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Several people have posted about how they use 3 external monitors with their MacBook Pro Retina. see:


  2. Using 3 External monitors on my macbook pro, problem with DVD player

  3. How many monitors can the new retina MacBook Pro handle and at which pixels resolutions?

However, when I attempt to do this on my 15" late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina, I can only run 2. Either, 2 thunderbolt, or 1 thunderbolt and 1 HDMI. When I plug in all 3, only 2 of them work.

Apple tech says

Yep. You can only have 2 external monitors (unless you want to add a usb monitor).

Is there some trick I am missing? Some setting to tweak? I have 3 monitors just waiting for the solution. One of my monitors feels quite left out...


I can confirm that the 13" MBPROr 2.6gHz i7 can NOT power three external displays. I connected an Apple Thunderbolt Display via Thunderbolt cable, a Cinema Display connected with a mini-display to DVI adapter and a Samsung monitor connected via HDMI. Only two would work at a time. Frankly, when I could get the Samsung to work by disconnecting one of the other monitors, the quality was disappointing using the HDMI but it's a great monitor and I was excited to use it. The quality of the Thunderbolt display is a revelation. It is miles ahead of everything that preceded it.

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I have a Macbook Pro 15" Retina (mid 2013). I run three monitors with it. From the mini HDMI port, I run an old Apple Cinema Display. From one of the Thunderbolt ports, I run a 2013 Apple Thunderbolt display. From its Thunderbolt port, I daisy-chain another 2013 Thunderbolt display.

I have experienced no difficulties with running all three displays at once (typically watch Slingbox or Netflix on one, working on Photoshop with another, and running other apps on both the MacBooks' native display and the old Cinema display monitor.

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3 external displays DOES work.

I am on a Late 2013 MacBook Pro. I have 1 monitor on the HDMI port, 1 on a displayport to HDMI adapter, and one on an ACTIVE displayport to DVI adapter. I'm thinking that the trick here is to use an Active DVI adapter (mine is from Accell)

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