Can no longer detect 2nd display in MacOS Monterey

Since the last update (21A5534d), my MacBook doesn't detect my 2nd display. I've tried swapping the display with a new one and trying different connection methods. My MacBook's built-in display goes black for a moment when I attach the cable, but nothing else happens.

I seem to remember that the System Preferences > Displays used to have an option for manually detecting a display, but it doesn't appear to be there any more.

I hope I'm not the only person experiencing this.

Post not yet marked as solved Up vote post of shark72 Down vote post of shark72
  • I have the exact same issue. I am a photographer and my livelihood depends on my editing which I do on the external monitor. Now suddenly after the update I can no longer use my external monitor. This makes me switch to windows right away. This is purely a case of cheating.

  • I have the same exact issue too. The button for manually detecting an external display in the display settings window doesn’t appear when I hold down the option key. I tried connecting the same HDMI cable and monitor to another MacBook Pro with Monterey and the second display worked. I also tried putting my iMac to sleep and waking it up. I also disconnected and reconnected the HDMI cable while my iMac was powered up. I also reset the NVRAM and PRAM on my iMac, but still no good. I tried entering safe mode on my iMac, still no good. None of the methods suggested on YouTube or online seem to work. Finally, I downgraded to OS X Mavericks and the second monitor did work on my iMac. This proves that it’s not a hardware issue with my iMac and must be a driver issue. Monterey is trash!

  • Same issues here. After a couple of weeks with Monterey, my 2nd monitor will not work. Everything else on the hub works. Every other port has been tried and the monitor connected directly. Nothing works. And, holding down OPTION to toggle the "detect external monitors" button is also not available since Monterey.


I have the exact same issue, but with iMac

  • I have the same issue - but it worked for the first few days, then suddenly stopped. I've swapped cables (HDMI), and ports. The alternative input (my work PC) works with either HDMI port on the display - so I'm reasonably sure the Mac is the issue: not the display's ports, nor the cables.

  • Same issue here too with my iMac.

  • Same issue here. I wish I knew of these issues before I decided to update :(

I have this issue as well. I have 2 external displays, both LG high-end IPS, high-refresh displays. They were working fine yesterday. Came into my office this morning, and now only my 27" monitor in portrait mode will be detected. Absolutely 0 changes to the configuration from the day before. I've They're both connected to their own dedicated USB-C port on the MacBook Pro. I've tried restarting several times, I've tried resetting SMC and PRAM and the usual swapping cables around with the display that IS detected, nothing works. The monitor still works fine and is detected by my PC without issue. I'm sort of done with Apple at this point. I've had SO MANY issues getting all my devices to consistently work on my 2019 MacBook Pro. I'm just over it, the old adage "it just works" is no longer true with Apple computers which was the whole reason we used them. If I wanted to debug issues every day I'll just use Windows.

  • it just works until you upgrade. sad story. I cannot get my second display on and I need it badly to do my work!

  • So I'll try on here for a sensible response from another user rather than Apple who directed me to Development who then directed me back to Support who then said and I quote "this is a matter for AppleCare" which of course ran out 2 years ago for my iMac...Lol Clearly passing the buck on this one as this all started for me with the last Big Sur Update that had a sneaky Devices Update with firmware that has clearly bricked my x2 TB USB-C ports to not even be able to charge a phone let alone detect an external display!!! Seriously going to have to downgrade to Mojave I think at this point! *Mr Jobs would be turning in his grave right about now with the update situation of the past 12 months... Simply not why the entire Design community went with Apple in the first place - It used to just work and now, well rubbish! I've tried every possible work around and hack on the net and YouTube to get my external display to be recognised BUT nothing doing and Apple is ignoring this major issue...Not just iMacs either, new M1 MacBook Pros among the dead ports with no power too....Aaaaaaarrrrgggggg PLEASE HELP WITH THIS , IT'S IMPORTANT FFS APPLE!!!!!!!

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same exact issue, cannot detect any secondary display connected through thunderbolt, Monterey is garbage

Same problem since yesterday

Same issue as soon as I updated my 2019 MacBook Pro to Monterey. I have two external monitors, both worked fine till this update now only one seems to register.

Can't find anyway of bringing up the "Detect Displays" hidden option in "Displays" preferences either.

I also have the same issue on an iMac since the update. Has anyone found a solution yet or are apple working on one?

SAME - this is total fascism. I do not want to spend my life serving a technocracy that makes us slaves to it

  • There's the Linux route, since it's an Intel (or ARM) laptop. I work for a corporation, so I already live under a "regime" of sorts.

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Same issue just started happening to me. External monitor was working great over usb-c. Did a restart and now it won't find it - tried all three USB ports on my MBP 14", sleeping, restarting, etc.

Additionally the USB dongle that was connected to the monitor via the same USB-C cable to the Mac has stopped working so I don't have my mouse anymore.

Same issue after Monterey upgrade - connecting external monitor through a hub, doesn't auto detect but laptop screen flashes on and off occasionally. Option key no longer available through display settings - which by the way was always a bit weird that you had to press option to display the gather monitors button. Pretty basic function to be able to connect an external monitor - do they not test this stuff!

Ugh, I just updated my MacBook Pro from 2015. I've never connected a display before, so thought maybe it was a me-problem. What a pain. Was going to buy one of the new ones soon, but yea that's definitely not gonna happen if this is a known problem in the new updates.

I updated my MacBook Pro 2015 model to Monterey last week and the external monitor was working for some days. Today when I disconnected and connected again it stopped recognizing the external display at all. All the tips of making the Detect Display button visible by holding OPT button does not work.

I have tried restarting the Mac, logging out, changing the port, external display detection not working for me anymore. This is a serious failure for my productivity.

POSSIBLE WORKAROUND is to remove the power cord to the monitor and plug it in again, whilst still connected to the Mac. Standby on/off cycling doesn't work.

I'm new to Mac, having used Windows since 1989! Funny as the only problem I've ever noticed in forums on Mac is how they have problems detecting external displays, so I guess I'm not surprised it's happened.

  • This worked!!! Thanks very much.

    Just FYI, in case it helps others....

    I have a Intel MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019).External Monitor: Philips 32" 4k (PHL 328P6VU), plugged in via USB-C.

    The monitor worked yesterday fine with Big Sur. I updated to Monterey about 16 hours ago and the Philips stopped working. Ie. MacOS > Sys Prefs > Displays > NOTHING detected except the macbook monitor.

    NOTE: I tried another monitor (LG 4k 42.5" connected via USB-C). It did work, first go. Monterey seemed to like the LG monitor (but not the Philips).

    To fix the Philips 32" monitor: With Macbook still on and plugged in to Philips, I powered off the Philips 4k, then powered it back on and voila. it was detected virtually immediately.

  • In my case it seemed to be intermittent. After seeing batFalcon's post I tried unplugging both the power cable + my Philips 343E2E USB-C cable -- then plugging the monitor in first. It worked! Seems I always plug the power in first when setting things back up.

  • The worked!!! Adding this to standard troubleshooting.

I just upgraded to Monterey and lost use of my second screen. Tried everything said here as well as in Apple support. On a whim, while in the display settings I dragged the uncooperative screen to the left side and it works! At least I can move my mouse back and forth and the dock moved left. Windows open using either screen now. The only thing is that I didn't have the same picture so went back to select it. I'm really hoping it will continue to work this way.

  • Same problem as all the posts. After switching to Monterey my second display has became inoperative. Very frustrating.... was the product rushed out of the door or the testing department has been bypassed?

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Thanks @balFalcon! I’ve just unplugged the connection cable and reboot my MacBook. After it’s done, I plugged it back and it can detect automatically.

  • This worked for me after a Monterey upgrade. Simply powering on and off the second monitor didn't

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I have the same issue with my MacBook 13' and my LG 27' monitor! I am on Monterey and my MacBook is not recognizing the external display at all. Can anyone from @apple answer us please!!!

  • same issue here too -- external monitors do not consistently connect -----REALLY frustrating

  • I am experiencing the same issue. I have to restart my mac every time I unplug from the monitor. After restarting, the mac recognizes the monitor, but if I unplug it, the mac won't recognize the monitor until I restart again. Extremely frustrating.

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