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DrBenru Level 1 Level 1

Before Lion you could turn off the internal display on a Macbook by closing the lid, putting the Macbook to sleep and using an external keyboard/mouse to wake it up. After waking up, the internal display would be off and you could open the lid and it would stay off. This allowed better airflow while using an external display, not to mention saved resources like video memory etc. If you wanted to turn the display back on all you had to do was select Detect Displays from the Display menu on the Menu Bar, or put it to sleep and wake it up with the lid open.


On Lion this function no longer works. Lion will automatically execute a Detect Displays when the lid is opened. I don't want to run Dual displays at the moment, my desk is not setup for this and I don't need it. I much rather have more video ram available when I'm playing World of Warcraft.


I know that not having control over what display is active is a more novice user friendly function, but some of us are not novices, Windows has had for years the ability to disable any display from the displays control panel. Most if not all windows laptops come with a dedicated function button expressly to select the active display (press it external display only, press again, internal display only, press again internal and external mirrored, press again internal and external dual display mode). This can be cumbersome and overwhelming to novice users I get it, but Apple should implement some fix for us gaming nerds. I want to keep my lid open to have better airflow and I want my internal display off. How about and advanced button on the Display Preferences.


Anyone know of any existing workarounds?

Macbook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.7)
Solved by ronaldfromjakarta on Jul 22, 2011 12:21 PM Solved

i found a solution for this.. my solution is to put a fridge magnet on the lower left speaker.. so the laptop thinks the lid is closed and so the display is off.. lol.. try it.. it works..

Reply by chenga.8 on Aug 31, 2011 6:36 AM Helpful

Here's the command to make your laptop behave like it did Pre-Lion (courtesy of my friend):


sudo nvram boot-args="iog=0x0"



All replies

  • hy3301-tokyo Level 1 Level 1

    I have the same request. I hate Apple's display setting. Windows is way better. Wait for a good answer from Apple together.

  • bombomman Level 1 Level 1

    agree. this is the 7th. main version of OS 10. Why can't we control the display by ourselives, just like windows?

    I don't always need two display on (macbook and external), but use the isight. Wait for a good solution.

  • danbim Level 1 Level 1

    Without having the lid open my fan runs all the time! I have a 27" screen and really don't need the internal screen when at my desk. Please provide some workaround or additional controls to switch off the internal screen!

  • coocooforcocoapuffs Level 3 Level 3

    Have you tried just lowering the brightness to zero? To control heat there is always iStat. But I agree, it would be nice to have full control.

  • danbim Level 1 Level 1

    Lowering the brightness won't help as the screen is extended to the internal screen then which I don't want. iStat only shows statistics, it can't help to lower the temperature by fighting laws of physics ;-)

  • septi Level 1 Level 1

    Turning the screen black isn't the same. You loses your mouse every minute by accidentally sliding to the left/right.


    I now put my display under "display arrangement" to the lower left, so there is only a one pixel area to let the mouse slide through but anyway, the video memory is (ab)used and you can't close the lid because the fans start to spin like ****.


    Please Apple, give us an option to control it manually!!!

  • Logsi Level 1 Level 1

    I'm trying at the moment to fool the laptop into thinking it's closed even though it's open.


    I can get the laptop open by around an inch before the laptop monitor shuts off. Going to see if this keep it cooler like when it's open.


    Do MacBooks have different fan maps for when the computer is closed and open?

  • yv Level 2 Level 2

    I was too using my Macbook Pro this way, having my external display on with the whole UI and my MBP with the open lid and the screen off. This really helped the computer in terms of airflow.


    Now I'm stuck in clamshell mode while using my external display... Beh. Apple, come on, it's an upgrade. Users should at least have the capability of choosing how to use their external display, just like we had in SL.

  • Vikkan Level 1 Level 1

    Please please please give us back this feature! I updated and like most people here I also ran my macbook with the internal display turned off and an external monitor attached. Why the **** did they have to change this is beyond me.

  • Jonathan UK Level 6 Level 6
    Apple Watch

    Hi Dr Benru


    As you can see, you're not alone! This bug is affecting many other people (myself included) who have been using just an external display in exactly the same way (using clamshell mode and re-opening the MBP lid for improved cooling, without the internal display re-activating).


    Please help by submitting a bug report here - it's one of the best ways to get our concern as near as possible to the top of Apple's queue for fixes:


  • Martas Level 1 Level 1

    Same here. I read the article about the external displays, but this is obviously for Snow Leopard and hasn't been upadted for Lion. It is truly annoying that I cannot have my MacBook lid oped, while having display on it turned off. Apple, please, can you add some options to choose from?! I know that someone is happy with this status like this guy, but it is really not cool!

  • hy3301-tokyo Level 1 Level 1

    Wow, this is a hot topic. I kown that there is no third-party software and plug-ins which can solve the problem. I kinnda have a suggestion. I hope Apple can consider our request.


    We should be able to choose the display mode from the following:

    1. Turn on 2 displays at the same time using one of them as extention display ( the apple preference)

    2. Only external display ( whatever you open or close the lid) By saying this mode, I am not talking about SL, that's even more stupid. You close the lid to make it go to sleep and the wake it up using a keyboard or mouse. This is stupid!!! We should be able to directly turn off the orginal display!

    3. Mirroring base on external display ratio but the internal resolution because no external display will have less pixels.

    4. Mirroing base on internal display ratio and the internal resolution.


    I think if we can chose from this 4 modes, it will satisfy most people.

  • genunix Level 1 Level 1

    Same issue here. This ranks right up there with Apple's design flaw that requires power adapter with external display. So, you can use an external display, but then you'll kill your battery life through unnecessary cycling.

  • ronaldfromjakarta Level 1 Level 1

    i found a solution for this.. my solution is to put a fridge magnet on the lower left speaker.. so the laptop thinks the lid is closed and so the display is off.. lol.. try it.. it works..

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