Hence, choosing not to use this method could be the most effective decision for you when working on multiple windows in your Macbook. Moreover, when your internal keyboard is still on, it would be almost impossible to keep your Macbook display off with your external monitor working alongside it.

To Sum It Up

These are the three ways through which you can turn off your Macbook display while you are also using the external monitor. Going through this guide could help you learn how you might have been looking to make your Macbook last longer than it was while simultaneously being used with an external display. All of the ways and their steps are defined elaborately in this article so that you wouldn’t have to change your path and search for any other option available in the market.


How do I turn off my Mac screen when using an external monitor?

When your external monitor is connected to the Macbook, you can still turn it off using an HDMI cable, magnet, or the build features provided by Macbook.

How do I turn off my laptop screen when connected to an external monitor?

You can use various methods to turn off your laptop screen, like placing a magnet close to it or using the brightness button to numb the screen light while it is still connected to an external monitor.

Can I close my MacBook Pro when using an external monitor?

Yes, you can close your Macbook Pro while using an external monitor, as there are a few methods that you can implement efficiently.

How do I turn off my Mac screen without putting my computer to sleep?

You can zero your brightness level when turning off the Mac screen without putting the whole system to sleep.

How do I toggle between MacBook Pro and external monitor?

To toggle between MacBook Pro and external monitor, you need to open the Apple menu in system settings and then choose the display option on the sidebar. You can choose the display you want alongside your Macbook Pro.