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How does MacBook sense when lid is closed?

I have a Macbook C2D 2.16 GHz laptop. The screen was cracked and doesn't charge/run of battery, and I wanted to use this as a desktop. I removed the display and rerouted the wifi wires around the dvd drive. Everything works well, but when it turns on, it thinks that the display is open so it uses the external monitor as a second display. When I put it to sleep and wake it up, same thing. I want to know how the macbook recognizes when the display is open vs closed so I can try to make the computer think the diplay is closed all the time ie when it wakes from sleep, it thinks the display is closed and uses the external monitor as the main monitor.

Beantwoord! Bekijk het antwoord Dit probleem heb ik ook

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It's called a Reed Switch. Here are some answers that may help you to understand how it works:

What is the reed switch for?

Here's a good reference on it:

Here's a good thread on it, go to the fourth one down:

Here's Apple's discussion on the problem:

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+ excellent links, great reference.


Thanks. I needed to know the name to look for ie reed switch. I was able to remove the small magnet from the display (on the left side around the bezel) which activates the reed switch and did a practice on my working macbook, which sent it to sleep; the mechanism is very sensitive and small movement from that exact position woke it up. I will tape it down on the headless macbook so that I will be able to go directly into sleep whenever I start up the computer ie use the external monitor as the main display. One thing about the small magnet is that it is very fragile. It cracked in half when it fell out of it's niche and attached to the big magnets at the top, but it still puts my computer to sleep :)


Also, the last 3 links didn't work for me. Here's the link to the ifixit page with the full links (from an earlier answer you gave :-)

Sleep sensor and on/off led doesn't work?

And for a couple of other ifixit links that helped me:

Won't sleep when lid is closed

What is this mystery piece of magnetic metal?

(Sorry, I can't get formatting to work for me.)


It uses a magnet, much like the iPad and Blackberries do.

WARNING: Do NOT just wave the magnet around, it can destroy your hard drive as it is magnetic storage. If I remember correctly it should be around the trackpad.


The HDD is on the right side of the palmrest. Do not put a strong magnet near it.


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On a 2015 MBPro, 13-inch, the reed switch is just to the left of the Tab key (under the aluminium).

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