Display flickering on a Mac connected to docking station while closed (clamshell mode)

Symptoms

When connecting an Apple Mac laptop to a docking station with external monitors and attempting to use it with the lid closed in "clamshell" mode, the display turns on and off frequently. If the laptop is open, this does not happen.

Environment

  • MacOS 11.1 and later
  • Intel-based Apple Mac Laptops (MacBook Pro, MacBook Air)
  • Docking Stations with DisplayLink Technology
    • Dell D6000

Cause

This is a known issue with the DisplayLink drivers on Intel-based Mac Laptops running macOS Big Sur version 11.1 and later.

Resolution

Check the docking station manual and specs for DisplayLink enabled ports. Certain devices, such as the Dell D6000, only have certain ports that require DisplayLink drivers. If using a single display with the dock, the HDMI port can be used without the drivers, and the computer can be used in "clamshell" mode.

If the dock being used requires DisplayLink on all ports, you must use the laptop in an open state until a fix is implemented for the affected systems.

Details

Article ID: 6204
Created
Wed 8/18/21 11:02 AM
Modified
Wed 6/8/22 11:05 AM