How to switch the default monitor on Mac

October 1, 2020 , I learned...

I was chatting with my buddy Stephen yesterday and we were gabbing about our monitor configurations. I have an external monitor hooked up to a MacBook Pro. Pretty basic setup.

Stephen asked if I had made my external monitor the default screen. Then he blew my mind hole because apparently there’s a way to do that in System Preferences that ain’t very obvious.

Join me in the Displays → Arrangement settings.

See that little white bar across the top of the laptop screen? It can be moved!

Now my external monitor is the default screen. In other words, all my downloads and saved files will go directly there instead of my laptop. The external monitor is what I primarily use, so even being able to access app helpers in the system menu bar is a lot more convenient.

And if my monitor isn’t plugged in? It just reverts to the laptop. Perfect!