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How to use multiscreen on your MacBook with a HDMI cable

Some people are good at multitasking and some people are not. An old, aged cliche will try and tell you that such a skill depends on your gender but as well all know, such talk is nonsense.

But when it comes to using your MacBook, there is no need for debate as multitasking is possible and, if used correctly, it’s very useful. For example, the FIFA World Cup may have passed now, but with games on midweek afternoons, the smarter MacBook users among us were fine tuning a spreadsheet on one screen and watching Russia beat Saudi Arabia on another. Or, if football’s not your thing. you could be playing a UK Slot Machines online on your lap and watching YouTube on your living room TV. Not bad, eh?

But how to use this multiscreen function on your MacBook air? Here are the simple steps that you need to be able to get your MacBook performing at it’s multifunctional, multitasking best.

1. You will need a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter 
With no HDMI input on many of the more modern MacBooks, it’s not as simple as you might have first thought to be able to get your multiscreen session started. So, all though most of us will already have that important HDMI cable (step 2), we need to start here with this nifty adapter.

Available direct from Apple but also available at a cheaper price from elsewhere, this small devices convert the Mac’s output from it’s own format into HDMI, meaning that it’s going to be able to connect easily into the back of your TV. On the right side of your MacBook, next to a USB port, you’ll notice this Thunderbolt slot and the lightning logo beside it - this is where the device plugs in.

2. You’ll need a HDMI lead
Whether you’re ordering a new one off of Amazon or borrowing your little brother’s HDMI cable from his Playstation, finding one of these leads isn’t too tricky in 2018. Almost every TV you see these days is HD and as such, the HDMI cable is incredibly common. If you’re a fan of spinning to win on slots then you’ll know all about these top tech items.

Attach one end of the cable into your Thunderbolt adapter and the other into the back of your TV and, if the TV is already on, you should notice a reaction from your MacBook. Also note that although the length of HDMI cables is usually unimportant, a longer lead may be beneficial if you plan to have your MacBook on your lap whilst you watch the TV.

3. Use as separate display
Once attached, you’ll notice an icon on your top toolbar that doesn’t usually appear. It shows a TV screen with an arrow and clicking this will open up the display preferences. Hit ‘Use as separate display’ as opposed to ‘Mirror Display,’ and you’re now really close to getting the most of this multiscreen function.

4. Drag and drop
Finally, your MacBook has a really user-friendly approach to how you organise your two screens. Imagine them as one large screen, with the cursor able to travel between the two. Simply drag and drop each tab onto the screen you want it to be shown on and, with full screen functionality sticking to each individual monitor, you can watch something in full HD on your TV and crack on with work on your MacBook. The dream set-up.


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