M1 Macs only support 1 external display?!

ARGH… finally took the plunge and bought a new M1 MacBook Air not realising it only supports one external display?? Why oh why??

A limitation of the platform as it currently stands. Keep in mind the M1, for all its power, is the entry level Apple Silicon processor. Next iteration will most certainly remove this.

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Because… M… One? Early days. :slight_smile:

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Thank you both… feel like a fool for not realising before I purchased it…

Don’t feel like a fool. I did not expect it either when the first M1 Macs were released.


I did exactly the same, spent half an hour trying to work out why the second monitor wouldn’t switch on.

It prompted me into buying a new Samsung G9 monitor, so my credit card was maxed out for a while that month.

There are some multi-display docks that you can use to get around it, but hopefully a more sustainable solution comes up either by software or having to buy an M2 MBP :frowning:

On this subject, if it may be of use to someone, you can use dual screen on an M1 Mac Mini but one screen has to be plugged via TB (going up to 6k) and the other via the HDMI port (going up to 4K). No other combination of ports will work.


Just out of interest, I wonder what happens if you try to drive a TB display and an HDMI display from a MacBook Air.

You have no HDMI port on those so I’m guessing only the first connected monitor would work. :thinking:

Worth noting that you can drive more monitors via a DisplayLink USB adapter.


really, does that work???

This is the reason I am waiting for the next generation of M1. If it cannot handle two monitors I will remain with Intel.

Latest DisplayLink drivers claim support for M1 & Big Sur. (I can confirm they work with Big Sur, but I don’t yet own a M1 Mac)


I run a M1 mini with 3 4K displays:

First screen directly on Thunderbolt on M1
Second screen directly on HDMI on M1
Third screen connected to a Displaylink adapter connected to a Caldigit TS3 Plus dock via USB A

Works flawlessly except for Nightshift


I was thinking through a Dongle, but you’re probably right

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