Thunderbolt Displays For Mac



  1. Thunderbolt Monitor For Mac
  2. Thunderbolt Display For Macbook Air

Before you begin

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You can resolve many display issues by updating the software on your Apple devices, cables, and adapters. If you can see an image on your screen, check for software updates using the Mac App Store:

  1. Connect your external display and any Apple video cables or adapters that you use with it.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose App Store.
  3. Click the Updates button in the App Store window.
  4. Install any macOS or firmware updates that are listed.

If you're using a display, hub, extender, or adapter not made by Apple, check with the manufacturer for any updates that might be available.

If you're trying to connect a 4K display or Ultra HD TV with your Mac, make sure your computer meets the requirements for using these external displays.

If your software and firmware are up to date, or if you can't see the image on your screen, try the steps below for your specific issue.

If the display image is blank or unusable

Try these steps if you don't see an image on your display. These steps can also help if the image on your screen repeatedly turns on and off (flickers), if horizontal lines appear (snow), or if the image is distorted (torn or scrambled).

These steps likely won't help if the issue is only happening in one app. If you see similar issues in only one window or app, check with the app's developer for updates or more help.

Check connections

Check the connections to your Mac and external displays:

  • If you're using an Apple notebook, try connecting its power adapter.
  • Make sure the external display's power cable is securely connected and that your display is turned on.
  • If you're using a Mac Pro (Late 2013) make sure your displays are connected to the right ports.
  • If you're using a display hub, switchbox, or 'KVM,' try connecting your display's video cable directly to your Mac instead.
  • Disconnect the video cable where it plugs into your Mac, then plug it back in to reseat the connection.
  • If you're using a video adapter, unplug the video adapter from your Mac, then plug it back in to reseat the connection.
  • If you're using more than one video adapter to connect your display (the adapters are 'chained' together), try connecting the display using only one adapter if possible. Some video adapters can't be connected together. For example, a mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter can't be connected to a DVI to HDMI adapter.
  • If your display has more than one video connection, see if using another connection on the display works. If possible, check to see if using a different display or a different adapter works.
  • Try using a different cable that you know is in working order. Check with the display's manufacturer to make sure you're using the cable they recommend.
  • Restart the Mac with the display connected.

Detect your display

If you're using an external display, sleep and wake your Mac to make it check for connected displays:

Thunderbolt
  1. Press the power button on your computer to put it to sleep, or choose Apple menu > Sleep.
  2. Wait a few moments, then press a key on your keyboard or click your mouse or trackpad to wake your Mac.

If you're using more than one display, and you can see the image on one of the displays, you can also use Displays preferences to check for connected displays.

Adjust video settings

If there's no image on your display, try adjusting your display's brightness or contrast. If there's still no image, or the image appears torn or scrambled, try selecting a different video resolution in System Preferences.

Adjust brightness

  • If you're using an Apple Display, press the increase brightness key on your Apple keyboard. To adjust the brightness of a secondary display, press Control-F2.
  • If you're using a display that's not made by Apple, check the documentation that came with your display to see if it includes built-in controls for adjusting its brightness or contrast.

Change your display resolution

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. Click the Displays icon.
  3. Click Default for display. If you see more than one resolution listed, choose a resolution and refresh rate. If the display turns off when you change resolutions, press the escape key to undo the change.

If you can't change the resolution of your display because you can't see an image, restart your Mac in safe mode to reset the display resolution to defaults.

If starting in safe mode doesn't resolve the issue, reset your Mac's NVRAM and SMC to reset the video ports on your Mac to their defaults.

Check for third-party display software

If your display works only when your Mac is started in safe mode, and you have display-related software installed, check with the software's developer for updates, or try temporarily uninstalling it.

If an image appears fuzzy or blurry

If images or text on your display appear pixelated or blurry, check these things.

Check your display resolution

Thunderbolt displays for macbook pro

Make sure your display resolution in System Preferences is set to its default. If you're using a resolution that's scaled, the image might be magnified to fit the display. This can cause the image to look blurry in some apps.

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. Click the Displays icon.
  3. Select Default for display.

If you use a monitor or an HDTV connected with an HDMI cable, you might see a difference in video quality if your display is set to television mode. Check your display for a 'monitor mode' setting to get the best video quality.

Retina displays

If an app you're using appears low resolution on your Retina display, check to see if an update to the app is available. Most apps have been updated to use the higher pixel densities of Retina displays.

Lower-resolution images on some web pages might also appear 'softer' when viewed on a Retina display. This is because Retina displays have a higher pixel density and not all websites use Retina-ready images.

For example, the images below look different when viewed on a Retina display, but the same on a non-Retina display. This happens because the Retina-ready image has a higher pixel density:

If you see contrast or color issues

If your entire display image seems too dark or too bright, you can adjust the brightness and contrast from the Displays pane of System Preferences, or by using your display's built-in controls.

Adjust brightness and contrast

To adjust the brightness of your Apple display, press the brightness key or F2 key on your keyboard. You can also use the brightness adjustment for each connected display in System Preferences > Displays.

Displays not made by Apple sometimes have brightness and color adjustments built into the display. Check the documentation for your display to see if it includes built-in controls.

When you connect a display, projector, or HDTV using an HDMI cable, you might see a difference in video quality if your display is set to television mode. Check your device for a 'monitor mode' setting to achieve the best video quality.

You can also calibrate each display from the Color tab of Displays preferences to get the best color and brightness from your display.

Thunderbolt Monitor For Mac

If you see bright or dark pixels

If individual pixels on your display seem too bright or too dark, see these articles for more help:

Connecting displays with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)

The Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter connects Mac models with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports to older devices that use Thunderbolt (10Gbps) or Thunderbolt 2 (20Gbps). For example, this is the adapter that you should use to connect your MacBook Pro to an Apple Thunderbolt Display or a third-party Thunderbolt 2 storage device.

This adapter doesn't support connections to Mini DisplayPort displays, including the following Apple adapters and displays:

  • Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter
  • Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
  • Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter
  • Apple LED Cinema Display

If you're using the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter to connect to a compatible display and the display doesn't show an image, try unplugging the adapter and plugging it back in.

Get more help

If you've tried these steps and your display still isn't working, contact Apple Support to get more help.

Diagnostic fees may apply for issues not covered under warranty or the AppleCare Protection Plan (APP).

Thunderbolt 3 offers a connection with state-of-the-art speed and versatility. Delivering twice the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2, it consolidates data transfer, video output, and charging into a single compact connector. And with the integration of USB-C, convenience is added to the speed of Thunderbolt to create a truly universal port.

Supports up to four 4K displays or up to two 6K displays1

Connect new and existing devices

Blackmagic eGPU and eGPU Pro. More power to every pixel.

Thunderbolt Displays For Mac

Blackmagic Design has created two external GPUs (eGPUs) ideal for your Thunderbolt 3–enabled Mac.2 So you can have desktop-class graphics performance without giving up the portability of a notebook. Housed in an all-in-one aluminum enclosure, Blackmagic eGPUs are powerful yet quiet, charge your Mac using Thunderbolt 3, and have built-in I/O connections to drive both a Thunderbolt 3 display and VR accessories simultaneously. Choose the Blackmagic eGPU to accelerate pro apps and enjoy supersmooth gaming or the Blackmagic eGPU Pro for the ultimate workstation-class graphics performance for your pro app workflows and VR content creation.

Buy Blackmagic eGPU
Buy Blackmagic eGPU Pro

Transferring data at speeds of up to 40Gb/s, which is two times faster than Thunderbolt 2 and eight times faster than USB 3, Thunderbolt 3 delivers the fastest connection to any dock, display, or device. You can also daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt devices through a single port without needing a hub or a switch. So connecting a storage device to your computer, and then a display to your storage device, works as it’s meant to — with powerful throughput.8

Less than one minute to copy 25,000 photos

6K resolution. 20.4 million pixels.
One remarkable cable.

Thunderbolt 3 provides twice the display bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2, enabling your Mac to support up to four 4K displays or up to two 6K displays.1 Which means that with two Thunderbolt controllers in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, you can send graphics to dual 6K displays for the perfect high-resolution photo and video editing setup. Thunderbolt 3 connects to DisplayPort displays and monitors with a cable, while supporting HDMI and VGA displays with the use of an adapter.

With Thunderbolt 3, a single USB-C port can deliver power in both directions. So a port can charge a device or, alternatively, be charged by one. And it’s capable of delivering up to 100 watts of power, so a single cable can be used to connect to a dock or display and charge your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air simultaneously.

Up to 15W for
bus-powered devices

Up to 15W for bus-powered devices

DisplaysMac

Compatible with your existing devices.

Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C technology is a truly universal connection. With the help of an adapter or cable, you can connect just about any of your devices, including your existing Thunderbolt 2 devices.

Displays

Plug into displays using HDMI, VGA, DVI, DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt.

iOS Devices

Connect to iOS devices like iPhone and iPad.

Accessories

Use peripherals compatible with USB‑A, SD, Micro‑B, and Mini‑B.

Performance

Connect external graphics processors like the Blackmagic eGPU and external hard drives for extra storage.

The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac Pro, iMac, and Mac mini are fully compatible with your existing devices and displays. Use the chart below to find out which adapter or cable you’ll need to connect to the ports on all your favorite devices.

Shop adapters

Connect to your Thunderbolt 3–enabled Mac using

Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

USB-C

USB-A

Lightning

Thunderbolt Display For Macbook Air

Micro-B

Mini-B

Ethernet

HDMI

Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter or
USB-C to HDMI adapter

DisplayPort

VGA

Apple USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter or
USB-C to VGA adapter

SD

DVI

Get the accessories, cables, and adapters you need.

Equipped with Thunderbolt 3, your Mac is ready to connect to a broad ecosystem of devices.

Shop all Mac accessories