Mac app MonitorControl allows you to change the brightness and volume of an external monitor

Mac App Monitor Control

I operate my MacBook Pro closed on an external LG monitor, which works quite well so far - except for the small fact that the buttons for the brightness of the external display have no effect. Surely many other Mac users also know this behavior and - like me - have long since come to terms with it.

I figured that there would simply be no technical way to somehow correct this, since Apple can hardly take all different monitor manufacturers into account, but in fact there is a way. Even one that was taken by an open source developer and has been available to the general public for a long time.

The solution: a small app called "MonitorControl"

Through a podcast I happened upon the small, free one MonitorControl app became aware of this problem, which has been dealing with this problem for years. In most cases it recognizes the external monitor and then sends signals for changes in brightness, volume or contrast via the cable to the external device - of course, coded accordingly for this model so that it is "understood".

MonitorControl is also embedded in the menu bar so that you can see and change the settings of the app.

MonitorControl is also embedded in the menu bar so that you can see and change the settings of the app.

Practical test: a complete success

It is always questionable whether your own monitor is also supported by MonitorControl. If you don't have a super exotic display at the start, the app should recognize and support it. With my LG 34UM95, the whole thing went smoothly and I was able to use the Apple keyboard to change the volume and brightness of the LG display.

Here you can see the on-screen display, which shows that the pressure on the brightness button has been successfully accepted.

Here you can see the on-screen display, which shows that the pressure on the brightness button was successfully accepted.

CTRL + brightness for internal display

If the brightness and volume keys are now used for the external display, you must of course have a key combination with an opened MacBook that controls the internal display. This is possible by pressing the CTRL key at the same time - an extension that was only integrated into the app about a month ago, but which seems absolutely sensible.

Pay attention to safety clearance during installation

The installation of the app is quite simple: First you load the app via the GitHub page down. Now pull the app icon out of the DMG image in the programs folder and start the software from there.

The installation works simply by copying the app into the macOS Applications folder.

The installation works simply by copying the app into the macOS Applications folder.

In order for the app to be able to perform the corresponding functions, you have to check the release for the "MonitorControl" app in System Settings> Security> Data Protection> Accessibility.

If the app does not yet have the necessary rights under macOS Catalina, it will indicate this with appropriate windows.

If the app does not yet have the required rights under macOS Catalina, it will indicate this with appropriate windows.

 

In the system settings, MonitorControl still has to be given access to the accessibility features so that it can do its job.

In the system settings, MonitorControl still has to be given access to the accessibility features so that it can do its job.

The installation is already done and you can call up the app via the sun icon in the menu bar of the Mac to make the settings. For me, however, everything worked very well from the start, so that no intervention was actually necessary. I would only recommend the option that the app should start up with the system so that you don't have to start the app manually every time you restart.

Overall a small but nice app from the developer Guillaume B., the through his website Can also be booked as an iOS and web developer.

The DMG file from MonitorControl can be found here on GitHub under the area "Assets" as a download.

Setting options with MonitorControl V 1.7.1

I am using the current version 1.7.1 and would like to briefly include the screenshots of the setting options in the post so that you can see what can be configured in the app.

"General" settings

"General" settings

 

"Buttons" settings

"Buttons" settings

 

"Monitor" settings

"Monitor" settings

 

"Advanced" settings

"Advanced" settings

If you still have small, practical helpers that may not be well known in the Mac community, I would appreciate your comment. I then make a list and would gradually introduce it in individual posts.

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