Disable external monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mkrishnan, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #1
    Is there an easy way to cause a connected external monitor to be "disabled?" E.G. I have an iMac connected to an LCD TV (via VGA, spanned, external at 1360x768). If the TV is plugged in, even if it's off, the computer switches to spanning mode. The consequence of this is that, if my preferred setup is to have the external be main, for instance, I essentially have to unplug it from the iMac whenever I don't want to be using it. Even if the external is the 2ary dsplay, it means that the mouse can go off the edge of the screen on one side, and that two of the hot corners are messed up.

    Is there any utility that could do something like add a "disable external display" item to preferences or the menu bar?

    (Ironically, I was inspired to finally ask by another thread about someone who's Macbook won't respond on DVI... :( )
     
  2. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #2
  3. macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    Ok, this is sort of a stumper for me too, but I was trying to think of simple solutions and thought... What happens when you just turn off the 2nd monitor? Anything?

    Otherwise I got nothing.
     
  4. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    Plus, since the second display is a TV it is likely that the TV might be on but not on the Mac input sometimes when you want to use the Mac...

    B
     
  5. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    That's a good point. Eeep, sorry I missed your thread! ;)

    The problem with mirroring is that my TV doesn't handle the same resolution my iMac uses.... Was that an issue for you? My iMac is a 17"-er -- so it uses the 1440x900 that you would never see on a TV....
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    Two years later... same problem

    Sorry to jumpstart an old thread, but I'm still having the same problem that you were two years ago. I have a 24" iMac connected to my VGA projector and I need to disable the display output when the projector is not on.

    Mirroring doesn't work because the projector resolution is much lower than the iMac and forces the iMac into the corresponding lower resolution mode. Extended desktop leaves me with windows that sometimes end up on the other screen.

    Has anything changed in 2.5 years?
     
  7. MTI
    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #7
    If not mistaken, there is a sub $20 program, SwitchRes X, that has an option to select which monitor will be "active" from it's menu. You may be able to deactivate either the external or the iMac's display, but I don't believe you can disable both, which would be an interesting choice.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    #8
    could you not just unplug it? if its an iMac it's just a case of putting your hand underneath not like you have to climb behind the machine! :D
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    University of South Alabama
    #9
    I've got the same problem with my 24" iMac. I have a 46" TV above my iMac that i occasionally use as a secondary display. I usually just reach behind my iMac and plug in the miniDisplayPort adapter. Even in 10.6, I can't find a way to simply disable the external monitor. It's not like it's a huge problem, but I could imagine for someone with a Mac Pro or something that they don't have immediate access to; this could prove to be a problem.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    johny5

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    That's me with the Mac Pro then :D
    I have started using a 19" additional display primarily for itunes video and tv sometimes but when I dont use it and switch the monitor off obviously the Mac thinks its still there and is awkward especially if you use spaces.
    The only way for me is to clamber under the desk and unplug it.
    Shame there isnt a simple option to disable the display in prefs.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    #11
    is this some sort of joke??? i'm about to get a brand new 24" monitor..are you saying i won't be able to disable it via my macbook and have to unplug it all of the time???
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #12
    In the good old days™ when macos 10.2. Jaguar was still alive and kicking, there was and option in the displays menu to disable external monitor. I used it quite a lot, because i had tv connected to my powerbook. Then came 10.3. Panther and gone it was, never to be seen again. Thank you apple.
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #13
    SwitchRes X works for disabling one monitor at a time without having to unplug a cable. Just what I needed.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    #14
    Does SwtichResX allow you to put your MacBook display unactive even if it's open?

    I was searching for a software that shutdown the MBP main display when I'm using an external display :)
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #15
    This is really great, I was looking for something like this for a long time,

    thanx!!!
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #16
    I am trying SwitchResX and I cannot find any options for turning off/disabling the second monitor. I have downloaded the latest version.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #17
    Just found this thread, seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. I think what you're looking for is shown near the bottom of this page on the dev's homesite;

    http://www.madrau.com/functions/menus/menus.html
     
  18. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #18
    That's cool -- I don't think SwitchResX had that feature 3.5 years ago, when I posted this thread. Now I don't have the problem anymore (because I have a different computer dedicated to my TV), but it's nice to know there's a really effective solution! :)
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #19
    Yup, just installed it, and does exactly what I needed. I'm the same as you, dont think the functionality existed a while ago, but now its all good!
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #20
    There is a free program called Shades that does essentially the same thing and it's free.

    http://www.charcoaldesign.co.uk/shades
     

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