Some macOS Big Sur 11.2 users still experiencing external display connection issues

Some MacBook owners have been experiencing issues with external displays. Apple meant to fix that with a recent software update, but it turns out the issues are still here.

As noted today by MacRumors, there are some users out there running macOS Big Sur 11.2 –the newest version of the desktop OS– still having external display connection issues. Folks are taking to resources like Reddit, the Apple Support Community, and Twitter to voice their concerns. According to the original report, there are two issues that appear to be most common, but it all stems from external display connections.

The first issue revolves around the USB-C port. Apparently it can simply refuse to recognize an external monitor is connected to it. This impacts both HDMI and DisplayPort displays. And it doesn’t matter if the monitor is connected via an adapter or hub, either.

This firsthand report from a MacBook owner is from Reddit:

Upgrading to 11.2 broke my second external monitor connection.
Primary monitor LG Ultrafine 4k (Mac version) connected via Thunderbolt.
Secondary monitor (same model) connected via HDMI->DisplayPort adapter (BENFEI), then DisplayPort->USB-C cable no longer works after updating (worked fine on 11.1 before updating).
macOS appears to recognize the monitor and resolution, as it is shown in display settings, and Apple Support was able to remove into my computer and see both screens. It’s almost as if the signal for the monitor to turn on is not being sent.

WWDC 2020 macos big sur

The other issue is a bit minor when compared to the first. However, it’s still an issue that shouldn’t be popping up. According to owners, macOS Big Sur 11.2 is locking some external displays to just 30Hz — even if their display supports a 4K resolution with 60Hz refresh rate. And in some cases, a 4K monitor may only be seen as a 1080p monitor.

At the time of publication, there does not appear to be a fix for these issues. However, it’s worth noting that Apple released macOS Big Sur 11.2 earlier this week, and it specifically called out fixing external display issues. Albeit, that was with the M1 Mac mini.

The problem appears to be mostly impacting the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but other models, including the M1 MacBook Pro.

Apple is currently beta testing the next update for macOS Big Sur, version 11.3, but there’s no word on when that will be released to the public. Hopefully it fixes these issues.

Are you experiencing any issues?