How to Use Multiple External Monitors with M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

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Apple’south M1-powered Macs have managed to prepare a new standard in terms of performance and battery life. What’due south even more impressive is that despite an integrated GPU, they feature pretty impressive graphical performance. However, there’s a lot of defoliation on M1 Macs back up for external monitors. More specifically, they only support ane external monitor every bit per Apple. But what if ane wants to use multiple external monitors with their M1 MacBook?

Apple tree claims the M1 Mac mini, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air support the 6K Pro Display XDR. And that’s about it. While that’s impressive, the M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air do not officially back up more than ane external monitor at any given time. The M1 Mac mini does support two external monitors — ane over HDMI and another over its Thunderbolt 4 port. Since the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro only feature Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, they do non officially support more than one monitor.

Using a dock with multiple video-out ports is not going to practise annihilation every bit the M1 Mac will simply not recognize the 2d monitor that’s continued. However, there’south a clever workaround using which ane tin can use multiple external monitors on the M1 MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

Using a multi-display dock with DisplayLink support, you lot tin can connect two or even more external monitors to your M1 MacBook. The take hold of here is that DisplayLink requires a driver to exist installed on your MacBook. Using this hack, you can actually use more than than 2 external displays with your M1 Mac. There are videos on YouTube where people accept managed to become as many as five or half-dozen monitors running with their MacBook Air or Pro.

Use Multiple External Monitors with M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

Step 1:
Yous will offset have to get your hands on a 4K DisplayPort to USB 3.0 or HDMI adapter. In that location are quite a few available in the marketplace. You can also buy a Thunderbolt dock with DisplayLink support for this.

  • Caldigit TS3 Plus – Buy Now ($249.99)
  • OWC Thunderbolt iii Dock – Purchase Now ($249.99)
  • Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station – Purchase Now ($219)
  • Plugable 4K DisplayPort and HDMI Dual Monitor – Buy Now ($99)
  • USB-C to DisplayPort Cable – Buy Now ($12.99)
  • AmazonBasics USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter – Buy Now ($14.99)

Step 2:
Install the DisplayLink software on your M1 Mac. This is important as this driver is what allows Big Sur on M1 Macs to recognize multiple external monitors.

Step 3:Connect your M1 Mac to the dock and then proceed to connect all your external monitors to it. If this does not work, y’all can connect one monitor to the dock and plug a USB-C to DisplayPort/HDMI cable directly to your M1 Mac.

The good thing is that this workaround does not really seem to take any functioning impact. As tested by various YouTubers, you can use multiple external monitors with your M1 MacBook Pro or MacBook Air without whatsoever performance penalization or impact. Even GPU-intensive tasks like rendering videos in Terminal Cutting Pro X perform at the same speed as without the external monitors. Depending on your apply example, your mileage might vary especially if you connect multiple 4K monitors to your M1 Mac.

Take you tried connecting multiple external monitors to your M1 Mac using the workaround above? If so, how was your experience? Have y’all noticed any issues? Drop a comment and let us know!


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