Mac Video Adapters

Most Mac laptops will require an adapter to connect it to the AV system.  We Do Not Supply or Loan Adapters!
image mac adapter

Please make sure you have an Apple brand adapter! There are many manufactures of adapters, and Apple is the only brand that we’ve found that is consistently reliable. Other brand adapters are often poorly made and may not work. In the past, Apple has released OS updates that make non-Apple adapters not work. If you have a non-Apple brand adapter and you call with laptop display problems, we will likely tell you to replace your adapter.

You can purchase them on campus from The University Book Store, many other area stores or online. Some UW schools and libraries have them available to lend. As there are several different varieties of Mac display ports, it’s best to bring your laptop to the store if you’re unsure what type you have.

Check your connections!

Check the cables and connections – make sure the cable you use is connected properly and solidly to your laptop or adapter.

All our classrooms have a digital HDMI video connection. Some rooms also have an analog VGA connection. It is your responsibility to determine what type of connection your laptop uses and ensure your assigned classroom has the corresponding connection.

 This is a ANALOG or VGA connection  This is a DIGITAL or HDMI connection

On the Podium Touch Panel, make sure you have selected the correct input button for your connection type.

Troubleshooting Mac Laptops

Make sure you have installed all current OS and firmware updates – Check .

Specific problems and solutions are posted below…


The projector is displaying a blank screen, “Input A – No Signal” or similar message may be displayed.


  • Unplug the display adapter, wait 5 seconds, re-plug.
  • Or, with the AV system On and cables connected, put your Mac into “Sleep” mode by closing the cover. Then wake it back up.
  • Or, if your Mac still does not recognize the AV system, reboot your computer while it remains connected to the AV system.


The projector displays the computer background image, but not the presentation content. This is the default setting for a Mac.


Click on the apple in the upper left corner. Go to System Preferences and select “Displays”. On the “Arrangement” Tab, check the “Mirror Displays” box.


The video displays OK, but there is no sound.


  • When using the Analog VGA connection make sure the correct audio cable is fully plugged into the headphone jack of your computer.
  • When using the Digital HDMI connection audio is carried on the HDMI cable, do not plug in any additional audio cables.
    • Close the program playing the audio, then re-open it.
    • Try unplugging the HDMI cable, then plug it back in.
  •  For ALL connection types increase the volume in 3 places: On the content window (such as a YouTube video), the Mac’s master volume, and the Program Volume on the Touch Panel.


These troubleshooting techniques are also available on the touch panel in the classroom. There will be a button labeled “Laptop Computer Help” in the upper right corner of the laptop pages.

An expanded version of this page, including many more detailed troubleshooting techniques and tips, can be found on this web page.  (Opens in a new tab)