DisplayLink and some other USB and wireless displays no longer work on macOS 10.13.4 Learn More.

macOS 10.13.4: DisplayLink, Duet Display, and other Virtual Graphics Products Not Working

Some secondary display products no longer work on macOS 10.13.4, including all products using DisplayLink technology like USB docks and graphics adapters, and all apps which enable using a tablet as a second monitor. It’s unclear if Apple will be providing fixes. The only available solution currently is to disable updates and stay on macOS 10.13.3.

Background

Recently we wrote that the beta version of the next release of macOS, version 10.13.4, would cause USB video adapters and USB docking stations based on DisplayLink technology to stop working. This only affects Mac users, it does not affect those running Windows or Chrome OS.

Apple released the final version of 10.13.4 in the evening of 3/29/2018 and unfortunately the problem has not been fixed. If a system is updated to the final public release of macOS 10.13.4, all graphics devices which aren’t directly controlled by the system’s graphics processor or AirPlay will stop working.

As a result we strongly recommend that any Plugable customer using a DisplayLink-based product not update to 10.13.4. For advanced users, reinstalling macOS 10.13.3 and the necessary DisplayLink drivers should restore functionality. However, this is a time-consuming, complex process that isn’t for everyone.

To disable automatic update to 10.13.4, uncheck the two highlighted boxes in the screenshot below. The boxes to uncheck (disable) are “Download updates in background” and “Install macOS updates” These are found in the “App Store” portion of “System Preferences” within macOS.

Once a Mac is on macOS 10.13.4 it is a technically difficult process to return the system to 10.13.3. Here are some options:

  1. Revert to earlier version (Apple support)
  2. Re-install from recovery environment (Apple Support)
  3. Time Machine and other options

FAQ

Are docks from other brands affected by this OS update?
Yes, all brands of USB docking stations which use DisplayLink chips and drivers are affected. This includes Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Targus, Kensington, Anker, StarTech, etc. Regardless of brand, if the dock uses DisplayLink technology for graphics output, it will no longer function as expected after updating to macOS 10.13.4.

Has Apple permanently disabled DisplayLink Support?
Not that we know of, but they’ve not made any statements on timeframe or commitment to fix.

What is DisplayLink doing?
While the primary issue is out of DisplayLink’s hands, DisplayLink has released a beta driver version 4.3 that will allow DisplayLink-powered displays to function in what is known as ‘clone’ mode.

When using clone mode, the image from the primary display (either an internal laptop display or an external display connected to a built-in video output not using DisplayLink technology) is ‘cloned’ to the DisplayLink-powered display. This will happen transparently and there will be no ability to control this behavior via the ‘Displays’ preference pane. The resolution of the DisplayLink-powered displays will match that of the primary and will scale and/or letterbox as necessary.

The beta driver (version 4.3) can be downloaded from DisplayLink directly here -> http://www.displaylink.com/downloads/macos

Is there a way for users or organizations to request that Apple fix the issue?
For those with an Apple developer ID, DisplayLink suggests reporting the issue to Apple, referencing existing bug ID #37385102 to help raise the priority of the issue:
https://developer.apple.com/bug-reporting/

Is this a temporary or permanent situation?
We don’t know. We understand that the current situation will be extremely frustrating for our customers. We are taking every step we can with DisplayLink and Apple. We will update this blog post with updates as we have them.

Are there any other options to add additional displays to my 10.13.4 Mac?
It depends. Without the ability to use virtual graphics technologies like DisplayLink and others, Mac systems are limited to either the number of monitors natively supported by their system’s graphics adapter (“GPU”) or the number of display outputs on their system, whichever is lower. We’ve written a blog post with an overview of how many monitors are supported by each type of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 Mac system and information on how that can be accomplished, along with additional details about options for legacy MacBooks with USB 3.0/USB-A and Thunderbolt 2 ports.

If you have any additional questions, please let us know in the comments below.

41 comments on “macOS 10.13.4: DisplayLink, Duet Display, and other Virtual Graphics Products Not Working”

  1. Javier Reply

    And can I use it for ONLY one 4k HDMI monitor with both a MacBook Pro 15″ 2016 and a MacBook 2017? Or do I need another model? Mine still has to arrive, so I will change model

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      For either of our USB-C Triple Display Docks (the UD-ULTCDL -> https://plugable.com/products/ud-ultcdl or UD-ULTC4K -> https://plugable.com/products/ud-ultc4k), if the system is updated to macOS 10.13.4 then the two DisplayLink-powered video outputs of the dock (the HDMI 2K and DVI for the UD-ULTCDL and the two DisplayPort outputs of the UD-ULTC4K) will stop working. This is regardless of the specific model Apple system in use, and there are different alternatives available depending on the type of Apple system you have.

      The MacBook Pro 15″ 2016 model has Thunderbolt 3 support, so our Thunderbolt 3 TBT3-UDV docking station (https://plugable.com/products/tbt3-udv) would be suitable. A MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 ports will also work with any of our ‘USB-C only’ docking stations.

      To that end and assuming the 2017 model system you mention is a MacBook 12″ without the ‘Pro’ designation, that model has a single USB-C port that does NOT support Thunderbolt 3. In that case our UD-CA1A (https://plugable.com/products/ud-ca1a/) or our UD-CAM dock (https://plugable.com/products/ud-cam) would be suitable. The TBT3-UDV, UD-CA1A and UD-CAM docks do not use DisplayLink technology, so are unaffected by the macOS update.

      Please reach out to us directly via support@plugable.com if you have any additional questions.

      • Ashan McNealy Reply

        To be clear, does the TBT3-UDV dock not rely on DisplayLink? I have this dock, dual monitors currently isn’t working, and one of your support staff has recommended updating to 10.13.4 as a possible remedy to my issue.

        • Gary Zeller Reply

          Hi Ashan,

          Correct, the TBT3-UDV is a native Thunderbolt 3 dock, and does not use DisplayLink. (The only products we officially support on Mac that use DisplayLink are the UD-ULTCDL and the UD-ULTC4K.)

          Thanks!

          Thanks!

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      We share in your frustration, but ultimately the problem is a result of Apple having inadvertently removed support for various graphics devices in macOS 10.13.4 (this doesn’t just affect Plugable products). The issue must be primarily addressed by Apple. DisplayLink, the separate company that makes the chips in our DisplayLink-based products and writes the software driver, have also raised the issue with Apple directly (Bug ID# 37385102) but at this time it is unclear if they will be able to workaround the problem. As we have updates on the issue, we will be sure to update this blog post accordingly. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

      • Greg Reply

        You assume it was inadvertent. From what I understand there have been some updates to support external, pluggable GPUs. I have a feeling they have an external GPU product on the road map very soon. Removing this capability would make it easier to create an artificial demand for just such a product.

        • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

          While it’s impossible to know for sure since Apple does not share their development strategy with us, at this point we don’t have any reason to believe this was intentional.

  2. Marian Reply

    Dears, this is unacceptable! Why did I buy the doc station above $200? For only one display? Are you seriously?

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      We share in your frustration, but ultimately the problem is a result of Apple having inadvertently removed support for various graphics devices in macOS 10.13.4 (this doesn’t just affect Plugable products).

      The issue must be primarily addressed by Apple. DisplayLink, the separate company that makes the chips in our DisplayLink-based products and writes the software driver, have also raised the issue with Apple directly (Bug ID# 37385102) but at this time it is unclear if they will be able to workaround the problem.

      As we have updates on the issue, we will be sure to update this blog post accordingly. If you are using a Plugable Technologies DisplayLink-based product and have any additional questions, please reach out to us directly via https://plugable.com/support/email/ Thank you very much for your patience and understanding!

  3. Dustin Cook Reply

    Any promise of this being restored with the 10.13.5 release? I know the beta only just dropped, but I assume this is top priority for you guys.

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      The core issue must be addressed by Apple, given it affects any DisplayLink-based product regardless of brand (Dell, Lenovo, StarTech, etc. products that use DisplayLink are also affected). We have tested the first public beta of macOS 10.13.5 (build 17F35e) and unfortunately the problem remains. With DisplayLink driver version 4.1 installed, DisplayLink-powered displays do not work at all. Installing the DisplayLink beta driver version 4.3 enables ‘clone’ mode as we describe in the FAQ section of our post.

  4. Sandy Reply

    Is there another adapter that does NOT use the DisplayLink chip that will work?

  5. pland777 Reply

    I have an Apple Developer account and went to look for the bug you mention above…it does not return in a search of open or closed bugs. Any chance the number is incorrect?

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      To the best of our knowledge, the bug ID number we reference is correct. Apple also implements security and privacy settings that can prevent anyone outside of the original reporter from seeing a submission.

  6. Mick Reply

    I hope this is fixed quickly. Apple should be ashamed of themselves. I recently bought one of your adaptors, and it was great, But after “upgrading” to macOS 10.13.4 yesterday, your adaptor has now been bricked. Either gross incompetence by Apple, or shark business practice. Either way, this is wholly unacceptable. Come on Apple, there is no need for this, get the problem sorted, and quickly. You are putting smaller companies out of business, and tarnishing your image. Behave.

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      Thanks for posting Mick. We share in your frustration, and thank you for your understanding of all the variables at play. As we have any updates on the issue, we will be sure to update this post accordingly.

  7. Tal Landes Reply

    This really frustrating… Is there an email list, or a place for us to subscribe to to get updated of newly solutions to this? I have a 2017 MAC pro and after upgrading to 10.13.4 have a $200 mouse and keyboard hub… While I understand the variables at play I wish Plugable would have sent an email notifying us before the upgrade.

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      We share in your frustration Tai…there is a ‘Subscribe’ button on the left-hand side of plugable.com you can use to be notified of new posts. We did send an email as quickly as possible to those who purchased one of the two DisplayLink-based docking stations that we supported on macOS (UD-ULTCDL & UD-ULTC4K) via Amazon to help make them aware of the issue, apologies if you did not receive it.

      • Tal Landes Reply

        Thanks for the reply Bob,
        I will subscribe to be better notified next time. In the mean while I was able to get one screen working (which is better than non).

  8. Mike Palladino Reply

    While Apple is a behemoth, Plugable has been a player for a while and isn’t exactly a “mom and pop shop.” For relatively-new small business owners like me who are new to this technology, can you explain why Plugable has been unable to adapt to Mac’s OS update, as well as why it could not have anticipated it? As you point out above, the beta “cloning” driver is hardly a fix (I tried it – it’s just a mirror – and a poor one). It seems the only remaining options Plugable suggests are (1) as a novice, try to “uninstall” the Mac OS update; (2) complain to Apple; or (3) BUY another adapter from Plugable. Do I have this right?

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      Thanks for posting Mike, and we share in your frustration. As we call out in the post the issue must be resolved by Apple and DisplayLink, the later being the manufacturer of the DisplayLink chips used in some of our products and the author/developer of the driver (http://www.displaylink.com/).

      We make mention of alternative options in our other blog post (https://plugable.com/2018/04/04/alternative-video-output-solutions-macos-10-13-4-systems-ud-ultcdl-ud-ultc4k-docks/) only in an effort to provide partial solutions to those affected and to help restore some of the missing functionality.

      Please keep in mind that this issue affects any product using DisplayLink technology, not just Plugable products. Anyone using a DisplayLink-powered device made my Dell, HP, Lenovo, Targus, Wavlink, Toshiba, etc. is also effected.

  9. Scott Kreisberg Reply

    Is there a way to be automatically notified when / if this problem is fixed instead of having to manually monitor something? I have checked the box below Notify me of new posts via email. Finally, is there a way if I wanted to go through the process to rebuild my laptop with 10.13.3? Any help on this would be great.

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      Hi Scott, in addition to subscribing to WordPress updates for this specific post, there is also a ‘Subscribe’ button on the left-hand side of plugable.com you can use to be notified of all new posts as we have new information to share.

      As we mention in the body of the post, it is a technically difficult process to return a system to 10.13.3 after the 10.13.4 update has applied. We list some of the possible options just below the screenshot in the post, such as reverting to an earlier version via a Time Machine backup -> https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25593?locale=en_US or re-installing from a recovery environment -> https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904

  10. Mike Sullivan Reply

    According to a phone conversation I had with Apple Support yesterday, this is solely an issue with the third party software (Plugable) and not Apple. I know this conflicts with what is noted above but I thought you should know how the support techs view the issue.

    I’m looking forward to a fix in any form.

    Mike

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      Thanks for sharing you experience with Apple Mike, appreciate you taking the time. One item I do want to point out is that a separate company, DisplayLink (who makes the chips used in our DisplayLink-based products) does all of the driver development. This issue affects all DisplayLink-based products, regardless of the manufacturer.

  11. Bryant Art Reply

    : ( this is so sad, I had finally got 3 monitors connected to my Mac, I hop this gets fixed soon. what would be worst case scenario? Apple refuses to fix the issue and Displaylink devises are no longer useful for mac users?

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      We share in your frustration Bryant. Unfortunately the worst case scenario would be as you describe, however please remember the issue also affects non-DisplayLink USB video technologies from other manufacturers such as j5create whose USB video products are based on Magic Control Technology (MCT). If filing a bug with an Apple Developer ID is not an option, Apple’s support forum has a discussion of the issue that you can add your voice to here -> https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8339158

      • Bryant Art Reply

        Thank you Bob. You have been very helpful and responsive. I hope this gets fixed soon

  12. ryan a miller Reply

    Thank you, Bob and everyone else who are being as pro-active as possible to get this resolved through Apple. Livid! But hopefully Apple will see this through and issue a fix asap.

  13. Jan Knudsen Reply

    I’m using a Triple dock with a Macbook 12″ and three external monitors. After upgrading to 10.13.4 the 2nd and 3rd monitor stopped working.

    Rolling back to 10.13.3 using Time machine took some hours with 400GB to restore, but it worked OK.

    There is nothing new on Displaylink’s page (https://support.displaylink.com/forums/287786-displaylink-feature-suggestions/suggestions/33252664-macos-high-sierra-10-13-4) except 600+ angry customers and no reply from DL.

    Staying on 10.13.3 is not acceptable for very long, so if I got this right, my options are:

    1. Buy av Macbook Pro 13 and get support for 2 external monitors

    2. Buy av Macbook Pro 15 and get support for 3 external monitors

    This leaves me with the following questions:

    How long do you propose that I wait for a working solution?

    If you are not able to present a working solution within a reasonable timeframe, how do I proceed to return the dock and get a refund?

    Kind regards
    Jan

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      Hi Jan,

      Glad to hear you were able to roll-back you system, and we share in your frustration. Ultimately a solution must be provided by Apple and DisplayLink, so unfortunately Plugable cannot provide an estimated time frame for any possible resolution. Please keep in mind this change effects several USB video technologies, not just DisplayLink devices. Please reach out to us directly via support@plugable.com with your Amazon Order ID number for the dock purchase (please do not post this publicly) so we can determine what options may be available.

      • Jan Knudsen Reply

        Hi Bob

        I understand that a solution must come from Apple and Displaylink.

        I will follow the development of the next macOS beta(s) and the testing done by the Displaylink users for the next 3-4 weeks. If there is no solution in sight, I will need to ugrade to 10.13.4, which in turn will force me to move to Macbook Pro.

        Jan

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