[Update x5] DisplayLink OSX 10.9 Mavericks/10.10 Yosemite/10.11 El Capitan Resolution Display Fix

Update December 17th 2015 : DisplayLink 2.5 driver for Mac is now available (stable version). It makes sure everything works on OS X 10.11 El Capitan though I’m still seeing one screen that won’t reach its full resolution.

Update August 26th 2015 : DisplayLink 2.4 driver for Mac is now available (stable version). Haven’t tried it myself yet but claims that many of the issues from the beta have been resolved or have workarounds.

Update June 29th 2015 : A new DisplayLink 2.4 BETA2 driver for Mac is available (released June 3rd 2015). It claims that “includes workarounds for some of the most severe defects in OS X 10.9 and 10.10” and links this article with known issues.

Update December 12th 2014 : A new DisplayLink 2.3 BETA driver for Mac is available (released October 10th 2014). It’s only a beta but it makes a HUGE difference in terms of performance on Mac OSX 10.10 Yosemite. If switching windows has been clunky and if your system has been overall slower than on Mavericks, then I highly recommend you give this patch a try.

Update June 17th 2014 : There’s a new DisplayLink 2.2 driver for Mac available (released June 10th).

I use a DisplayLink system to hook up a 3rd monitor to my laptop via USB. When Mavericks was released, the whole system broke but a beta driver was released (version 2.0) which seems to bring back the extra display even if very quirky. Then, version 2.1 was released but introduced a screen resolution problem.

The new driver has greatly improved mouse reactivity and screen refresh rate BUT the only option it gave me in terms of screen resolution was 1280×1024 (painful!) on a screen that can go to 1680×1050:

Resolution offered by DisplayLink's 2.1 driver for OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) on a screen that can go up to 1680x1050
Resolution offered by DisplayLink’s 2.1 driver for OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) on a screen that can go up to 1680×1050

I knew there must be a way to force the screen resolution by messing with OS settings at the plist level but it turns out there’s a much easier option:

In the Displays panel of System Preferences, hold the alt/option key while you click on the “Scaled” radio button and all of your screen’s supported resolution will appear:

Hold alt/option key while clicking on "Scaled" to refresh the resolution options of your display
Hold alt/option key while clicking on “Scaled” to refresh the resolution options of your display

You can now select whichever resolution you desire. I set mine to the maximum possible. It’s true that the screen refresh rate decreased a bit but it is acceptable given my uses of this third monitor.

I hope this helped you! Please leave a comment if you have other tips to share.


47 thoughts on “[Update x5] DisplayLink OSX 10.9 Mavericks/10.10 Yosemite/10.11 El Capitan Resolution Display Fix”

  1. I’ve just received my DisplayLink FY-1016A and have spent a couple of hours trying to make it work to my monitor’s native resolution (1920×1080). I found something that worked: hooking up another display with an HDMI adapter to the DL USB adapter, and then pluging back my VGA monitor that didn’t want to go past 1600×1200. It worked, but your solution is so much more elegant and convenient! Thank you 🙂
    If anyone’s looking for information, it works on a MacBook Pro late 2012 (OSX 10.9). I use an external display on the Thunderbolt port with an HDMI adapter, and another display with the DisplayLink. Extended desktop works fine. Only problem is that the second display becomes really sluggish with high bitrate content (HD video, 3D effects…). Otherwise for most content it’s fine. Also note that the DL driver uses 5-30 % CPU depending on the content’s bitrate.
    Hope that helps.

  2. This saved me a ton! I use an older HD CRT Television as a 2nd monitor. I stream a lot of programs and Mavericks took away 480p as an option, leaving only 720p and 1080i. Most streams are 480 so this helps them look their best! Thanks tons!

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