UNIQUE DELL DOCK SOLUTION—All-in-one docking solution designed to charge select Windows tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro and connect an external display and USB devices at the same time
EXTERNAL DISPLAY—Add an extra DVI, VGA, or HDMI display up to 1080p (DVI to VGA and DVI to HDMI adapters included, HDMI is video only)
EXPANDABILITY—Provides 10/100 wired Ethernet network port, 3.5mm analog stereo headphone/speaker and mic jacks, and 4 USB 2.0 ports
COMPATIBILITY—The Pro8 dock's method of charging and supporting USB devices is only compatible with select Windows tablets: Dell Venue 8 Pro, HP Stream 7/8, Lenovo Miix 2 8", Nextbook 8
2 YEAR WARRANTY—We love our Plugable products, and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty as well as Seattle-based email support
Plugable's Charging and USB Docking Station for Select Windows Tablets Like the Dell Venue 8 Pro
To solve the inability of the Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows tablet (and others) to charge and connect external USB devices at the same time, we created the Plugable Pro8 docking station as a Kickstarter. Thanks to our backers, the project was successfully funded July 2014.
There have been several do-it-yourself methods to charge these tablets while using USB devices but none have been integrated into this kind of all-in-one solution with true plug and play functionality. We have created a truly hassle-free solution with no complicated procedures or compromises to tablet charging rates. This is the ultimate all-in-one solution.
With a single, simple USB Micro-B connection using the included cable, add any 1080p DVI, VGA, or HDMI extended display, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and other USB devices to your Dell Venue 8 Pro (or other supported tablet) while simultaneously charging it, essentially turning your tablet into a desktop replacement.
How It Works
When connected to our Pro8 dock, the dock simulates the signal of the stock charger needed to trigger the tablet's charging cycle. Unlike other attempts at solutions on the market for the Dell Venue 8 Pro, our Pro8 dock will maintain charging no matter what order you connect the USB cable or what power state the tablet is in. If the tablet is off, asleep, hibernated, rebooted, etc., the dock will always maintain charging and will always reconnect to USB (other tablets may have minor limitations).
The Pro8 comes with a detachable USB Micro-B to USB Micro-B cable for tablet connectivity and can also use a standard USB Micro-B to USB-A cable to connect the docking station to virtually any other Windows laptop or desktop computer for maximum compatibility. So while it’s designed to work with Micro-B Windows tablets (and charges several of them), it can also work with any Windows laptop/desktop or tablet with a full size USB port.
Compatible with Windows 10, 8.x, 7, XP (Drivers can be automatically installed via Windows Update or downloaded directly from Plugable)
Supports monitors/projectors and PC-compatible TVs up to 1920x1080
Compatible with DVI, VGA, and HDMI displays. (Passive VGA and HDMI adapters included)
On tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro only extended desktop mode is available. Display mirroring and external monitor only modes are not supported
Requires Intel/AMD/Nvidia main GPU and up-to-date WDDM-compliant drivers for best performance and compatibility
USB graphics require 1.8GHz dual core or better CPU and 1GB RAM for best performance
Suggested for use with web/productivity software; not recommended for gaming
macOS and Linux/Unix are not supported
Not recommended for gaming or HD video playback
DVI does not carry an audio signal, so the adapter does not support audio playback through the attached display
Does not support HDCP, and will not allow for playback of encrypted Blu Ray disks or other copy-protected content
Single-Link DVI connection; does not support dual-link DVI displays
Cannot be mixed with non-DisplayLink USB graphics adapters and drivers (e.g. MCT, j5, or SMSC)
The Pro8 features the DisplayLink DL-165 USB 2.0 graphics chipset, and works by rendering graphics with your computer's CPU and GPU, and then compressing and transmitting the pixels that change over USB. 1.8GHz dual core or better CPU and at least 1GB of RAM recommended. Best suited for web and productivity software, not 3D gaming or HD video playback.
Powerful Integrated Chipsets
The Pro8 dock is a multifunction USB 2.0 device, with a Terminus Technologies USB 2.0 Hub, DisplayLink Graphics, C-Media Audio, and ASIX Ethernet chipset. At the heart of the dock is a patented custom charging circuit design.
In the Box
1x UD-PRO8 Docking Station
1x USB Micro-B to Micro-B cable
1x USB Micro-B to USB-A cable
1x DVI to HDMI Adapter
1x DVI to VGA Adapter
1x Quick Start Guide
1x 5V 4A 20W Power Adapter that fits US, Canadian, and Japanese AC wall outlets. In addition the power supply supports 100-240V at 50/60Hz.
In The Box
Item and Quantity
1x USB 2.0 Docking Station
1x USB 2.0 Micro-B to Micro-B cable
1x USB 2.0 Micro-B to USB-A cable
1x Power Adapter
1x Quick Start Guide
1x DVI to VGA Adapter
1x DVI to HDMI Adapter
Max Resolution and Refresh Rate
1x DVI (HDMI or VGA with Bundled Adapters) (Output)
This is the standard USB connection that most computers offered prior to the introduction of USB Type-C (USB-C). Even after the introduction of USB Type-C, this is still quite common.
It can provide data transfer rates up to the USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 gbps) specification depending on the host and device, but does not directly support video in the way that USB-C Alternate Mode does. This limitation makes DisplayLink USB graphics adapters and docking stations ideal on systems that do not have USB-C, or in instances where more displays are needed beyond available video outputs of a PC.
This type of connection comes in a couple different styles depending on whether USB 3.0 and higher transfer rates are supported (bottom graphic). Usually this type of connection is used to plug into USB devices that do not have a fixed cable connected, such as USB docking stations, USB hubs, printers, and others.
One of the first connectors for charging a smartphone, wireless game controller (such as the Sixaxis and DualShock 3), and other small devices such as external hard drives. Not commonly used today, but is still used in some cases. Most devices using USB Mini B are using USB 2.0, though a USB 3.0 variant does exist. This specification also added USB On-The-Go (OTG) functionality, though it is more commonly implemented with Micro USB.
A smaller connector that serves many of the same uses as the Mini B connector, with added optional features such as Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) to allow devices like smartphones to output video to larger displays without requiring a dedicated port for video output.
The larger variant of USB-B is most commonly used for external hard drives for higher 5Gbps transfer rates.
The most recent USB connection, USB Type-C (USB-C), represents a major change in what USB can do. The connector is smaller, can be connected in two orientations, is able to carry substantially more power and data, and can directly carry video signals of multiple types (HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.) Intel has also adapted the USB-C connector for use with Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4.
It is important to note that while all Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 connections are USB-C, not all USB-C connections can be used with Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 devices.
When a Plugable DisplayLink device is not working as expected with a Windows system, the best practice is to disconnect the device from the host system (and remove it's external power source, if it has one) and perform a 'clean' manual installation of the latest version we recommend of the required DisplayLink software driver to help ensure both are in a good state. To do so, please follow these steps:
Disconnect the Plugable USB docking station or video adapter from the host system. If the product you are using has an external power adapter (for example a USB docking station), please also disconnect the power adapter from the product so that the unit resets. Please keep everything disconnected until prompted
Uninstall any and all software with 'DisplayLink' in the title that is present from within the Control Panel Programs and Features (Apps and Features in Windows 10). Don't worry if these entries are not present or if the process does not work for any reason, just move onto the next step
If you disconnected the power adapter from your product in step one, please reconnect it so the device powers on, then reconnect the product to the host system. If the product is still not working as expected, please restart the host system one more time.
If, after having completed this process, your Plugable DisplayLink device is still not working as expected, please reach out to us directly via email@example.com with the output of our PlugDebug diagnostic utility and we will be happy to help
The DisplayLink driver does not currently support this type of color adjustment. As a result, applications like f.lux, Night Shift or Night Light will not affect displays connected to a DisplayLink-based docking station or video adapter.
** f.lux has added there own proprietary support for DisplayLink-based devices in the latest version of there utility. However, this capability is not supported by Plugable or DisplayLink directly.
The graphical software utilities provided by Intel, NVIDIA and AMD/ATI are designed to only recognize and work with graphics adapters made by their respective manufacturers. As a result, they will not recognize USB-attached displays connected to a DisplayLink-based docking station or graphics adapter.
It is recommended to use the facilities built-in to Windows to manage the connected displays. These would be the ‘Display Settings’ application on Windows 10 and ‘Screen Resolution’ application on Windows 8.1 and 7. Both of these applications are available by right-clicking on empty space within the Windows desktop and selecting the appropriate choice from the context menu that appears.
Note: Intel has released an updated 'Intel Graphics Command Center' application that can recognize DisplayLink-attached displays and configure them to a certain extent. However, some of the features within the Intel Graphics Command Center application that are specific to Intel graphics adapters may not work on a DisplayLink-attached display.
The DisplayLink driver does not support color calibration functionality of any kind. Most monitors have built-in controls that can be used to adjust the characteristics of the display, though we realize this approach may not be ideal in all cases. For environments that necessitate near-perfect color reproduction and display calibration capabilities via software, a dedicated graphics card is recommended.
Touchscreens that do not require drivers and use the host’s operating system’s built-in USB Human Interface drivers (HID) to record touch inputs can be made to work with our products, however Plugable does not provide support for doing so due the complexity of multi-monitor touch screen setups.
Windows does not have the ability to adjust the brightness of a display connected using DisplayLink technology. We recommend making use of the display’s internal on-screen menu options in order to adjust the display's brightness.
No, Plugable does not recommend or support using our DisplayLink-based docking stations with a traditional KVM switch. If you simply need to share the dock between two systems, the dock can be manually disconnected from the first system and then manually connected to the second system.
For those using our USB 3.0 DisplayLink docking station products that would like a more permanent solution that does not require disconnecting the unit from the host system, our Plugable USB 3.0 Sharing Switch can be used as an alternative to share the dock between two systems (please keep in mind that the dock can only be used by one system at a time).
Any time a USB 3.0 device is connected to a laptop system, there is a potential that the USB 3.0 connection can generate interference that can affect the performance of the laptop's built-in Wi-Fi adapter.
This behavior is not specific to Plugable products, and Intel has published a white paper on the topic for those who are curious about the technical details.
So now that we know that this can happen with any type of USB 3.0 connection, how do we solve the problem should it occur? Every person’s setup can be a little different so there will never be one definitive solution, but a few simple approaches can solve the problem in most cases:
Option One—Move the device as far as away from the system as the USB cable will allow. This will try and ‘move’ the signals from both the USB connection and the Wi-Fi physically further apart. As a corollary to this, if the dock is located very close to the Wi-Fi router itself, placing more distance between the two can help.
Option Two—Switch to a different USB port on the system, preferably one on the opposite side of the laptop. This employs the same approach as option one, in that physically separating the two signals (in this case the physical proximity of the USB connection and the internal Wi-Fi antennas within your system) can help. If your system has both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, try using the USB 2.0 port first.
Option Three—Use a USB 2.0 cable, like one used connect to a USB printer, instead of a USB 3.0 cable. All USB 3.0 devices should be backward compatible with a USB 2.0 cable, and when a device is connected at USB 2.0 speeds there is no possibility for the interference.
Option Four—Switch to using a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection. As the name implies, there are two common sets of frequencies used by most Wi-Fi networks (2.4GHz and 5GHz). If both your wireless router and the wireless network adapter in your system support a 5GHz connection (they both need to, one is not enough), connecting to your Wi-Fi in that manner will prevent the interference from happening due to the two very different frequencies in use.
Option Five—If using a 5GHz connection is not possible, changing the ‘channel’ of a 2.4 GHz connection can help. Within the 2.4GHz band used for Wi-Fi, there are eleven different channels each using a slightly different frequency. The three most commonly used ones in the United States are channel 1, 6 and 11. Using the manual for your wireless router as a guide, switching channels can potentially help. Ideally you would want to switch the channel to the opposite end of the spectrum for the best results, for example if you are on channel one already try switching to channel eleven or vice-versa
Wireless Mouse or Wireless Keyboard Performance Issues (Radio Frequency Interference)
While the items listed above can help with Wi-Fi interference, there is another type of interference that can sometimes cause problems with wireless keyboards and wireless mice which we refer to as Radio Frequency (RF) interference.
To expand further, the USB wireless receiver 'dongles' used by many wireless keyboards and wireless mice operate within the same 2.4GHz radio frequency range as many Wi-Fi adapters.
If a USB 3.0 connection is generating interference, this can affect the behavior of a wireless keyboard or wireless mouse. This behavior typically manifests as inconsistent mouse movement and/or inconsistent or sporadic keystroke registration.
In general there are two methods to mitigate this behavior should it occur:
RF Option One—Reconnect the USB wireless receiver 'dongle' to one of the USB Docking Station's USB 2.0 ports (if the dock has USB 2.0 ports), furthest away from the USB 3.0 host connection cable. Moving the USB receiver to a USB 2.0 port typically mitigates this interference.
RF Option Two—In rarer cases when moving the receiver is not enough or if the product in question does not have a USB 2.0 port, adding a short USB 2.0 extension cable can also help mitigate the behavior. In many cases wireless mice or keyboards include such a cable for this very reason, but if one is not available our USB2-2PORT is a good alternative solution.
Our DisplayLink-based products are supported with macOS albeit with some potential limitations.
As of this writing, there are two different versions of the macOS driver that have been released by DisplayLink (the separate company that makes the primary chip within our DisplayLink-based products, and who also develops the software driver).
A ‘legacy’ version which uses a kernel extension in order to provide its functionality, and a newer ‘DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity’ App which utilizes a new architecture that does not rely on a kernel extension to provide its functionality.
The choice of which driver to use is ultimately determined by one’s OS version and individual specific requirements, since each version offers different capabilities and operating system compatibility. We have provided a comparison table below that highlights their differences in an effort to help our customers make an informed decision.
New DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity App
‘Legacy’ DisplayLink driver
Supported operating system versions
macOS 10.15 Catalina, macOS 11 Big Sur, and macOS 12 Monterey
macOS 10.14 Mojave and macOS 10.15 Catalina
Ease of installation
Can sometimes be more difficult, as compared to the new App
Supports closed-display mode (aka clamshell mode)
- No with macOS 10.15 Catalina and macOS 11 Big Sur on Intel-based systems
- Yes with macOS 12 Monterey on Intel-based systems (an external power source must be connected to the Mac)
- Yes with macOS 11 Big Sur and macOS 12 Monterey on Apple M1-based systems (an external power source must be connected to the Mac)
Supports display ‘rotation’
- No with macOS 10.15 Catalina
- Yes with macOS 11 Big Sur and macOS 12 Monterey on Intel CPU systems
- No with macOS 11 Big Sur on Apple M1 CPU-based systems
- Yes with macOS 12 Monterey on Apple M1 CPU-based systems using DisplayLink Manager version 1.6 ***
Supports macOS ‘Login screen’
Yes, with additional ‘Login screen’ application installation
Supports display color adjustment
Beta support available via 3rd-party application f.lux starting with DisplayLink Manager version 1.7.1****
Via DisplayLink icon within the Apple Menu bar
No management application
Actively being developed
Being phased out due to changes within macOS
*** Display rotation on M1 Macs is accomplished within the DisplayLink Manager Application. It is NOT accomplished via the 'Displays' System Preferences application. More information on this feature is available here --> Link
**** There is a 3rd-party application called 'f.lux'that allows the adjustment of a display's color according to the time of day. This functionality is in 'beta' status, and must be enabled within the DisplayLink Manager Application in order to function. This functionality is supported with devices based on the DisplayLink DL-3xxx chipset, DL-5xxx chipset, and DL-6xxx chipset. However, it is important to note that on DL-6xxx chipsets this functionality is limited to DisplayPort video outputs only. It is NOT supported on HDMI video outputs via DL-6xxx chipsets.
2. Open the DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity 1.x.pkg
3. Click ‘Continue’ on ‘Introduction’ page
4. Click ‘Continue’ on ‘Licence’ page
5. Click ‘Agree’ when prompted
6. Click ‘Install’ on ‘Installation Type’ page
7. Input your password when prompted
8. When installation finishes click ‘Close’ on ‘Summary’ page
9. Click’ Move to bin’ when prompted
How to use DisplayLink Manager?
The following steps are to be followed once after installing the app.
1. After installation, the DisplayLink Manager app will start automatically and the DisplayLink Manager logo will show in the Menu Bar. It will be grey when the dock is disconnected (Connection status will show: No monitor detected) and white when connected (Connection status will show: Monitor detected).
NOTE: The DisplayLink Manager app will only start on its own once after the initial installation. Step 5 shows how to setup the app to always start after logging-in (recommended). Otherwise the app has to be started manually each time (see step 2).
2. In case the app does not show in your Menu Bar, to start it manually, please press ‘command’ + ’space’ and type in DisplayLink Manager, click on the application to open it
a. Alternatively you can go to the Applications folder in Finder and click on the DisplayLink Manager there
3. When first opened, DisplayLink Manager will ask you to turn on notifications for the app. Click on the notification below when it shows up. It will open a Notifications window.
4. Turn on ‘Allow Notifications’ for DisplayLink Manager
5. Select “Launch automatically after logging-in” for the software to start automatically every time you log-in.
6. Screen Recording
NOTE: From macOS Catalina 10.15, the operating system requires the user to permit "Screen Recording" in order for DisplayLink based devices (like Plugable UD-3900) to work properly. The message is generated by the OS and the screen is not actually being recorded by DisplayLink. Approving it enables the DisplayLink driver to access the pixels it needs to render a mirrored or extended screen and send the pixels over USB from your computer to the DisplayLink display. DisplayLink Manager does not store or record any screen content.
a. If you enabled notifications in step 3 you will see the below message if Screen Recording is switched off
b. This message will also show in the DisplayLink Manager app window and there will be an exclamation mark ‘!’ next to the DisplayLink Manager icon.
7. To enable “Screen Recording”
a. Go to System Preferences and click on Security & Privacy
b. In the ‘Privacy’ tab scroll down to ‘Screen Recording’ and click on the padlock to make changes
c. Enter password to allow the system to make changes
d. Tick the box next to ‘DisplayLink Manager’ and click ‘Quit and reopen’ when prompted.
e. Click on a padlock to save the changes.
Other functions of the DisplayLink Manager
Login screen extension (Optional)
This enables the external screens to be available on the login screen prior to the app loading after logging into your account.
1. Download the Login Screen Extension from the link available on the front page of the DisplayLink Manager.
2. Install the extension.
3. Once the installation is complete the extension will show as ‘Installed’
NOTE: Opening a ticket through the Support tab will contact the DisplayLink engineering team in Europe. We recommend contacting firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or issues.
Unsure which version of macOS you have installed on your Mac? Click on the ‘Apple’ icon within the menu bar located at the top of your desktop and select ‘About this Mac’. A new window will open and display the system’s macOS version.
For those who prefer, we have a video demonstration of the procedure described below available here → Link
How to install the DisplayLink Manager application
1. Download the correct version of the DisplayLink Manager Application for your version of macOS from here → Link
2. Double-click on the file you downloaded to start the application installer:
3. From within the ‘Introduction’ section of the application installer, click on the ‘Continue’ button to start the installation process:
4. After having read the license information from within the ‘License’ section of the application installer, click on the ‘Continue’ button
5. Click on the ‘Agree’ button in order to agree to the software license agreement.
6. From within the ‘Installation Type’ section of the application installer, click on the ‘Install’ button:
7. When prompted, please enter your system password and click on the ‘Install Software’ button to start the installation. The installation process will begin:
8. The application installer will notify you when the installation process has been completed. Please click on the ‘Close’ button in order to close the application installer.
9. You should see a request from the DisplayLink Manager Application to allow the application to display notifications, when necessary. Click on the ‘Options’ button within the request and click the ‘Allow’ option:
10. Once the application installation is complete, please connect your DisplayLink device to your Mac
11. Once the device is connected, macOS will notify you that the ‘DisplayLink Manager’ application would like to record the computer’s screen. Click the ‘Open System Preferences’ button in order to grant this access.
12. The ‘Security & Privacy’ application will open, with the default view showing the ‘Privacy’ tab with the ‘Screen Recording’ option selected by default:
13. Click on the gold padlock at the bottom of the application window to enable changes.
14. If prompted, enter your password and click the ‘Unlock’ button:
15. Click to place a checkmark next to the DisplayLink Manager entry:
16. You will be prompted to Quit and Reopen the DisplayLink Manager application in order for the change to take effect. Please do so:
18. Once this change is complete, the displays connected to your DisplayLink-based product will start working automatically.
** Please note - The DisplayLink Manager Application does NOT in fact record or store any information. This permission must be granted in order for the DisplayLink Application to access the information it needs in order to generate the image shown on the DisplayLink-connected displays. **
19. Click on the DisplayLink Manager Application icon that is now present within the Apple Menu bar at the top of your screen. This will reveal the DisplayLink Manager Application status window:
20. Within the DisplayLink Manager Application status window, next to the ‘Automatic startup’ section, click to place a checkmark next to the ‘Launch automatically after login’ option. This ensures that the application will be started each time you start your Mac.
21. In order to receive notifications from macOS while a DisplayLink device is connected to your Mac, you must make a change within the ‘Notifications & Focus’ System Preferences application.
Click on the ‘System Preferences’ icon (which looks like a gear) within the macOS Dock at the bottom of your screen.
Click on the ‘Notifications & Focus’ application icon:
22. Within the ‘Notifications’ tab of the ‘Notifications & Focus’ application, next to the ‘Allow notifications’ label, click to place a checkmark next to the ‘When mirroring or sharing the display’ option. This will allow you to receive notifications from macOS while the DisplayLink device is connected.
23. Once all of the previous steps are done, the installation process is now complete.
How to use DisplayLink Manager for macOS
Once the DisplayLink Manager Application is installed, the application can be accessed via the DisplayLink Manager application status icon located within the Apple Menu Bar at the top of your screen:
** If the DisplayLink Manager Application status icon is not visible within the Menu Bar, then the application has not been started. Please open a new ‘Finder’ window and navigate to the ‘Applications’ folder. Within the ‘Applications’ folder, double-click on the DisplayLink Application icon in order to start the application. **
Within the ‘Home’ tab of the DisplayLink Manager Application, there are a few different items listed. The items listed will vary depending upon which version of the DisplayLink Manager Application that is installed, and the following list describes the features present in DisplayLink Manager version 1.7.1.
Login Screen Extension
By default, the ‘Login screen extension status:’ section will display, “Available to download and Install”
When an Apple Mac system is first powered on and reaches the login prompt, 3rd-party applications (such as the DisplayLink Manager application) are not yet running. As a result, DisplayLink-connected displays will not function.
Downloading and installing the Login screen extension (available by clicking on the ‘download’ link within DisplayLink Manager) will allow the DisplayLink-connected displays to function prior to logging in.
This is of course an optional feature, and is not required to use DisplayLink devices. However, this option is useful in certain situations, such as when only DisplayLink-connected displays are connected to the host Mac.
As the name suggests, placing a checkmark next to the ‘Launch automatically after login’ option allows the DisplayLink Application to start automatically each time the system is powered on. We recommend checking this option in the interest of efficiency.
Apple Watch unlock
As the name suggests, placing a checkmark next to the ‘Use Apple Watch to unlock on the login screen’ will allow you to unlock your Mac using an Apple Watch while connected to a DisplayLink device.
** Please note that this feature is not compatible with screensavers. To use Apple Watch unlock with your DisplayLink device, you must disable your screensaver. **
f.lux app support (Beta)
There is a 3rd-party application called 'f.lux' --> https://justgetflux.com/ that allows the adjustment of a display's color according to the time of day. If the f.lux application has been installed, placing a checkmark next to the 'f.lux app support (Beta)' option will enable f.lux to change the color of a DisplayLink connected display.
A few important notes about this feature:
A. This functionality is in 'beta' status, as the label suggests. As a result, there may be cases where things may not work as expected when this option is enabled.
B. This functionality is supported with devices based on the DisplayLink DL-3xxx chipset, DL-5xxx chipset, and DL-6xxx chipset. However, it is important to note that on DL-6xxx chipsets this functionality is limited to DisplayPort video outputs only. It is NOT supported on HDMI video outputs via DL-6xxx chipsets.
System sleep in display-closed mode
Mac laptops running macOS 12 Monterey or newer can be used in one of two ways when used in conjunction with a DisplayLink-based product.
The first way is with the laptop lid open, with the laptop's built-in internal display enabled.
The second way is with the laptop lid closed, with the laptop's built-in internal display disabled. This is known as closed display mode or 'clamshell' mode.
In order to enter closed display mode while connected to a DisplayLink-based product, the host Mac must have an external power source connected and an external keyboard and mouse connected.
Placing a checkmark next to 'Power save all displays and sleep in clamshell' changes this behavior, in that closing the laptop lid will cause the host Mac to go to sleep.
This feature is of course optional, and its use is a matter of personal preference.
Display rotation and toggle
The functionality presented within this section of the DisplayLink Manager Application will vary depending upon which type of processor is within the host Mac.
Macs with an Intel processor
When DisplayLink devices are used in conjunction with Apple Mac systems that have an Intel processor, a list of all the DisplayLink-connected displays will appear within this section.
The individual displays can be turned on or off as desired by clicking on the toggle switch next to each display's name. You can differentiate between each display by hovering the mouse pointer over each display name. When doing so, a red identification box will appear within the selected display.
You can rotate the orientation of the DisplayLink-connected displays within the ‘Displays’ macOS System Preferences application.
Macs with an Apple M1 or M2 processor
When DisplayLink devices are used in conjunction with Apple Mac systems that have an Apple M1 or M2 processor, display rotation must be done from within the DisplayLink Manager Application and the host Mac must be running macOS 12 Monterey or later (display rotation is not available on M1 Macs running macOS 11 Big Sur).
Each DisplayLink-connected display attached to the M1 or M2 system will be listed next to the ‘Display rotation’ area. Click on the drop-down selection box and select the appropriate degree of rotation.
If multiple displays are present, you can differentiate between each display by hovering the mouse pointer over each display name. When doing so, a red identification box will appear within the selected display.
Synaptics (the creators of DisplayLink technology) have more information on this feature here --> Link
In addition to the rotation aspect described above, the individual displays can be turned on or off as desired by clicking on the toggle switch next to each display's name. As mentioned above, you can differentiate between each display by hovering the mouse pointer over each display name. When doing so, a red identification box will appear within the selected display.
We have a produced a series of short videos that introduce the general concepts of multi-monitor setups in Windows, how to make changes to the way things behave, as well as how to solve common problems.
Direct links to the introductory videos our customers have found the most useful are:
Computer networking is a complex topic. In this article, we'll be taking a deep dive on the nuances of network performance for those who need some additional explanation while striving to be concise, and to educate users of various experience levels relating computer hardware and computer networking.
If you just need to know how to perform a network performance test/benchmark, jump down to configuring iPerf.
Core Network Concepts
LAN vs WAN
With regards to network performance, it is crucial to first separate whether an issue is with Wide Area Network (WAN) performance, or if the issue is with Local Area Network (LAN) performance.
Your LAN is essentially the network inside your home or business. Many homes use a combination modem/router device provided by their Internet Service Provider (ISP). In some cases, especially in businesses, you may have a separate modem and router, along with other equipment connecting to the router such as a network switch.
Your modem, and the connection it establishes to your ISP—whether through coaxial cable, fiber, phone lines, or long-range wireless—essentially marks the point between the WAN and the LAN. The connection your modem makes to your ISP is the WAN, and any devices you connect through your router behind that modem belong to the LAN.
Almost every type of connection your computer makes to any piece of hardware will have a link rate of some kind. The link rate establishes how fast data can possibly be transferred across any given connection, but it does not guarantee how fast the hardware on either end of the connection will actually transfer data.
The concept of link rates, and their related bottlenecks, is likely best conveyed by giving an example of what connections might be involved in transferring a file from one computer on your LAN to another.
800Mbps—The file source is a USB 3.0 thumb drive capable of 100MB/s (800Mbps) read/write.
480Mbps—The USB 3.0 thumb drive is plugged into a USB 2.0 port on the PC, which has a maximum throughput of 480Mbps
1000Mbps—PC1's Ethernet connection establishes 1Gbps (1000Mbps) link to the router via Ethernet
300Mbps—The router connects to a second PC (we'll refer to this as PC2) via Wi-Fi, and it has established a 300Mbps link to the Wi-Fi adapter on PC2
480Mbps—The Wi-Fi adapter on PC2 is connected via a USB 2.0 port. The link rate of the USB connection to PC2 is at 480Mbps
6000Mbps—PC2 is going to store the file on an internal hard drive with a link rate of 6Gbps
1600Mbps—File Destination: SATA hard drive capable of 200MB/s (1600Mbps) read/write.
Following this chain, we see that 300Mbps is the slowest link rate established. This means that, regardless of the link rates established elsewhere, the absolute maximum the data can possibly be transferred is 300Mbps.
if we were to change the Wi-Fi connection to a wired Ethernet connection capable of 1Gbps, our performance bottleneck would then become the USB 2.0 connection to the USB drive where the file is stored.
Ports and Interfaces
A network interface represents connections, whether wired or wireless, that are made to form a network between devices.
Some may refer to physical hardware connections as "ports". For the purposes of networking, ports are logical constructs that can also be referred to as "network ports". Each network interface has 65,535 of these logical ports. Each port on a network interface is a separate data connection.
Benchmarking Network Adapter Performance
To properly benchmark network adapter performance, we need to:
Use a simple LAN configuration
Eliminate bottlenecks, especially link rate bottlenecks
Websites like speedtest.net, fast.com, and other performance tools in your web browser are going to use your WAN connection, and are not appropriate for determining if a network adapter is working well.
Transferring files from one computer to another on your LAN is typically not the best way to benchmark a network adapter. File transfers are bottlenecked by a number of things, including performance limitations of the disk the data is on, and often times a lack of establishing parallel network connections to perform the task.
One of the most accurate ways to benchmark network performance on a LAN is by using iPerf . To more effectively benchmark network adapter performance, it is best to establish a point-to-point connection between two PCs, rather than connecting through a router or switch.
Next, you'll need to run iPerf in client mode, targeting the IP address of the server/interface where iPerf is running in server mode. Additionally, we'll run the test for 30 seconds using -t 30 and with four parallel connections using -P 4. Running 4 parallel connections is optimal for saturating a network link.
Open Command Prompt
Press Windows Key + R or + R, then enter cmd in the window that appears
Search the Start Menu for Command Prompt, and open it
Navigate Command Prompt to the directory the directory where iPerf is located
The cdcommand is for 'change directory'
If you have a folder named 'iperf' on your Windows desktop, you can reach it in command prompt with the command cd %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\iperf
Run iperf in client mode via Command Prompt (replace 192.168.0.200 with the IP address of the server/interface where iPerf is running in server mode)
iperf3.exe -c 192.168.0.200 -t 30 -P 4
macOS / Linux
Run iPerf in client mode (replace 192.168.0.200 with the IP address of the server/interface where iPerf is running in server mode)
iperf3 -c 192.168.0.200 -t 30 -P 4
iPerf should start performing a network performance test. If the test fails to start, make sure that iPerf is not being blocked by your PC's/Mac's firewall.
Why iPerf is Ideal for Benchmarking
Unlike a file transfer, iPerf runs in memory on the PC and generates data to send using the CPU directly. This alleviates potential bottlenecks generated by storage devices, and allows you to explicitly control how many parallel connections are being used to transfer data rather than being unsure if parallel network connections are being used by other means.
There's a lot more to networking that isn't covered in this article, but we hope this helps explain enough to get an accurate measure of your network performance.
Most Windows notebook computers power management settings will default to putting the computer to sleep with the lid closed, regardless of any external displays, keyboard, or mouse connected to the computer. If this is happening but you would prefer the system to remain active with the lid closed utilizing the external display or displays, these settings can be changed by performing the following:
For Windows 10:
Start by right-clicking on the Start button and select Power Options from the menu.
From the right side of the Power Options settings page, select the blue link for Additional power settings
From the choices present on the left-hand side of the Power Options window, please click on Choose what closing the lid does
Make sure the setting for When I close the lid under the Plugged In column is set to Do Nothing
Click the Save Changes button and restart the system (making sure that the laptop’s power adapter is also connected) and test the behavior again.
For Windows 11:
Start by right-clicking on the Start button and select Power Options from the menu.
In the upper left corner of the settings window, in the search box, type "lid" then select Change what closing the lid does from the search results
Make sure the setting for When I close the lid under the Plugged In column is set to Do Nothing
Click the Save Changes button to apply the new settings.
Closing the lid should no longer put the computer into sleep mode when an external display and power source is connected, instead one of the external displays should now become the Primary display with the desktop icons instead of the laptop's built-in display.
The lid may still need to be opened to perform the following tasks:
To power on the computer from a fully powered off state
To log into the computer if logged out or if the computer is restarted with the lid closed
To wake the computer from a deep sleep state ( hibernation, or Windows hybrid sleep states )
If have installed a previous version of the DisplayLink driver, please uninstall it and then reboot your system before proceeding.
1. Download the latest driver for macOS 10.15 Catalina from here -> Link
2. Navigate to your Downloads folder and double-click on the DisplayLink driver download
3, The disk image of the driver will mount, and automatically open the DisplayLink Installer main landing page.
4. Double-click on the ‘DisplayLink Software Installer.pkg’ file. The Install DisplayLink Driver page will open.
*** Depending on your system’s security settings, the installer may not open and instead present you with a warning ***
Click on the ‘OK’ button to dismiss the warning, and then open ‘System Preferences’ (gear icon) and then open the ‘Security & Privacy’ application.
Click on the ‘Open Anyway’ button in the lower right-hand portion of the application window. Then click the ‘Open’ button within the next prompt.
5. Click the ‘Continue’ button shown within the installer’s ‘Introduction’ screen.
6. Click the ‘Agree’ button to accept the license.
7. Click the ‘Install’ button.
8. Click the ‘Continue Installation’ button. The system will need to be restarted when the installation is complete.
9. Enter your system password and click the ‘Install Software’ button.
10. After a few moments, the installer should report a successful installation.
11. The system should also prompt you to access the System Preferences to grant necessary permissions to the DisplayLink driver. Click on the ‘Open System Preferences’ button.
*** If the prompt described above did not appear automatically, manually open the ‘System Preferences’ application (gear icon in the macOS dock at the bottom of the screen) and select the ‘Security & Privacy’ application. Within the ‘Security & Privacy’ application click on the ‘Privacy’ tab. Scroll down in the list of items on the left-hand side of the application window and click to select ‘Screen Recording’. The proceed to the next step ***
12. The ‘Security & Privacy’ application should open and default to showing the ‘Privacy’ tab. On the right-hand side of the application window there should be a single entry entitled, ‘DisplayLinkUserAgent’. Click to place a checkmark next to this entry.
*** Important note – the contents of your screens (displays) are not being recorded. This setting just enables the DisplayLink driver to access the information generated by the system’s built-in graphics adapter to generate the image shown on the DisplayLink-connected displays. ***
13. After having placed a checkmark next to the ‘DisplayLinkUserAgent’ entry, click the ‘Quit Now’ button in the prompt that appears.
14. Close the ‘Security & Privacy’ application, and then restart your system. The DisplayLink device should start working after the restart is complete.
'Legacy' DisplayLink Driver installation for macOS 10.14 Mojave
** Before you begin **
If have installed a previous version of the DisplayLink driver, please uninstall it and then reboot your system before proceeding.
1. Download the latest driver for macOS 10.14 Mojave from here -> Link
2. Navigate to your Downloads folder and double-click on the DisplayLink driver download
3. The disk image of the driver will mount, and automatically open the DisplayLink Installer main landing page
4. Double-click on the ‘DisplayLink Software Installer.pkg’ file. The Install DisplayLink Driver page will open
5. Click ‘Continue’
6. Click the ‘Agree’ button
7. Click ‘Install’
8. Click ‘Continue Installation’ The system will need to be restarted when the installation is complete
9. Enter your system password and click the ‘Install Software’ button
10. There is a chance that the security settings in macOS may block the installation of the DisplayLink extension
11. If that occurs, click on the ‘Open Security Preferences’ button and click the ‘Allow’ button at the bottom of the window to grant permission for the extension to be loaded. ** Important note – this approval must be granted within 30 minutes of the driver installation or the process will not work. A fresh installation must be performed to reset this timer. **
There is also a chance that the warning message about the blocked System Extension will not appear, but macOS may still block the extension. After the driver installation completes, please double-check that the necessary approval was granted by clicking the ‘System Preferences’ icon (the gear) and then clicking on the ‘Security & Privacy’ icon. From the window that appears please ensure the DisplayLink driver is Approved by clicking the ‘Allow’ button.
12. Close the ‘Security and Privacy’ window. The DisplayLink installation should now complete
13. Click on the ‘Restart’ button to restart your system. The DisplayLink device should start working after the restart is complete.
If your Windows laptop will not boot properly when a docking station is connected to the laptop, most often the cause is an external device connected to the docking station (for example an external USB storage drive) as opposed to the dock itself.
If you are affected by this condition, please follow these steps in order to isolate the behavior further:
Disconnect all USB devices from the docking station and put them aside for the moment.
Disconnect any displays connected to the dock's video outputs.
Disconnect any audio devices connected to the dock's audio ports (if present).
Disconnect the Ethernet network cable from the dock's Ethernet port (if present).
The only remaining connections should be the dock's power adapter cable and the USB cable used to connect it to the laptop. No other external devices should be connected to the dock.
While in this state, reboot the laptop to test the behavior.
Assuming the laptop boots as expected, please reconnect each device back to the dock one at a time and reboot after each one to test the behavior again. Please reconnect the displays first, then the audio devices, then the Ethernet cable. Please reconnect any USB devices to the dock last, again rebooting after each one is added to test the behavior.
In our experience helping others, the most common cause of this behavior is an external USB storage drive connected to one of the dock's USB ports. In some cases, a laptop may try to boot from an external storage drive by mistake as opposed to the laptop's built-in storage drive. Since most external USB storage drives are not 'bootable', this can interrupt the boot process.
If this behavior occurs, the most common way to mitigate the behavior is to access the laptop's System BIOS (also known as UEFI firmware) to change the 'boot order' settings to ensure that the laptop's internal storage drive is the first boot option. Doing so helps ensure that the laptop will not try to boot from an external USB storage device.
Every laptop system is different, so the best resource for accessing the System BIOS and changing the settings is the manual for the laptop provided by the laptop manufacturer.
Please be very careful when changing settings within the System BIOS, because changing the wrong setting can cause problems. If you are unsure of how to check or change these settings after consulting your laptop's manual, it is best to contact the laptop manufacturer directly for guidance.
Docking stations based on DisplayLink USB video technology are in essence a 'virtual' graphics adapter that relies on the host laptop's CPU and internal physical graphics processing unit (aka as GPU) to generate the information shown on the dock-attached displays.
In rare instances, Windows applications that use a technology known as OpenGL to draw the image shown on the display will attempt to direct OpenGL related tasks to the DisplayLink-based docking station's virtual graphics adapter, and not to the 'real'/'physical' GPU within the laptop.
Since the dock is not a physical GPU that supports OpenGL, this can sometimes cause applications that make use of OpenGL (such as Google Earth or AutoCAD) to not work as expected or result in various types of error messages.
The true root cause of this behavior can vary, and ultimately lies outside of the docking station or its associated DisplayLink driver. In some cases the root cause lies within the Windows driver for the host system's physical GPU and in rarer cases within the Windows operating system itself.
In some cases updating either the driver for the system's internal GPU or updating Windows itself (when Microsoft provides such updates) can help, however that is unfortunately not always the case.
If updating those components does not help, in most cases there are two possible workarounds.
The first is to configure Windows to have the ‘Main’ display set to a display directly connected to the host system's built-in internal GPU, whether that is an internal laptop display or another external display connected to one of the system's built-in video outputs (a quick guide to doing so is here -> https://youtu.be/7nnKztRZXsw).
If the first option does not prove a suitable workaround, the second option is to boot the system without the dock connected, launching the affected application, and then connecting the dock may also help.
When upgrading the DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity App to new version within a macOS system, the update process will cause the older version of the App to quit. As a result, any monitors connected to a DisplayLink-based USB video adapter or docking station will stop working.
The solution is to manually start the new version of the DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity App by double-clicking on the App's icon within the macOS 'Applications' folder within the macOS Finder. This will restart the DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity App, which in turn will enable any monitors connected to a DisplayLink-based USB video adapter or docking station to start working again.
Note: The information above is only applicable to the new DisplayLink Manager Graphics Connectivity App. This information does not apply to the older 'legacy' version of the DisplayLink driver for macOS.
This article intends to provide a list of Plugable products that utilize DisplayLink technology that we currently recommend for use with macOS Mojave 10.14 and newer versions of the macOS operating system. For additional information regarding the current limitations with DisplayLink adapters and docks with macOS, please look at our KB article here: https://kb.plugable.com/question/724337
DisplayLink docks that are recommended with USB 3.0 Type-A and USB 3.0 Type-C connection to laptop:
Plugable UD-3900 Dual Display Universal Docking Station (UD-3900)
USB-C connection achievable with purchase of a separate adapter, USBC-AF3
Plugable USB 3.0 Dual Monitor Horizontal Docking Station (UD-3900H)
Plugable Dual HDMI USB Universal Docking Station For Windows (UD-3900Z)
Plugable Dual 4K Display HDMI or DisplayPort Universal Docking Station (UD-6950Z)
Plugable UD-6950 USB 3.0 Dual DisplayPort 4K Docking Station (UD-6950)
Plugable UD-6950H USB 3.0 Dual 4K Display Horizontal Docking Station with DisplayPort and HDMI (UD-6950H)
DisplayLink docks that are recommended that support USB-C power delivery to the laptop:
Plugable USB-C Triple HDMI Display Docking Station (UD-3900PDZ)
Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Display Docking Station (UD-ULTC4K)
Plugable has received reports of Notifications not working as expected when a DisplayLink-based product (such as our UD-3900 or UD-6950Z docking stations) is connected to a Mac running macOS 12 Monterey.
The cause of this behavior is still being investigated, however in our experience making a small change within the ‘Notifications & Focus’ preference settings can help.
To make this change, please follow these steps:
Click on the ‘System Preferences’ icon (looks like a gear) in the macOS Dock at the bottom of your screen
Click on the ‘Notifications and Focus’ application
At the bottom of the ‘Notifications and Focus’ application window, click to place a checkmark in the ‘When mirroring or sharing the display’ option under the ‘Allow notifications’ section. An example screenshot with this option highlighted is included below:
UPDATE 5/24/2022 - To the best of Plugable's knowledge, the unexpected behavior described below has been resolved by the macOS 12.4 update. While the issue has been resolved, the information below has been retained for historical reference.
Plugable’s products based on DisplayLink technology have the ability to send an audio signal out via their 3.5mm analog audio jacks or via their HDMI or DisplayPort video output ports (which can also carry an audio signal).
Examples of Plugable products based on DisplayLink technology are the UD-3900, UD-6950Z, or USBC-6950U. Any Plugable product based on DisplayLink technology will have a 'DisplayLink' logo printed somewhere on the product. If a Plugable product does not have this logo, then it does not use DisplayLink technology.
In some cases, when DisplayLink-based products are used with a Mac running macOS 12 Monterey the audio signal may not be heard when switching to the DisplayLink-based device.
This behavior appears to be tied to the order in which an audio output device is selected and used within macOS. For reference, the macOS driver used for the audio device within any DisplayLink-based product is provided by Apple and built-in to macOS.
To expand further, consider the following two examples:
A Mac system is powered on with a DisplayLink device already connected.
The DisplayLink device is set to the default audio output device within the ‘Sound’ macOS System Preferences application.
An application plays a file that contains audio.
The audio signal is heard properly via the DisplayLink device.
‘Not working’ example
A Mac system is powered on without a DisplayLink device connected
The Mac’s built-in audio output device is set as the default audio output device within the ‘Sound’ macOS System Preferences application.
An application plays a file that contains audio.
The audio signal is heard properly via the Mac’s built-in audio output device.
A DisplayLink device is connected to the Mac
The default audio output device within the ‘Sound’ macOS System Preferences application is changed to the DisplayLink device.
An application plays a file that contains audio.
An audio signal is NOT heard via the DisplayLink device.
At this time, there are three potential workarounds for this behavior:
Restart the Mac
Completely close the application that is affected by the behavior, and then restart the application
Execute this command from within the macOS Terminal application (without the quotes) --> 'sudo killall coreaudiod'
Yes! As long as the software drivers for both Silicon Motion and DisplayLink-based products are installed on the same computer these two USB graphics solutions can work together and be used at the same time.
Plugable’s USB video adapters or USB docking stations based on DisplayLink technology do not support the playback of copy-protected or encrypted video content, and we do our best to call this out in our product listings.
Examples of this type of video content are:
Video content that is protected by High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (also known as HDCP), for example Blu-ray discs
Copy-protected video content provided by various online streaming services, for example Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Disney+, YouTubeTV, etc.
As a result, copy-protected video content may not display an image on-screen while using a DisplayLink-based product.
In some cases (such as when using a streaming service) the copy-protected video content may display an image on-screen, however the resolution of the image may be lower than expected.
If your package is missing one or more of the items that should be included with your Plugable dock (included items are listed on a chart on the side of the box), start by double checking if the part is still in the packaging. Pieces can occasionally get stuck in the corners under the main insert in the box.
If you are still unable to locate the piece, please contact email@example.com with the following information:
1. Amazon Order ID (or other proof of purchase) associated with your Plugable device.
2. A description of the parts that are missing from your order.
3. Your preferred shipping address (and a phone number associated with that address).
Unfortunately Plugable products do not support the Apple SuperDrive.
The Apple SuperDrive has stringent power requirements that can only be met by directly connecting the SuperDrive to your host laptop. As a result at this time Apple recommends only using their USB-C adapter cables. You can find more information on that here -→ How to connect the Apple USB SuperDrive
If you have purchased a Plugable product to use with your Apple SuperDrive, and would like some additional assistance please do not hesitate to reach out. You can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or going to Plugable.com/Support.
The below guide is an advanced troubleshooting step, and we do not recommend doing so unless you are comfortable manually altering files on your Apple product running macOS. You may not be able to perform the below troubleshooting step if you are unable to execute administrative credentials on your laptop. Please reach out to our support first if you do not wish to attempt the below instructions. You can do so at Plugable.com/Support
How to delete a specific Ethernet adapter from your Network devices on macOS
Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your primary monitor, and select ‘System Preferences’
Next select ‘Network’ in the ‘System Preferences' window.
In the now visible list, please select the Plugable Ethernet, or Thunderbolt Ethernet device that may not be working as expected.
Once selected click on the minus button in the bottom left of the network window.
Click on Apply in the bottom right.
Next click on the plus button in the bottom left of the network window, and add the previously removed device.
Click on Apply in the bottom right.
Test to see if this has resolved the unexpected behavior, and assure that your Ethernet is now working.
If this does not resolve the problem, please proceed to the next section (As noted previously the next section is for advanced users only!)
Manually erase your macOS Network Settings to fully reset the Network configuration
I am still unable to get my Ethernet connection working on my Mac
If this is the case please reach out to our support team. When you do please include a diagnostic log gathered using our PlugDebug tool (instructions are provided on the PlugDebug page). If you are not able to gather the PlugDebug diagnostics do not worry we are still here to help! Please reach out to our support team at email@example.com or Plugable.com/Support with a detailed description of your problem, and the model of Plugable product you are using.