Macbook2: How to connect a second screen?

Macbook2: How to connect a second screen?

Through this tutorial, you will know how to use a second screen with your macbook2.

Not enough screen on your macbook2? The good news, it is possible to connect a second screen to it.

This tutorial explains how to identify the adapter to connect your macbook2 to another display and set up your computer to detect it.

Since Sierra’s launch in September 2016, some third-party adapters appear to no longer work with macbook2.

With Catalina (mac OS 10.14), it is possible to use an iPad as a second screen via Sidecar.

Recommended article: How to connect more than one display to a macbook2 Silicon?

Identify the ports on your macbook2.

The choice of adapter depends on your macbook2 model and its ports. Here are the two main connection ports for macbook2.

If your macbook model is released in late 2008, then it has Mini DisplayPort. Using the appropriate adapter, you can connect devices compatible with VGA, DVI, and HDMI.

If your macbook 2011 model, then it is equipped with the Thunderbolt port. If it came out after 2013, then it has Thunderbolt 2.

On the other hand, if you have a macbook2 I or a macbook2 Pro dating from 2016 or later, you have a USB-C port (Thunderbolt 3). See the image below.

The latter does not allow you to use adapters, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI, Mini DisplayPort to DVI, Mini DisplayPort to VGA, and LED Cinema Display.

Identify the ports on your external display.

Now, you need to identify your second screen’s outputs to find the adapter that can connect to it.

The VGA port has 15 pins spread over three rows. It allows viewing HD videos with an analog audio signal.

The DVI output (24 pins) offers a much better display quality than the VGA, and the colors will be more nuanced. The difference is noticeable when you watch HD videos.

Whether it is DVI-A, DVI-D, or DVI-I, the transmitted signals and pins’ numbers will not be the same.


The HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) port is compatible with no less than eight audio channels and is the most common on televisions. Its standard (HDMI 2.1) has a bandwidth of 48 Gbits/ s.

Which cable to choose?

There are six different cables to connect your macbook2 to an external display. You can buy one from a third-party vendor, where it will probably be cheaper.

However, as mentioned above, some have become obsolete. To not run the risk of incompatibility, it is better to turn to an Apple brand cable.

Also, note that the ports on Apple computers are female, so your cable will need male outputs.

Find below the different adapters you can use.


  • USB Type-C to HDMI to connect a macbook2 Thunderbolt 3 to an HDMI display.
  • The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 is used to connect displays with a Thunderbolt port.
  • The USB-C Digital AV multiport allows you to connect your macbook2 to a projector or VGA display.
  • Note that it is not compatible with HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) content. This standard provides copy protection for audio and digital streams. So you will need an HDMI output and cable.
  • The Mini DisplayPort to VGA concerns VGA screens for macbook2 with a Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port.
  • The Mini DisplayPort to DVI can connect a DVI display to a macbook2 with a Mini Display port or Thunderbolt.
  • DVI is compatible with the HDCP standard. It is suitable for displays incompatible with DVI Dual Link resolutions (1920 x 1200 or lower).
  • The Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI is for DVI displays with resolutions of 1920 x 1200 minimum. To use it, your macbook2 must have a USB port.

Set up a second screen for your macbook2

Once you’ve found the perfect fit, follow these five steps:

  1. Connect the adapter to your macbook2.
  2. Open System Preferences → Monitors.
  3. Click the Layout tab.
  4. Leave the Video mirroring checkbox unchecked unless you want to see the same content as on your computer.
  5. Slide the monitors to the desired position. A white menu bar appears, indicating the main screen. Drag it on the screen of your choice.


To copy the video on the two screens, follow points 1 to 4 given previously and check the box Copy video.

You can also select, at the bottom of the window, Show mirroring options in the menu bar if necessary.

The status will display in the menu bar, from which you can activate and deactivate the second screen.

If you are using Apple TV, you can use AirPlay as the 2nd screen to display your TV.

Display issues

We have listed the most common display problems with their solutions below.


  • If the cables and outputs match but your screen remains black, try restarting your macbook2.
  • If nothing works after the previous attempt, restart your computer in safe mode and restore default display settings.
  • You can try to adjust the brightness and contrast. To do this, go to System Preferences → Monitors, and change the resolution.
  • If your macbook won’t detect external display, then go to System Preferences → Monitors. Hold down the alt/option key, and click Detect Monitors.