I work on external monitor all the time with closed lid.

However sometimes I need to use the built-in camera for Skype, thus I open the lid, select "detect the display", launch Skype, call and select video.

The problem: in order to get the external monitor working again, I have to shut the lid again. The computer goes to sleep state, and then I have to power it up with keyboard or mouse.

Is there anyway that I could switch only to single external monitor with lid opened up. In other words if I have 2 displays running, how can I shutdown the lid and switch to the external one without closing the lid?

I am not looking solution like blacking out the screen (dimming) or so.


Rather than dimming the screen, you can turn it off by pressing ⌃⇧⏏. So set the external screen to mirror the laptop screen, then turn off the laptop screen while keeping the lid open.

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    thx for the reply, but this does not seem to work for me. I did as you said. (0) both screen are on (1) turn on mirroring (2) press the keys to turn off the screen - at that point both screens are turned off and I wish to turn off only the lid. – user20196 Oct 13 '10 at 6:23
  • Ah, I see. Must admit that I never tried it with an external display. I figured it was a switch just for the internal laptop display. Apologies. – fideli Oct 13 '10 at 7:28
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    If you turn off the laptop screen, there's nothing for the external display to mirror. – Velociraptors Oct 14 '10 at 19:17

The Lid-Closing Sleep behavior is caused when a sensor in the body of the machine detects a small magnet in the clamshell. If you place a small magnet on the body of the machine it can trigger the machine to sleep even if the clamshell is open.

The sensor location varies by model but you might try a magnet somewhere left and right of the keyboard or in the palmrest area. I don't know if the camera is disabled by this sensor or not.


On my HP DV5T series, I press [FN]+[F4]. That toggles between external modes.

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