External Display on a Leopard MacBook Pro Issues

I move from office to office and I usually connect an external screen and keyboard & mouse to my MacBook Pro. Leopard has several annoying issues with this:

  • Windows don’t move to the new main screen – When I connect a nice 23″ display to my MacBook Pro I usually make sure that that display becomes the main one. Leopard remembers this and it correctly moves the menu bar from the built-in display to the external display. What it does not do is to move all windows to the new main display. They are still waiting on the built-in display. I’m pretty sure Tiger did this correctly.
  • Applications dont recognize the new main display – After I connect the external display and have for example dragged Mail.app from the built-in to the external display (because of the above bug) it starts doing something weird: when I open a message the new message window is opened on the built-in display, not the external display that is now the main screen! I thought Mail.app might be confused so I quit and start it. But it still happens. Same with Terminal.app. New terminal windows appear on the built-in non-main display.

I’m pretty sure these issues are new to Leopard. I’ve never had these frustrating things with Tiger.

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5 comments so far

  1. Ivan on

    I agree – this was one of the first things I noticed about Leopard that really bugged me. Last night I was using Keynote, and I could not get the display to go to my external (“alternate”) display either. Changing the preferences around just caused the presenter tools to disappear, and the slideshow stayed stubbornly on the laptop screen.

    Seems like there are some significant problems with connecting an external display. At the moment I would not volunteer to do a presentation using my Leopard laptop, as I would be very concerned that I would not be able to put the presentation to the projector. I guess I could mirror if I was desperate. Surely someone else has noticed this!

  2. Gary on

    I have the same issues. Also irritating is the move from the office (on external display) to home (using the built in display). If I just put my MacBook to sleep and then disconnect everything to go home, I cannot get it powered up properly at home — it still thinks it is connected to the external display and I can’t get the built in display to work.

    Basically, all I can find that works is to power down, disconnect and then reboot at home. Neat!

  3. GeoSun on

    Just switched from PowerBook/Tiger to MacBook/Leopard and now I don’t have the luxury of F7 functionality. With PowerBook I could run my presentation while working on my screen without the whole audience know what I was doing. But with the Leopard, I can’t do this any more. My only choice is a Mirror Display which enabled me to have dual display but every one knew what I was doing.

    Hope it’ll be fixed soon.

  4. Troy Elliott on

    Hi there

    yep got an external display issue after upgrading to Leopard – my external screen requires 1680 x 1050 resolution which was fine in Tiger. leopard upgrade – max resolution available 1600 x 1000. It looks rubbish – early 90’s graphics. C’mon Apple sort it out!

  5. Howard Lovatt on

    I have the same problems. Worked fine with Tiger not with Leopard. Anyone found a solution? Is it spaces related?


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