Unable To Play Movies On My Macbook And Watch Them On My Tv: Macbook Pro Hdmi Port Not Working

Did you know that you can connect your MacBook to your TV and display the contents of your MacBook on the TV? It is possible if you use the correct cables and adaptors. That is where an HDMI port on your MacBook comes into play. Most MacBooks use HDMI cables to connect to other HDMI devices like HDTV.

You must know how to identify the ports on your MacBook and understand their purpose. Some MacBook users have had complaints that their HDMI port is not working. If you are experiencing the same problem, do not worry as there is a solution to that. When your HDMI port is not working, it might display some signs to show that it has an issue.

MacBook Pro HDMI Port Not Working

When your HDMI port is not working, it might be hard to get any images or sound from the device. Therefore you cannot play anything on your MacBook and watch it on your TV. When this happens, you should see if the HDMI port is damaged or not. If you find that it is intact, you can use other ways to try and solve the problem.

Types Of Ports That Different MacBooks have

The cable you use to display content from your MacBook to your display device depends on the MacBook model. Different MacBooks come with different types of ports.  The following are some of the different types of ports and their MacBooks model.

Mini DisplayPort

Apple announced the Mini display port at the end of 2008. The port can run displays featuring VGA, HDMI, and DVI interfaces.


Nowadays, it Is not easy to find a MacBook with an HDMI port. However, most TVs have HDMI ports. Therefore, MacBooks with an HDMI are the favorite choice for setting up a media center PC. Some Macbooks with HDMI ports include Mac mini and MacBook Pro(mid-2012 to 2015).

Thunderbolt 1 Or 2 Port

The introduction of Thunderbolt 1 was in 2011 and started appearing on MacBooks since that time. It seems the same as the Mini Display port and is backward-compatible. A MacBook can connect a 4K Ultra HD TV using a direct HDMI connection with this type of port.  Apple later introduced Thunderbolt 2 in 2012, which is faster than Thunderbolt 1.

Thunderbolt Port 3

Another port that Apple introduced was the Thunderbolt 3. Its introduction was in 2016. Therefore MacBooks that came from around that year have Thunderbolt 3 ports.  It looks the same as the USB-C port but has a higher bandwidth of 40 GPS than the 10GPS of USB-C.

Ways You Can Know That Your HDMI Port Is Bad

When your HDMI port is defective, watching movies from your MacBook on your TV is hard. The following are some of the signs that your HDMI port is faulty.

Lack Of Sound

Have you ever connected your MacBook with your TV, but it fails to produce sound? If you get into such a situation, it might be that your HDMI is terrible. Therefore it will require you to replace it with another one.

Absence Of Pictures

When your HDMI port is not good, it will fail to display images when connecting it with your TV. It may be producing sound, but you will not see anything.  When this happens, you will have to repair the port and put another put.

Blurry Display

There is nothing more frustrating than watching a movie with blurred images. In some cases, your MacBook displays pictures on your TV even when the HDMI port is defective. However, the photos will get affected by anomalies. Therefore you won’t be able to watch anything on your TV.

Bad Resolution

The resolution of an image is the number of pixels displayed per inch of an image.  The higher the resolution, the better the image, and the lower the resolution, the worse the picture will get displayed. A faulty HDMI port might display photos on your TV, but it will be a low resolution which is not worth watching.

Intermittent Pictures

Watching a movie on your TV from using your Macbook with a defective HDMI port can be annoying. It might produce sound and display images but have unsteady pictures. The pictures will be appearing and disappearing at intervals, making it uncomfortable to watch anything.

Possible Solutions When HDMI Port Is Not Working

Having an HDMI port that is not working makes it hard to watch anything from your MacBook on your TV. When your HDMI port is not working, it is not always that your HDMI port is defective. Other things might cause it. However, sometimes it could be that your HDMI port is damaged and therefore it needs replacement.

Here are some things you should try if you are confident that your HDMI port is in perfect condition and is still not working.

Configuring The Display Settings On Your Macbook

One of the reasons your HDMI port might not be working is that you may be using the wrong display settings. It mainly happens if you use several monitors on your MacBook. Therefore to make your HDMI port work again, you need to reset your video and audio settings.

Resetting Video Settings

There are different areas you should check when resetting video settings. These areas include:

The Display Section

To go to this section, you will first go to the Apple menu, select the system preferences and click on display. You can also use a shortcut by pressing shift+A. It will take you to the system preferences, where you will click on display to go to the display section.

On the display section, you can change the resolution to your liking. You can also rotate the display of the screen to what you desire. Moreover, you can also slide the underscan scale hence making the display better.

Arrangement Section

In this section, you can adjust the screen positioning and put it where it should be. If you choose a mirror display on your MacBook, the same thing will get displayed on your TV.

Color Section

The color section allows you to set the color profiles based on your preference. To go to this section, you will use the process you used in the display section.  Completing the process will take you to where you will click on display to make another screen of the color section appear.

Resetting Audio Settings

The following are some of the steps you can follow to solve the issue of sound that is coming from your MacBook.

  • The first thing you will do is go to the sound application section to find input and output panes.
  • Since you are dealing with an HDMI device, you will only select the output pane and then your HDMI device for sound output.
  • Using the provided scale, you will balance the sound from the HDMI device and set the volume that you want.

Updating Your Graphics Drivers

Using outdated graphic drivers may also cause your HDMI port not to work. Therefore ensure that your graphic drivers are up to date if you want your HDMI to work. You can either update the graphic drivers manually or automatically.

To update your graphic drivers manually, you will have to go to the graphic adapter manufacturer’s websites. You will find the updated drivers on the website, and you will manually download the correct drivers for your system. Once you download it from the websites, you will double-click it and follow the steps of installing it.

On the other hand, if you want to update your graphic drivers automatically, you will have to use the driver-easy tool. The tool will automatically know the drivers that best suit your system and download the updated drivers for you.

Restart And Reconnect The Devices

You will first disconnect all your HDMI cables from all your devices. Once you disconnect the wires, shut down all the gadgets and unplug their power cables. You should also remove the battery of your MacBook.

You will then leave them to shut for about five minutes and later plug your devices’ power cables back in. reconnect the HDMI cables back to your devices and power them back on.

What Should You Do When Your Macbook Sleeps When Playing A Video?

If this happens, you should first close the app playing the video and reopen it back. Apart from that method, you can also solve it another way. You can go to the Apple menu, select system preferences, and click on the energy-saver option. Once you are in the energy-saver section, you will change the settings there.

What Should You Do If There Is Still A Problem With Audio Or Video Even After Resetting The Settings?

If this happens, ensure that you confirm that you have connected your cables properly. You should also return to the audio and video setting and confirm everything is how it should be. Moreover, restart your MacBook for it to recognize the HDMI device.


Apple has made it possible for MacBook users to watch their MacBooks videos on their TV Screens. Knowing your Macbook ports will help you choose the right HDMI cables. If your MacBook’s HDMI port refuses to work, follow the above procedure to make it work. If you find out that your HDMI port is defective, you will have to replace it.


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