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Using an external monitor as your Mac’s main screen

When it comes to buying a new computer, more and more people are choosing to buy a laptop rather than a desktop. There are many advantages: mobility, or being more compact, are the most prominent reasons. But buying a laptop also has its disadvantages, highlighting mainly one: the size of its screens .

When it comes to graphic design, consuming visual content-whether it’s images, movies, etc.-or playing games, the inches on our screen can be insufficient. In view of this, one of the best solutions we can take, is to incorporate an external monitor to our laptop with larger screen dimensions . This is very welcome if your Mac laptop is 15 inches, but even more so if it is 12.

Using an external monitor as your Mac’s main screen
Using an external monitor as your Mac’s main screen

An external display can significantly enhance the experience of your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air because it not only has the ability to replicate the screen of your Mac , it can also extend it . This is the function that we will focus on in this article.

Screen Extender

Unlike the duplicate mode, the option to extend the screen allows us to join the two monitors -both the external and the laptop’s own-, so that we get two independent images of our Mac , through which we can browse and use apps in one without directly influencing the other.

This possibility is very useful in those moments when we need to organize our desktop to operate with several windows at once. As we have two independent screens, we can distribute them, simply by dragging the windows from one monitor to the other .

Main screen

But even if they are totally independent, one of the two must command over the other -it must be the main one, the one that executes the main commands. For example, when we start our Mac, it will be the primary monitor that requires our password, not the secondary one -which will simply display the wallpaper-.

If we choose to make our Mac the main screen, we don’t have to do anything since it is selected by default. But, what if we want to select our external monitor as the main screen?

  1. Go to the right area of the top bar and select the icon where you can see two screens.
  2. You will be presented with a small menu, which will show you the model of the external monitor, offer you the option to choose the external display as a duplicate of the Mac’s, use both displays as independent or Open the Display Preferences panel. Select the latter.
  3. Next, a window will appear on each monitor where we can configure parameters such as resolution or brightness. We will mark the tab called Alignment.
  4. In this new section, we will see reflected the two screens – the larger the monitor and the smaller the Mac – in blue, where one of them will have a white top bar. We must drag the bigger screen to the left side and, later on, do the same with the upper white bar.

Once the process is finished, we close the window and we have our monitor configured as the main screen of our Mac .