External display as main display on boot up (Macbook 12, Retina, 2015)

Nov 3, 2021
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My display is defective (white oval ring on screen) and right now, I just close the lid when booting up so the external display that’s connected (via a USB C dongle) activates and becomes the primary display. I open the lid and use the Macbook keyboard and my Bluetooth mouse to navigate after. If I don’t close the lid after boot up, the ext display won’t activate.

I’m just wondering if this works on a clean install with e.g. a wired USB mouse connected to the dongle (instead of a Bluetooth input device cause that’s not set up yet).


Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

Sorry for the delayed response.

You are using closed-display mode. You can leave the display closed if you are using an external USB or Bluetooth keyboard/mouse, as it the Mac will wake from sleep in this mode. I have a MBA and MBP setup this way in my home, both connected to my TV.

Of course, if you power off the MacBook you will have to open the display to power it on, then close it and wake with keyboard/mouse.


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