MacBook Pro Clamshell Solution Without Power Cable

Clamshell mode, a fantastic feature in MacBook Pro, empowers users to close their laptop lids while still benefiting from an external monitor. This configuration creates a streamlined and spacious desktop setup, making it ideal for individuals in need of a larger display.

Recently, I acquired an external monitor to enhance my work-from-home ergonomics. However, I was disappointed to discover that clamshell mode on my 2021 MacBook Pro M1 wouldn’t function without the power adapter connected. Apple has apparently implemented power-saving measures by disabling certain functions while operating on battery power, which affects clamshell mode.

Despite finding various workarounds, none of them aligned with my preference for simplicity. But today, I accidentally stumbled upon a solution that resolves this issue. While searching for alternatives to the bulky HDMI cable connecting my MacBook Pro to the monitor, I decided to experiment with the slimmer USB-C cable that accompanied the monitor. Remarkably, the clamshell mode works flawlessly even without the power adapter connected! The USB-C to USB-C cable proved to be the ultimate solution, and I’m sharing this undocumented revelation to assist others facing a similar challenge.

Solution: USB-C Cable Unlocks Clamshell Mode Without Power Adapter

As I explored ways to optimize my setup, I made the following breakthrough:

  1. Instead of relying on the traditional HDMI cable, consider using a USB-C to USB-C cable that is compatible with both your external monitor and MacBook Pro M1.
  2. Connect one end of the USB-C cable to the USB-C port on your external monitor.
  3. Connect the other end of the USB-C cable to one of the USB-C ports on your MacBook Pro M1.
  4. Once connected, close the lid of your MacBook Pro. The external monitor will now serve as your primary display while the MacBook Pro operates in clamshell mode.

Conclusion: By utilising the USB-C to USB-C cable instead of the power adapter, MacBook Pro M1 users can now seamlessly enjoy clamshell mode without any limitations. This discovery, although not documented elsewhere, has the potential to help numerous individuals seeking an uncomplicated solution. Enhance your productivity and workspace by implementing this USB-C cable workaround, and experience the benefits of clamshell mode with your MacBook Pro M1 and external monitor setup.

UPDATE [24May23]: Turns out that the USB-C cable is actually powering my laptop & hence the ports are not powering off. So my real purpose of unhooking the power supply (so I can go through the battery power cycle) is still not met with this solution!

My World Photography Day

A world photography day?
Who knew!
Well … I know today.
Apparently, we owe this celebration to the French.

My interest in photography started via an interest for gadgets. Family happened .. and the interest turned into a hobby. And with my first DSLR, started a slightly more serious affair. Clicking pictures, learning about cameras, composition techniques & post processing – much good times!

  • interest in the unlikeliest of subjects
  • searching for newer perspectives
  • capturing memories
  • befriending subjects

Tulip from above

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.

Ansel Adams

Your truly with a landmark in a frame

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.

Dorothea Lange

Noticing the tiniest of things

It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.


Our own space odyssey

Let your words be few,
And your exposures many.


Sikkimese mother we met on the way to Lachung

The Best Camera

The best camera is the one with you when you need it! The camera phone & an editing app combo can produce some artsy social media worthy pictures ?

This picture was taken on one of my early morning sprints with Tigris. This was taken just before sunrise, in low light conditions. Yet the picture taken on the mobile phone is gorgeous – captured quite a bit of details & color, both in the foreground & the background.

Mobile phone cameras can easily replace the point & shoot (P&S) cameras nowadays. For anyone considering buying a P&S camera today, I would suggest they instead invest in a more recent mobile phone model with a good camera.

  • The phone goes wherever you go … no need to worry about forgetting it
  • You can capture a moment wherever / whenever you encounter a picture worthy one
  • It’s compact & light… no lugging around a burden
  • You can do the editing (if needed) right on the phone with any of the plethora of powerful editing apps available
  • You can also share pictures right away .. no more waiting to get to a PC / laptop

There are awesome photographers on Instagram who use mobile phones only. Check a few of them for inspiration –


Let’s get clicking!

ABC = Fn (A, B)

(via Instagram

Your Adventure Biking Capability (ABC) is a function of your Ability (A) & the Bike (B) you ride.

ABC = Fn (A, B)

Accordingly, you can improve your ABC by either..

  1. Increasing Your Ability – picking up new skills, practicing the skills & thus building experience (muscle memory) in using the skills
  2. Using a Better Bike – a more purpose built bike, or adding any of the large number of accessories that will incrementally improve your bike – custom foot pegs, tires, etc.

The latter is the easy option – requires less effort & no practice. You just have to buy into the marketing stories of the product. I’m not saying they will not help at all. It does, incrementally.

Increasing your ability on the other hand involves learning, practicing & sweating it out building the muscle memory. But the impact this has on your ABC is multifold higher (3x – 5x). Also, ability is easily transferable to any bike you ride.

For most people, increasing our abilities should be the default strategy to improving our Adventure Riding Capability. Our investment of effort & resources will yield better overall results wrt to us becoming better riders. That’s exactly what I’m seen doing in the picture above with @bret.tkacs & @topgunindia.