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Use TV as Second Monitor Mac

As a Mac user, I’ve been frustrated lately trying to use my TV as a second monitor. I’m sure I’m not alone in this struggle, so I’ve done some research and am here to share the tips and tricks I’ve learned to make this process easier. In this post, I’ll explain how I finally got my TV to work as a second monitor with my Mac and provide other solutions I’ve discovered.

It’s possible to use a TV as a second monitor for a Mac. TVs often provide a better viewing experience, allowing you to work, game, and watch various types of media on a much larger scale.

TopicTV as a Second Monitor for Mac
PurposeTo share tips and tricks for using a TV as a second monitor for a Mac
BenefitsLarger display than a regular monitor, simple setup process, ability to watch movies, TV shows, and play games while working
DrawbacksLower pixel density than a monitor, may require an adapter, not as effective for working
How to UseDetermine the correct port, connect adapter and HDMI cable to TV and Mac, select TV as default display in settings or connect wirelessly through a mirroring app
Should You Use It?While you can use a TV as a second monitor for Mac, it may not be the best option as monitors typically have higher pixel densities and are more effective for working. However, it is a viable option for those who don’t have a second monitor or don’t require high pixel densities.

Can You Use TV as a Second Monitor for Mac?

All Macs have ports for connecting to external displays, such as TVs. So, you can set up your TV as a second monitor for your Mac. In many cases, you can even connect a second TV as a third monitor.

TVs and monitors almost always use the same input and output cables. However, Mac ports differ depending on the model, so you may need to purchase an adapter.

Nevertheless, since TVs are larger than most monitors, many people have found that buying that extra adapter is worthwhile.

You’ll be able to watch a movie or TV show while working on your Mac. You can also play your game in multiple tabs on your Mac and TV.

Still, just because you can connect your TV to your Mac as a second monitor, does that mean that you should?

Should You Use TV as a Second Monitor for Mac?

While you can use your TV as a second monitor for Mac, it’s not always the best display option. TVs and monitors have similar functions, so you may not see the differences between them at first. That said, TVs and monitors aren’t interchangeable.


The size difference between the two is the most obvious. TVs are typically larger, making them ideal for both watching TV and gaming.

If you’re working, however, you’ll need to have all the details visible and be able to easily move from one corner of the monitor to the other. A monitor will be ideal in this case.

Resolution and Pixel Density

The larger size of TVs isn’t always better, especially when it comes to resolution and pixel density. If you’re watching a 1080p video, the larger the screen, the more likely it is to have lower pixel density, which you’ll notice.

Macs typically have high pixel densities, and because monitors are smaller, they have higher pixel densities. This makes monitors more compatible with Macs than TVs.

Having said that, if you don’t have a second monitor, you can use your TV instead. You don’t have to spend money on a monitor for your Mac if you don’t care about pixel density or any other monitor-specific features.

How to Use TV as a Second Monitor for Mac

Connecting your Mac to your TV is a straightforward process, but you’ll need to make sure you have the right adapter to connect the HDMI cable from your Mac to your TV.

Your Mac will have a Thunderbolt, HDMI, DVI, Mini DisplayPort, or a USB-C port through which you should connect the device to your TV. So, to get the right adapter, first determine which port your Mac has.

If your Mac has an HDMI port, you won’t need to use an adapter.

Here’s how to connect your TV to your Mac:

  1. Insert the adapter’s input into your Mac’s port
  2. Connect the HDMI cable to the adapter
  3. Insert the cable’s output port to the TV
  4. Hit the Apple Logo on your Mac
  5. Click System Preferences
  6. Select Displays
  7. Choose Default for Display

Connecting TV to Mac Wirelessly

If you have a smart TV, you can simply connect it wirelessly to your Mac as a second monitor by doing the following:

  1. Turn on your TV, Apple TV, and Mac
  2. Click the Apple logo on your Mac
  3. Select System Preferences
  4. Click Displays
  5. Select your TV from the AirPlay Display taskbar

If you don’t have an Apple TV, you’ll need to download a mirroring app designed for your TV brand, such as the Airbeam TV app.

Pros of Using a TV as a Second Monitor for Mac

  • Bigger display than a regular monitor
  • Simple setup process
  • Can watch movies, TV shows, and play games while working

Cons of Using a TV as a Second Monitor for Mac

  • Lower pixel density than a monitor
  • May require an adapter
  • Not as effective for working

In Conclusion

So, if you’ve been wondering if you can use your TV as a second monitor for your Mac, you’d be glad to know that you can.

However, keep in mind that TVs and monitors aren’t identical, so there may be monitor-specific benefits that you miss out on when you connect your Mac to a TV.

Aside from that, since there’s no reason not to use your TV as a monitor for your Mac, you can proceed with the steps outlined above to get your setup up and running.

Read more: how to stream games from PC to TV