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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached Laptop Macs
Before Lion it was possible to run an external display off a laptop and have the internal display disabled, even if you opened the lid. This can be useful for a myriad of reason including energy saving and better wifi reception. With Lion the internal display will always turn on when the lid is opened, even if there is already an external display connected.

A solution was posted on the Apple support forums by user chenga.8.

To go back to pre-Lion behaviour enter the following command in Terminal:

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

To undo this change type type the following command or zap the PRAM (press Cmd+Opt+p+r at power up):

sudo nvram -d boot-args

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached | 12 comments | Create New Account
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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: gil on Sep 08, '11 09:38:39AM
Please note that you need to restart your computer after typing the command in the terminal. Otherwise the hint works as advertised on my MacBook Pro 15" (2010).

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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: joostdh on Sep 11, '11 06:26:15AM

You are right, a reboot is required. I forgot to mention that in my hint submission.



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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: Jimbode on Sep 08, '11 12:26:18PM

The new Lion way seems to make more sense to me.



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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: harrisj on Sep 08, '11 07:41:22PM

Awesome!
I've been needing this fix. I like to keep the lid open for the better wifi reception and my macbook (media center duties) is in a cupboard away from the wifi router.

Many thanks.



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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: joostdh on Sep 11, '11 06:24:52AM

Better wifi-reception was exactly the reason I was looking for a fix myself.



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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: poenn on Sep 09, '11 03:44:53AM

This is THE 10.7-hint for me, thanks a lot!



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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: cv186 on Sep 09, '11 08:51:36PM

Works as advertised on MacBookPro7,1.

Highly desirable work-around if your external display (like mine) is greatly larger than the internal, and you have to open the lid to use the iSight camera. Such a pest when every window changes place and size and stays there!



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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: Demlotcrew on Sep 12, '11 06:33:26AM

Just to add, this works ok on a i7 quad 15" - up to this point i was dimming the laptop display when colour correcting as the Apple logo on the back creates too much ambient light!

Im so glad someone clever has worked this out! Its a really problem with Lion!



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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: ruedu on Oct 20, '11 12:22:31PM

I asked a number of people and could never get an answer, how was this possible prior to Lion?



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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: velo on Oct 20, '11 12:55:26PM

I have a somewhat comparable issue with an old iMac (2007 C2D) - the display panel became unusable a few months ago, and I had to use an external monitor. Since the iMac is still on my desk powering the display, the internal display is still active - even though I have no use for it and it simply bothers me (cursor "running" to the flawed display, unhealthy bad-lit picture still in view from the iMac etc.).

Is there any way to deactivate the iMac's internal monitor when another display source is available?

Thanks!



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10.7: Disable internal laptop display when external display is attached
Authored by: tomhayes on Oct 20, '11 02:08:01PM

This completely hosed my amnchine.

I issued the command and rebooted. The powerbook came on (chime) with the internal screen grey and then the computer immediatly itself off.

Same thing happened the next 3 times.

I zapped PRAM using the keyobar (opt-apple-p-r-) 6 times in a row and still ahd the same issue.

I booted into recorvery mode (option-R) and issued the second nvram command using terminal. Rebooted. Same issue still.

I need help - I can't use my machine at all now.



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Update on my hosed machine
Authored by: tomhayes on Oct 21, '11 10:34:57AM

I have an OCZ SDD Vertex (1.3 firmware) in it and the disk became corrupt upon restart after issuing that NVRAM command.

It could be a COMPLETE coincidence , or the command might have corrupt the HD.

I had to reinstall Lion to an external drive, grab my files from the SSD (which I could read from, but not write to or repair in disk until) and then reinstall on the SSD.

I'm hesitant to try this again.

Does anyone think it was just bad luck? (I copied and pasted the command from here - so I didn't type it in wrong.)



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