Disable Internal Screen on MacBook Pro or Air on OS Yosemite & Mavericks

Disable  Internal Screen on MacBook Pro or Air on OS Yosemite & Mavericks

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Some MacBook Pro or Air users may want to turn off the internal monitor when the laptop is connected to an external monitor. This is usually accomplished in two ways, but since Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, and 10.9, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan, the internal display is more permanent and wants to stay on.

The display behavior can be customized on the terminal to disable the built-in display on the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, but it is somewhat advanced, so it should only be used for users with a level of comfort by editing OS X at the system level. Always back up your Mac before making changes to the kernel system.

Disable internal display for OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and OS X Mavericks-based Macs

Start the terminal and type the following command:

sudo nvram boot-args = “iog = 0x0”

You must restart for the changes to take effect, and then the internal display will be completely disabled, regardless of whether your Mac is open or closed.

To undo this, go back to the terminal and type:

sudo nvram -d boot-args

Then reboot, or you can just reset the PRAM by holding down Command + Option + P + R during the reboot, which will also clear the boot margins. If you want to disconnect your MacBook Pro from an external video source, resetting PRAM would be the way you want to re-enable the internal display.

Disable the internal laptop monitor in OS X Yosemite and OS X El Capitan

In OS X Yosemite (10.10) and OS X El Capitan 10.11, the solution is similar, but uses small variations for the aforementioned terminal.

Enable the feature and allow the internal display to be

sudo nvram boot-args = ”niog = 1 ″

After completing the terminal command, restart it and close the cover immediately. Keep the cover closed during startup, and after logging in to the user account in OS X, open the cover. The built-in MacBook Pro (or Air) monitor is now off.

** Note: If you’re in sleep mode, close the lid only before waking your MacBook Pro and reopen the lid after signing in.

Undo and return to normal display:

sudo nvram -d boot-args

As with previous versions of OS X, resetting PRAM can disable the setting. Thanks to Keef for the special tip for OS X Yosemite.

This is the opposite of “shell mode” – where the Mac laptop is closed and the screen is still on. The clamshell may look good, but without enough airflow, your Mac can overheat, so it’s a good idea to use your computer with the screen open. If you plan to do this, be sure to set the primary display so that the menu bar, Dock, and alarm windows go to the correct display.

Thanks to Marcus for the tip via thread in Apple conversations

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