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Mac OS X Lion: External display bug, Launchpad causing problems

If you were expecting Mac OS X Lion to come without any sign of bugs, think again. Apple’s latest Mac OS X release has only just gone live but we already have a serious problem affecting those who use Lion on an external display.

We were aware of previous external display niggles with Lion during the developer preview of the new software, but we expected Apple to iron out the issues before the full version went live on the Mac App Store just hours ago.

Unfortunately, it appears as if problems are still present, as you can see in the video we have discovered here, as evidence. Watch as the user connects the laptop to an external display running Lion, and as soon as the new LaunchPad interface is selected, the user is met with one big distorted mess as they try and navigate through the selection of programs.

Obviously, we’re not sure if this problem is specifically tied down to the external display, Launchpad or a combination of both. We’ve done some digging and found this related article back in June which does suggest that Apple are having issues with external displays and Lion. However, that particular issue is related to using Lion in full-screen App mode, while the incident seen in the video below happens as soon as an external display is connected, which obviously isn’t good.

Further research from Twitter users has revealed that quite a few of you are also having external display related problems with Lion. Check out a few complaints below as an example:

Knusi said ”Just found out that the FullSceen mode in #Lion is a mess if you want to use it in combination with an external display.”

Ryanmoulton said ”Full screen in Lion is useless. Blocks out the external display to save 20 pixels on the other.”

Deekstar said ”It’s gonna take me a while to get used to the scrolling on #lion – it’s messed up the resolution on my external display too!”

As you can see, this problem is becoming a hassle for new owners of Lion, and it’s not the kind of headlines that Apple will want to see after just getting their latest software out of the door. On a side note, it’s interesting to see that users are having difficulty getting used to the default inverted scrolling on Lion as well, as we only just mentioned this in an earlier article here.

We’re not sure how widespread this problem is at the moment, but it’s clear it is not an isolated issue. If you have been having any resolution or external display problems with Mac OS X Lion, get in touch with us below.

Written by Alan Ng

Alan has been working for Product-Reviews since 2009 and became the Editor-in-chief in 2014. He has a passion for technology, the latest mobile phones and gadgets, and the gaming industry. Alan is a graduate of Canterbury Christ Church University and completed a B.A in Commercial Music in 2008. While expressing a keen interest in all areas that PR cover, you'll usually find Alan in the gaming section, where he'll be keeping enthusiasts up to date on all the latest news and reviews for consoles and PC.

Contact Alan Ng:

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Sascha StützerMatt FryySylvain DarroyScottHawkins Davis Recent comment authors
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Sascha Stützer

I tried to use an Sony Bravia TV as external display and when I plug it in the MBA went into sleep or off mode immediately….

Sylvain Darroy

hi,the native resolution of my MBA 13′ have disappear, the 1440×900 still not exist !! only 1280×800 is available !!!!


I am having browser delays when clicking on links, windows not opening, etc. until I remove the mains power when running with an external display.  If I work on battery power with external display, no issues.  I am on a 2-month old i7 MacBook Pro.

Hawkins Davis
Hawkins Davis

yes, it has messed up my resolution settings on my external monitor.  I can no longer use max resolution when rotating my display 90 degrees.  its clearly a bug as i got it working for a while, then i restarted now its gone.  come on apple.

Hawkins Davis
Hawkins Davis

yes, it has messed up my resolution settings on my external monitor.  I can no longer use max resolution when rotating my display 90 degrees.  its clearly a bug as i got it working for a while, then i restarted now its gone.  come on apple.

Marko Justinek

Heh, I figured it out… I figured what makes it go all disco on me. If I set the wallpaper to some image that is tiled over the background then Launchpad is useless. If I use the Lions’ default wallpaper (that galaxy image) it works just perfectly. It only happens if the desktop image used for the wallpaper is set to “tiled”. If it’s anything else (like Fit to screen, stretch…), then the Launchpad works just fine. Oh well… 🙂


External display a complete disaster…..on a live TV feed had sound, but all else frozen..even beachballed over activity monitor in dock so couldn’t identify culprit…..temperature skyrocketed so disconnected and laptop crashed…..took 10min to get back to life!

dwight robinson

My external display blinks off and back on every 30 seconds. This is totally new sense I installed Lion os.

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