The MacBook Air might be the best option for most people who need an ultra-portable laptop with a huge battery life, but it does come with some trade-offs. The biggest of these? That the thin size of the MacBook Air’s edge makes it physically impossible to put some ports on it, such as the all-important HDMI connector for using your laptop as a presentation tool.
That’s true for any version of the MacBook Air, which comes equipped with Mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, USB-C Thunderbolt 3, and even Micro-DVI! That last one is horribly outdated now and hard to find adapters for, so if you own an early MacBook Air with Micro-DVI, it might be worth looking at upgrading. For all the other MacBook Air versions, we’ll show you what you need to use it on the big screen.
So, exactly how do I connect my MacBook Air to a TV?
Short answer: You’ll need a dongle in most cases
If trying to figure out which ports are on the side of your MacBook Air will connect to your TV feels like some arcane mystery, there’s an easy way to figure out what adapters you need. Click on the Apple icon and head to About This Mac. Then navigate to the Support tab, then Specifications, then scroll down to Graphics and Video Support to see the details of the external display ports on your MacBook Air.
You’ll have one of the types of ports below, and we’ve added which adapters and cables you’ll need to use on either your TV or projector:
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