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How To Connect Dell Monitor To Macbook Pro (Detailed Guide)

While working from home, it can be easy to miss the larger monitors in the office. Smaller screens can potentially lead to eye strain or decreased productivity for those used to dual or larger screens. Need to know how to connect Dell monitors to MacBook Pro laptops? We have everything you need to know down below. 

As a rule, it is possible to connect a Dell monitor to MacBook Pro laptops, or any other laptop, provided that the ports match and you have the correct cable. For example, MacBook Pros have two or three thunderbolt USB-C ports and an HDMI port. Dell monitors typically have USB, HDMI, or VGA ports. If you need an adapter, you can pick one up from Apple or Amazon.  

But why connect the two? Connecting your MacBook Pro to an external monitor can provide you with two screens to work or stream content. This can increase your productivity or enhance your downtime. Alternatively, just having a larger screen can help you read digital text and view images without straining your eyes. 

macbook

How To Connect Dell Monitor To MacBook Pro? 

Connect Using HDMI 

Here are some tips on how to connect Dell monitors to MacBook Pros via HDMI. 

Materials: 

  • MacBook Pro plus charger 
  • Dell monitor plus power cable 
  • HDMI cable 
  1. 1
    Ensure that you have your monitor and laptop shut down and unplugged. 
  2. 2
    Connect each end of your HDMI cable to the HDMI port in the back of the monitor and side of the MacBook. 
  3. 3
    Plug both the laptop and monitor into the nearest outlet and turn them on. 
  4. 4
    Go to settings and adjust your system preferences to either mirror, extend, or dual your display. 

This is the simplest way to connect your laptop and monitor for optimal work and play. If you need to connect two Dell monitors to your MacBook Pro, purchase an HDMI dual monitor adapter with a USB-C input that works for Mac. 

Connect Using USB-C 

Here is the simplest way to connect Dell monitors to a MacBook Pro via USB-C: 

Materials: 

  1. 1
    Ensure that you have your monitor and laptop shut down and unplugged. 
  2. 2
    Connect your HDMI cable to the matching port in the adapter and the monitor.  
  3. 3
    Plug the USB-C end into the MacBook’s port. 
  4. 4
    Plug both the laptop and monitor into the nearest outlet and turn them on. 
  5. 5
    Go to settings and adjust your system preferences to either mirror, extend, or dual your display. 

If you have a VGA port, the steps will be similar but with a VGA to HDMI or USB-C port converter. 

MacBook and monitors

Changing Settings Of MacBook Pro To Work With Dell Monitor 

There are a few ways to change your MacBook Pro settings to work with your monitor. Typically, you will either want to mirror or extend your display or set up a dual system. To video mirror your laptop’s display onto the monitor, pressing the F7 key should do the trick.  

Alternatively, you can go into System Preferences>Displays and move the boxes around until you are happy with your setup. If you want to extend your display, go to System Preferences>Display>Arrangement>Extended Desktop or Mirror Display. 

No matter your preferences, you should be able to switch your setup around as you find what works best for you. 

MacBook Pro on desk

Why Is My Dell Monitor Not Detected On MacBook Pro? 

There are a few common reasons your MacBook Pro and Dell monitor might not detect each other.  

  • Ports Not In Properly  
    Unplug and re-plug your cables, ensuring that they are all snugly in their ports.  
  • Unclean Or Damaged Ports And Cables  
    Unplug and inspect your cables to ensure that they are clean and undamaged. You can move dust and grime away from the ports and inputs with a dry clean toothbrush while the electricals are off and unplugged. If they are damaged, you will need to repair or replace them. 
  • Incorrect Settings  
    If everything is on, clean, and secure, you may need to go into your MacBook settings and ensure that the signal cable connection is stable or if the correct input has been selected on your monitor. 

Common Dell To MacBook Pro Questions 

Which monitors are compatible with MacBook Pro? 

As we briefly mentioned, you should be able to connect most monitors with a MacBook Pro provided you have the right tech on hand. Purchasing anything you do not have should be easy – follow our steps above to get started. 

What is a DP cable for Dell monitors? 

A DP cable, also known as a DisplayPort cable, is a cable designed to work with a DisplayPort to connect displays and monitors to a source device. This system was designed as a follow-up to VGA and DVI ports. 


Conclusion

Following our tips above, you can feel confident in knowing how to connect a MacBook Pro to Dell monitors. Once you are done, work and play will be even better with this improved setup and multiple display options.