How to Use Clamshell Mode on Your Mac

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Are you a Mac user looking to make the most of your device? Clamshell mode is an incredibly usful feature that can help you get the most out of your Mac. In this blog, we’ll go over what clamshell mode is, how to use it on your Mac, and the advantages of using this feature.

What is Clamshell Mode?

Clamshell mode is a special setting that allows you to use your laptop with the lid closed. When in this mode, the laptop’s display is sent to an external monitor or TV. You can then use your laptop with its lid closed, meaning that you don’t need to worry about constantly opening and closing it. This is especially usefl for those who are often on the go and don’t want to worry about carrying around a bulky laptop case.

How to Use Clamshell Mode On Your Mac

Using clamshell mode on your Mac is easy and straightforward. First, connect an external monitor or TV to your Mac via Thunderbolt cable. Next, connect a mouse and keyboard (wired or wireless) to your Mac as well. Once everything is connected, close the lid of your laptop and wait for the desktop image to appar on the external display. You should now be able to use your laptop with its lid closed in clamshell mode!

Advantages of Using Clamshell Mode On Your Mac

There are severl advantages of using clamshell mode on your Mac:

• It saves space – By being able to keep your laptop’s lid closed while in use, you save valuable space that would otherwise be taken up by an open laptop screen.
• It protects from damage – Keeping the lid closed helps protect from dirt and dust getting into sensitive parts of the device as well as accidental damage from knocks or spills when transporting it around with you.
• It conserves battery power – Without having to power two screens at once (the internal display and external one), battery life will be significantly increased as less power will be used overall dring use.

Overall, using clamshell mode on your Mac can be incredibly useful for those who are often on the go and need their device up and running quickly without having to worry about packing away a bulky laptop case every time they move locations!

How to Use Clamshell Mode on Your Mac 1

Enabling Clamshell Mode on a Mac

To turn on clamshell mode on your Mac, you’ll need to first make sure your laptop is connected to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. For newer laptops like the 2021 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, simply close the screen to initiate clamshell mode. However, for older laptops, you may need to press the external keyboard’s spacebar aftr closing the screen. Once the screen is closed and the spacebar has been pressed (if necessary), your laptop should enter into clamshell mode.

Using M1 in Clamshell Mode on a Mac

M1 in clamshell mode allows you to use your Mac laptop with an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. To do this, you’ll need to connect your MacBook to the external monitor using a Thunderbolt cable. You can then connect a keyboard and mouse to your MacBook, either wired or wireless. After doing so, just close the lid of your MacBook, and it will now be running in clamshell mode. You can now use the external monitor as your main display, whie the internal display is turned off. You can also disconnect the keyboard and mouse when you’re done using them, so that they don’t consume any battery power.

Keeping Your Mac On When the Lid Is Closed

To keep your Mac on when the lid is closed, first open System Preferences by clicking the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen. Then click Battery and select the Power Adapter from the left sidebar. Finally, move the slider under Turn display off after to Never. This will keep your Mac running while the lid is closed, enabling you to continue working remotely or have it availale for use even when you are not around.

Using a MacBook Pro With the Lid Closed

Yes, it is possible to use a MacBook Pro with the lid closed. To do this, you will need an external display connected to your MacBook via a cable such as HDMI, VGA, Thunderbolt, or USB-C. Once the external display is connected and powered on, you can close the lid of your MacBook Pro and it will automatically switch the video output to the external display. You can then use your laptop with the lid closed just as you would normally do with it open.

Keeping an External Monitor On When a Mac M1 Laptop Is Closed

In order to keep the external monitor on when your Mac m1 laptop is closed, you must first open the System Preferences window. To do this, click the Apple icon at the top left and then choose System Preferences. Once you are in the System Preferences window, click Battery and then select the Power Adapter tab on the left side of the window. In the “Turn display off after” section, drag the slider to Never to ensure that your external monitor will stay on when your laptop is closed.

Keeping External Monitor On When Laptop Is Closed

To keep your external monitor on when your laptop is closed, you’ll need to make a change to your power settings. First, go to Control Panel and select Power Options. Then, click on Choose when to turn off the display in the left pane. Next, click on Change advanced power settings. Go to Power buttons and lid and expand Lid close action. Finally, change Plugged in from Shut down to Do nothing. This will keep your external monitor on when you close your laptop lid.

Enabling Clamshell Mode on a Laptop

To put your laptop in clamshell mode, first open the Control Panel and click on “Hardware and Sound.” From there, navigate to “Power Options” and click on “Choose what closing the lid does” on the sidebar. Alternatively, you can type “Lid” in the search bar near the Start button. Once you are in this section of Power Options, select the “Do nothing” option for both “On battery” and “Plugged in” before clicking “Save changes.” This will enable Clamshell mode, which allows your laptop to stay powered on with its lid closed whle connected to an external monitor or dock.

Can the M1 MacBook Air Support Two Monitors in Clamshell Mode?

No, the M1 MacBook Air is not able to support two external monitors in clamshell mode. While the M1 Mac Mini can natively support up to two external displays, the M1 MacBook Air and Pro are limited to just one monitor. To connect a second monitor to the M1 MacBook Air and Pro, you would need to use an external GPU that connects via Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C and provides additional video ports.

Does Mac Automatically Go Into Sleep Mode When Lid Is Closed?

Yes, Mac does automatically sleep when the lid is closed. This is a feature that helps conserve battery life and power when the computer is not in use. When the lid is closed, your Mac will enter its low-power sleep mode, which helps save battery life while keeping data safe and secure. The Mac will stay in this state until the lid is opened or until a connected power source is removed. Additionally, you can customize your Mac’s power settings to change how it responds to when the lid is closed.

Keeping a Mac On Without Touching It

To keep your Mac on without touching it, you’ll need to adjust your computer’s Energy Saver settings. To do this, open System Preferences, then select Energy Saver. On the Energy Saver window, locate the slider and move it all the way to the right to select “Never”. This will prevent your Mac from automatically going into sleep mode, keeping the screen active indefinitely until you manually select Sleep from the Apple menu.


In conclusion, clamshell mode on MacBook Pro laptops allows users to use their laptop with an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse while the laptop’s lid is closed. This mode provides a convenient and space-saving way to work as users can use their laptop like a desktop computer without having to keep the screen open. Newer models are equipped with M1 Pro or M1 Max chips which automatically initiate clamshell mode when the screen is closed. Older models may require an additional step of pressing the external keyboard’s spacebar afer closing the screen. To keep your MacBook on when you close the lid, you will need to adjust your settings in System Preferences so that the display never turns off. Clamshell mode is a great way to get more out of your MacBook Pro and make it work more like a desktop computer.

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Sanjeev Singh

Sanjeev is the tech editor at DeviceMAG. He has a keen interest in all things technology, and loves to write about the latest developments in the industry. He has a passion for quality-focused journalism and believes in using technology to make people's lives better. He has worked in the tech industry for over 15 years, and has written for some of the biggest tech blogs in the world. Sanjeev is also an avid photographer and loves spending time with his family.