Clamshell mode is basically the way of using your system when you are not using its built-in components like the built-in mouse, keyboard, or screen but by using external hardware devices instead. This practice of enabling the Clamshell mode on your system is quite interesting and at the same time, it is very useful also.

Here in this article the procedure to set up the clamshell mode in MacBook is being discussed and also the reasons why the clamshell mode is not working in the MacBook system are also highlighted.

How to Setup MacBook Clamshell Mode?

  • The first step is to make the connection between the MacBook system and the external devices that are to be used. Get on your keyboard, mouse, and screen for making up the connections. You have to decide first which type of connection you wish to choose. You may use a Bluetooth connection or a wired connection for enabling the connection. If you choose to go on with the wireless connection then you must ensure that both the devices are Bluetooth supported and also in clamshell mode. 
  • The next step is to have an external uninterrupted power supply for your laptop model. This is to make sure that no power outrage should occur in between the setup as it can lead to loss of data and information. Also, it is advisable to use the laptop’s own charger for charging it as it has the required potential to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to the laptop.

The most important step comes here when you have to finally set up the clamshell mode on your laptop. For this, you need to follow up on the steps given below:

  • Check on the laptop’s screen. If it is closed on you need to open it up and get it in startup mode.
  • When you have connected the laptop to the external power supply in the step prior to this you may have witnessed that the system is already in clamshell mode but that’s not the case every time. You may sometimes need to press the spacebar key on your external laptop or the enter key for the final establishment of the clamshell mode. 
  • After the completion of STEP 2, the clamshell mode gets enabled on your laptop and now you may use the external devices for getting on with your work.

Why MacBook Clamshell Mode not Working?

  1. Check for the connections. Make sure that the MacBook laptop is properly plugged in with the charger’s cable so that an uninterrupted power supply is ensured. Sometimes the charger that you are using may be a defective one with respect to the MacBook system. So it’s better to use the same charger that you got with the delivery of the laptop. 
  2. If the screen is not working properly then the problem might be with the monitor setup. You need to disconnect the monitor from all the connections for about 6-10 seconds and then try to re-establish the connections and see the display again.

You can also visit our detailed review and buying guide on the MacBook pro monitors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Mac have to be plugged in for clamshell mode?

Yes, the computer needs to be plugged in for the clamshell mode to get enabled. You need to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to the laptop for this purpose.

Why does my external monitor turn off when I close my MacBook pro?

This happens because when the MacBook pro is turned off it goes on to the sleeping stage and thus the screen connected with it also closes.


So, before you think to enable the clamshell mode on your laptop the prerequisite thing is to make sure that your system supports that mode. MacBook already has the clamshell mode enabled in it.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *