Plugable UD-5900 USB 3.0 4K Aluminum Mini Docking Station with Dual Video Outputs
List Price : $155 $110
Amazon Rating :
FLEXIBLE EXPANDABILITY—A single USB 3.0 connection from a host PC to this dock provides dual video outputs, wired Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack (TRRS), and four USB 3.0 ports. Optional VESA mounting bracket for compatible displays included
DUAL HD MONITORS OR SINGLE 4K MONITOR—Built-in HDMI and DVI outputs each supporting 1920x1200 resolution @ 60Hz refresh rate. Includes DVI to VGA adapter. HDMI port supports resolutions up to 3840x2160 @ 30Hz with a single HDMI display only
COMPATIBILITY—Docking station compatible with Windows 10, 8.x, 7 systems. Plug and play driver installation via Windows Update. Not supported are Surface RT, macOS, and Linux. Wired Ethernet supports Gigabit speed. Dock does not charge host PC
RECOMMENDED USE—For use with web and productivity software; not recommended for gaming. Cannot be mixed with non-DisplayLink USB adapters. DisplayPort connections not supported. Does not support HDCP, will not playback encrypted or copy-protected content
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
Designed for those who want a one-stop upgrade for your USB 3.0 laptop. The Plugable USB 3.0 4K Aluminum Mini Docking Station for Windows (UD-5900) allows you to add dual monitors, and connect your peripherals, all through a single cable back to your laptop. Quickly come and go from your desk with ease. By connecting one cable to your laptop, you gain 8 extra ports of connectivity, making it easier to do more work in less time.
Power users with dual monitors: The UD-5900 is the dock you need to maximize your productivity and your workspace. Great for business uses such as email, web applications, Microsoft office, and more. Featuring a compact cube design, you can easily slip this dock between your monitors and save valuable desk space. Conveniently access the front USB and audio ports for those devices you plug and unplug everyday.
Note: The UD-5900 will not charge your laptop and will need your external charger to provide power to your system. The UD-5900 has one HDMI port and one DVI port and we include a DVI to VGA adapter if needed (not compatible with DisplayPort displays).
8 Ports of Connectivity
Get your ports back with a dock that acts as a hub for all of your peripherals.
1x HDMI 1.4 port and 1x DVI port—Add up to two additional displays. Adapter to convert the DVI port to VGA is included
4x USB 3.0—Add a thumb drive, external SSD, and more (two front USB ports support BC 1.2 charging)
1x 3.5mm Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack—Listen to music and video chat
1x Gigabit Ethernet—Experience fast and reliable network speeds
Get more screen space for more productivity. High-resolution displays (HDMI, DVI, or VGA) will change the way you manage your out of control tabs and your workflow.
No more grainy visuals and tiny screens. Watch videos on clear and sharp 2K 60Hz screens (1920x1200 @ 60Hz) or one 4K 30Hz HDMI screen. Expand your screen real estate with this dock and cut down the time it takes to work on those highly productive tasks.
Not only does this dock expand your connectivity, it also brings a whole new level of performance and flexibility.
Featuring DisplayLink graphic technology, you can connect this dock to a USB 3.0 Windows laptop. So whether you're hoteling at a desk for work, or sharing your dock at home, this dock provides the flexibility you need.
The compact unit is designed to reduce its desk footprint to give you more room for the things that matter most. The dock can be optionally mounted to the back of compatible displays by using the included VESA mount. With easily accessible ports on the front of the dock, you can unplug your headphones with ease.
Compatible with most modern laptops and desktops running Windows 10/8.x/7. The box includes a USB 3.0 cable to connect to the dock to your laptop.
Not compatible with: macOS; Linux/Unix; or ARM-based Windows operating systems (such as Surface RT).
Supports two high-resolution monitors up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz. Supports one high-resolution HDMI monitor up to 3840x2160 @ 30Hz. Compatible with HDMI / DVI / VGA displays. Conversion to Dual-Link DVI (DL-DVI) is not supported. DisplayPort displays are not supported.
DisplayLink is a flexible and versatile technology that’s great for most users’ workflow. But there are a few scenarios where it’s not the right fit such as gaming and HDCP (copy-protected) content playback from Blu-ray/Netflix/Prime/iTunes/Hulu/etc.
Power and Charging
This dock does not provide power to the connected laptop or tablet—the laptop will still require a separate charger.It cannot control the power of the laptop.
If drivers were not received from Plugable via email soon after purchase, download the most recent drivers by visiting this link. (If no internet connection is available, drivers are located on the enclosed CD.)
Install the drivers and reboot.
Connect display(s) and Ethernet cable (optional) to docking station.
Plug in AC power to docking station and connect dock to your PC/tablet using provided USB cable.
Changing Display Mode
Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 7
Use the keyboard shortcut Win + P
Repeat the keystrokes to cycle through the available modes.
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 and macOS 11 Big Sur
macOS 10.14 Mojave and macOS 10.15 Catalina
Ease of installation
Can sometimes be more difficult, as compared to the new App
No with macOS 11 Big Sur on Apple CPU-based systems
Supports macOS ‘Login screen’
Yes, with additional ‘Login screen’ application installation
Via DisplayLink icon within the Apple Menu bar
No management application
Actively being developed
Being phased out due to changes within macOS
** Closed-display mode (aka clamshell mode or 'lid closed' operation) is supported on Macs using Apple M1 processors when an external power source is connected (e.g. Apple-branded power adapter or a docking station with host charging capability) on macOS Big Sur version 11.1 and later. Clamshell mode is not supported on Intel-based Macs
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 installing the DisplayLink Manager and connecting the Plugable DisplayLink product to your laptop 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
2. 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.
3. Turn on ‘Allow Notifications’ for DisplayLink Manager
4. 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).
5. Select “Launch automatically after logging-in” for the software to start automatically every time you log-in.
NOTE: this is not compulsory but recommended to save you from repeating step 1 each time you login.
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.
No, this is not possible. Please note that DisplayPort to HDMI cables (as with any cable involving protocol/signal conversion) are not bidirectional adapters. Such cables will not allow an HDMI output port (such as those on the dock) to function with a DisplayPort input on a monitor.
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.
Windows has special power management settings that control what happens when the laptop lid is closed. If this happening, these settings need to be changed. Please right-click on the Start button and select ‘Power Options’ from the menu.
From the choices present on the left-hand side of the 'Power Options' window, please click on ‘Choose what closing the lid does’.
Note: If you are running the Creators Update (or newer) to Windows 10, you will have to first click on the ‘Additional power settings’ option to access this window.
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.
The first thing to check if this happens is that the default audio playback device within Windows is set to 'Plugable Audio'.
You can check and change this setting by clicking on the small 'speaker' icon located in the Windows taskbar 'task tray' in the lower right-hand corner of your desktop (next to the date and time).
When you click on the speaker, a small pop-up window will appear and show you the present default audio playback device. If more than one audio option is available, you can click on the small upward facing arrow on the right-hand side of the list to expose all of the choices.
From within those choices, you just need to click on the option for 'Plugable Audio' to set it as the default.
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 DisplayLink-based USB 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)