How To Connect Your MacBook Laptop To A Projector

Steve Scott

Last Updated on

You just got that shiny new projector and are wanting to start to enjoy your preferred media or visualize your professional presentation on the big screen as soon as possible. Lucky for you, this endeavor is one that is simple for those unfamiliar and veterans of technology alike.

While the process is rather straightforward, there are parts of it that do require a bit of extra consideration before jumping right into connecting hookup this to that and vice versa.

Note that unique to the MacBook laptop in comparison to other brands of laptops is the input/output port; this, in turn, makes the connection procedure a little more complicated for first-timers.

macbook pro

Due to this uncommon attribute, the MacBook port needs a particular VGA or HDMI, depending on your projector, adapter to be linked to the projector. What further complicates this link is that adapters vary from one MacBook model to another; leaving the consumer in charge of making sure they obtain the correct adapter that coincides with their model of MacBook.

A simple way to look for an adapter that is compatible with your MacBook is to identify if your model has either a thunderbolt or mini display port. However, do not rely solely on this identification.

macbook and projector cable

To avoid purchasing an adapter that does not correctly work with your MacBook model do a small bit of research before finalizing your purchase as there are a variety of adapters to choose from. Once you determine which adapter works with your model of MacBook proceed down to the quick guide to get your projector started and functioning smoothly.

Quick Guide to Connecting Your MacBook to a Projector

  1. Make sure the MacBook is ON.
  2. Plug the projector into a wall outlet and leave it powered OFF for now.
  3. Insert the smaller end of the MacBook adapter into the thunderbolt or mini display port.
  4. Connect the wider end of the adapter to the VGA or HDMI cable of the projector.
  5. After all, is connected, power ON the projector
connecting macbook to a projector-min

Displaying Your MacBook Screen through Your Projector

  1. Click on the Apple menu found in the upper left corner of your laptop screen and a drop-down menu will appear. From this drop-down menu select “System Preferences.”
  2. Within the “Systems Preferences” window you will be shown multiple icons. Of the displayed icons, find the one that is in the shape of a monitor and says “Displays”
  3. You will now be in the “Displays” window. In this window, near the bottom left corner will be a “Mirror Displays” checkbox. Check this box. (This will project whatever you see on your MacBook screen through the projector)
  4. After several seconds, and if the connection was successful, then your MacBook home screen should now be mirrored through the projector screen.

Congratulations, you have now successfully connected your MacBook laptop to your projector! This will open up new avenues for watching your favorite movies, playing games, viewing pictures, displaying presentations, and much more! 

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

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