How to use a MacBook with the lid closed in clamshell mode

Xiaobai Software  2023-06-12 18: 25  read 433 views

Yes, it is possible to turn off yourMacBookcover and still be able to use it.if yourMacBookThis is especially useful if you have issues with your screen, or if you want to convert your MacBook into a desktop.


Of course, you'll need an external monitor to see what's going on on your MacBook.This detailed guide teaches you how to connect your MacBook to an external display while keeping its lid closed.

What does clamshell mode on a MacBook mean?


Everyone knows about simply connecting an external monitor to your MacBook and using it with your laptop.But even trickier is using your MacBook with the lid closed, also known as clamshell or closed display mode.

Clamshell mode lets you use the larger display without being blocked by the laptop's smaller display.You simply fold your MacBook and set it aside while you work.However, laptops tend to overheat when you close the lid.

The MacBook uses the keyboard to dissipate heat, and closing the lid interferes with its cooling technology.For this reason, we recommend that you opt for a MacBook stand that gives more room to its air vents, which are now farther away from your desk surface for better cooling.

What are the benefits of using a Mac in clamshell mode?

When the MacBook is in clamshell mode, it helps reduce the graphical strain of having an extra display that isn't needed.Using it can help optimize your MacBook's resources and provide a better external display session.

Another valuable advantage of the MacBook's clamshell mode is that it allows you to use only the external display, which can be easily held at eye level, providing better ergonomics than the MacBook's built-in display.

Finally, you can choose your own input device.Don't like your MacBook's keyboard?No problem, you can buy any keyboard you like and use it for work instead.Plus, it doesn't feel out of place like you would when using a laptop's built-in display.

What does it take to use a MacBook in clamshell mode?


If this isn't already obvious, you can't just shut down your MacBook and expect to use it.You need the following items to use clamshell mode effectively:

1. An AC adapter to power your MacBook.

2. A mouse (preferably Bluetooth).

3. A keyboard (preferably Bluetooth).

4. At least one supported monitor or projector.

5. If your MacBook only has a USB-C port, you need an HDMI/VGA to USB-C adapter.

When you have all of the above in place, you can start setting up clamshell mode on your Mac.

How to activate clamshell or closed display mode on MacBook

Follow these steps to learn how to shut down your MacBook into clamshell mode and use the display instead:

1. Connect your external monitor to a power source.

2. Plug your MacBook in using the AC adapter.

3. Use the port to connect an external display to your Mac.If your MacBook only has a USB-C port, you may need a VGA/HDMI adapter.

4. Turn on your external monitor.

5. Open System Settings, click Displays, and adjust the settings for your external display or monitor.


Next, make sure you have all your accessories set up:

1. Turn on Bluetooth on your MacBook.

2. Next, if you are using Bluetooth accessories such as keyboards and mice, make sure they are powered and visible.

3. Pair your MacBook with the accessory from the "Bluetooth" tab in the "System Settings" menu.

4. Alternatively, you can also click Set up a Bluetooth mouse in the Mouse tab to pair your mouse.

To change a session's power settings:

1. In System Settings, open the "Display" tab.

2. Select your monitor icon at the top of the window.

3. Click "Advanced" in the lower right corner and make sure the toggle for "Prevent display from sleeping automatically when it is turned off" is on.

4. In System Settings, click Lock Screen in the left pane.

5. Change the time of "Turn off display on power adapter when inactive" to "Never".


If you don't have any Bluetooth accessories for sound, you may also want to choose your sound settings.Open Control Center in the menu bar and select the output device you want to use for audio.


Before you close the lid, you should test to see if your display settings are satisfactory.Use screen mirroring to see how your monitor will behave.All you have to do is click Control Center in the menu bar, select Screen Mirroring, and click Mirror the built-in display.

Additional tips for using clamshell mode

We've covered the essentials of using your MacBook with the lid closed, but there are a few other tips to keep in mind for optimal performance:

1. Unplugging the MacBook will automatically stop clamshell mode.If your MacBook isn't plugged in, you can't use an external display.

2. If you plug your MacBook back in after unplugging it, clamshell mode won't start unless you wake it up by clicking or moving the mouse.

3. Switching between clamshell mode and independent display will not pause any audio you are playing.Your MacBook will attempt to seamlessly continue your audio experience.

4. While Bluetooth accessories can improve your experience, if you won't need them, you don't have to use them.For example, when you watch a movie.

5. Some monitors won't display in clamshell mode until you click or move the mouse.

6. If your Mac supports it, you can use multiple monitors.However, if you use a 13-inch M1 or M2 MacBook, you can only use one display at a time.

7. Leaving your MacBook plugged in all the time is not good for its battery and will cause it to decay faster.If your MacBook is new, consider using clamshell mode less, or you risk draining the battery faster.

How to Open Your MacBook Without Lifting the Lid

Since the point of this work is to use your MacBook without lifting the lid, you must be wondering how you can open your MacBook without lifting the lid.The simple answer is to schedule a launch.But unfortunately, this is not yet available in macOS Ventura's settings.

However, if you're using Monterey or an earlier version of macOS, you can schedule a launch by following these steps


1. Click the Apple logo on the menu bar to open System Preferences.

2. Select the battery and click Schedule in the left pane.

3. Here, you have to check the box for Start or Wake and enter the time you want your Mac to start up.

4. When you're done, make sure to click Apply.

For those of you using macOS Ventura, you can turn on your MacBook without opening the lid by plugging in the AC adapter.But that only works on older Intel-powered MacBook Pros with Touch Bar.

Use your MacBook like a desktop

Now, you know how easy it is to use your MacBook as the CPU for big-screen meetings.You don't need third-party apps or any tinkering in the Terminal app.

All you need to do is make sure you have the power cord and cables to connect the monitor to whatever MacBook you're using, and you're all set.That's the simplicity of using a MacBook with the lid closed.

Address of this article:
Copyright Notice:The article only represents the author's point of view, the copyright belongs to the original author, welcome to share this article, please keep the source for reprinting!