Hide secondary display

Sorry if I’ve missed the setting for this, but I would very much like to be able to hide/disable/“blackify” the secondary display when I’m in full-screen mode. It’s awfully distracting to have some bright stuff next to the visually quiet full-screen Scrivener mode. After all, I go to full-screen mode to focus solely on writing.

Of course, I could use a black background on the secondary desktop and hide all active apps manually, but it would be much nicer if this was a setting.

Yeah, I just use my power switch when I don’t need two monitors.

Exactly as Amber says. :slight_smile: The idea is that if you have two displays, you can refer to information on your second display whilst writing in full screen on the main one. If you don’t want to refer to anything else and just want to focus on writing in full screen, turn the monitor off. In this small way I am helping the environment - by encouraging you to switch off your monitor when it isn’t needed. :slight_smile: (Reduce, reuse, recycle! Yes, I’m a primary school teacher…)


That’s commendable, for sure :slight_smile: But turning off one monitor is easier said than done when you have two Apple Cinema Displays side by side. For one thing, the button on the display on the left (the one I would like to disable) is not accessible since the button is on the right side, which is flush with the other display. And if you do reach the button, it doesn’t turn off the display! According to the docs, the button turns off the Mac, and there is no way to turn off the display manually, short of unplugging the cable.

I understand that this is not a big issue for a lot of people, but it would make at least one person very happy :slight_smile: Hidden pref, perhaps, if you don’t want to clog up the interface?

Edit: I just realised another disadvantage with the turn-off scenario. If I’m not mistaken the OS will gather all the windows on the main display when the secondary it turned off, forcing me to drag them to the correct spot every time I am done with full-screen mode.

YOu can change the options for the Apple Cinema Display power button in the SYSTEM PREFERENCES-MONITORS-OPTIONS


PS: Use a BLACK background on the second monitor… Best of both worlds

Aha, I didn‘t know that - thanks!

I also discovered that I was wrong that all windows are gathered on the main display when the secondary display is turned off, so all in all the turn-off-solution seems to be a viable one.

Hurrah! The environment is saved! [Sheepishly ignores the fact that he has unplugged his MacBook Pro from the monitor and printer but left them switched on upstairs.]

turn them off all you want, but unless you remove the power cable (or switch it on a mechanical strip) you are still drawing a bit of power. Hence the new term “standby” in place of power off.


I have another - less environmentally friendly but perhaps more convenient - solution for the distracting secondary display: a very slick little freeware app, Think. It allows you to focus on one application and hides all other windows behind a black screen. also handy for other situations in which you want to focus on one thing without having to reset your workspace.