Latest macOS update disables DisplayLink, rendering thousands of monitors dead

Via SlashDot, rh2600 writes:

Four days ago, Apple’s latest macOS 10.13.4 update broke DisplayLink protocol support (perhaps permanently), turning what may be hundreds of thousands of external monitors connected to MacBook Pros via DisplayLink into paperweights. Some days in, DisplayLink has yet to announce any solution, and most worryingly there are indications that this is a permanent change to macOS moving forward.

“Users of popular Mac desktop extension app Duet Display are being advised not to update to macOS 10.13.4, due to ‘critical bugs’ that prevent the software from communicating with connected iOS devices used as extra displays,” Tim Hardwick reports for MacRumors. “Users of other desktop extension apps like Air Display and iDisplay are also reporting incompatibility with macOS 10.13.4. DisplayLink-enabled USB graphics devices are also reportedly affected.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Another “Oops!” for Apple.


  1. Congrats Apple another mistake not caught again….

    Tim Cooks Apple strikes again. Or is it Tim Cooks Microsoft wanna be now? I’m confused…😡

    1. We don’t know that this was a mistake by Apple. Apple may have deprecated some functionality that these vendors use and the vendors failed to adapt in a timely fashion.

      Apple has the right to make technical changes under the hood in the service of their product roadmap. It’s up to third party vendors to keep up with the platform.

    1. Wrong. Apple is not responsible for making sure that manufacturers of third party accessories have the technical chops to keep up with the platform. If these companies were on-the-ball and if the problems were really due to bugs on Apple’s side, we would have heard about these issues during the beta period. The real issue here is that Apple makes technical changes when the platform roadmap demands it and vendors need to keep up. Those that can’t keep up will become irrelevant, as they should. It sucks for their customers, but as they say, caveat emptor.

      1. “Wrong. Apple is not responsible for making sure that manufacturers of third party accessories have the technical chops to keep up with the platform.”

        Well, they had the “technical chops” before Apple threw them under the bus?

        Unless you have undeniable evidence that Apple gave them ample heads up, detailed information and deadline notice before the change and later the vendors ignored it and dropped the ball, OK. Because without the Apple evidence — you are “Wrong” …

      2. Caveat Emptor!
        At least we agree.

        Would you still believe that if, hypothetically, hordes started taking your advice?

        See, thinking THEY set policy is what IT departments do…

        Are they going to reimburse developers for fixing against the changes they make?

  2. Wait. As a software developer, the people who bring you Duet have full access to the software Apple is rolling out during each beta phase. Therefore, it’s up to the developer to keep their software current with what is supported in Apple’s OS. So, one of two things happened here, the developer isn’t part of Apple’s developer program and isn’t testing their software against the next OS version – which would be unbelievably negligent on their part, or, they are a member, knew the software didn’t work, and decided to wait until AFTER Apple released their software to state that their app no longer works. Either way, this is on Duet, not Apple. Even if Apple no longer supports something critical to their app, they would have known when 10.13.4 started testing and could have started working on a plan for their customers. Any way you look at this, the company should have known there was a problem some time ago and should have figured out the plan for customers well before 10.13.4 went live. Absolutely zero fault on Apple here.

    1. Atlanta Apologist: It isn’t a single software maker experiencing the problem.

      Apple tinkered with its OS, breaking an industry standard display firmware while they clumsily pushed external GPU support. eGPU support itself wouldn’t have been necessary if Apple could have been bothered to make computers that supported internal GPU cards. Historically Apple has been behind just about every other computer maker in GPU support. This just underscores the point that Apple is charging premium prices for below average performance and capability — and now quality too.

      By the way, Duet capabilities have been obvious and you would think could have been baked into iOS for many years. Apparently Apple is too busy killing the Mac to bother making it work correctly with portable iOS gadgets.

      Try again.

      1. Again, if the accessory makers were paying attention, this wouldn’t be news to them or their users. These incompatibilities are only benign reported after a beta period of over two months. Why weren’t users warned to delay upgrading to 10.11.4? Why didn’t these companies make a stink months ago? Something smells seriously fishy…

    2. Nice thought but, simply not true. You can’t expect a vendor to completely rewrite their software because apple decided to make wholesale changes.

      For example: Apple broke Adobe lighroom with High Sierra and Adobe is waiting for APPLE to fix it as they can’t unless they do a complete rewrite.

      Apple Broke2 of my USB card readers and they are hardware with nothing to rewrite. I guess you forget that High Sierra was a drastic change.

  3. Does anybody doubt the reality that the Mac is now given worst class status under the Cook regime? It would be nice to know how few engineers Apple has dedicated to the platform. As opposed to the “Services” and “Other” category products which seem to have no budgetary constraints.

  4. You’re a fool if you update your OS. Mac and really screwing the pooch lately.
    I won’t update since High Sierra broke Lightroom. Really apple, some of the most important things and you os updates are breaking them.

    Really poor quality coming out of apple. Steve Jobs is an example to be emulated people.

    1. High Sierra didn’t break Lightroom. Adobe made the choice not to make the necessary compatibility changes within the beta period. Adobe does a lot of weird stuff behind the scenes to support a code base that spans multiple platforms. Managing this complexity is Adobe’s problem. If Adobe wrote straight macOS code there wouldn’t be an issue. Is it Apple’s fault that Adobe’s code doesn’t adhere to macOS best practices? Is it Apple’s fault if Adobe is unwilling to commit the necessary resources to deal with the complexities of its cross-platform software development process?

      1. Patrick, sounds like you previously worked for Microsoft. If half of what you claim is true, and you are satisfied with an OS from an out of touch company that feels no obligation to protect its users from these kinds of problems, then here is a tip:

        You can save thousands by getting the same good enough quality from Windows. Stop paying the Apple tax.

          1. Gulp, but I totally support your post. Planned obsolescence by Apple is a pet peeve of mine and yes, Microsoft does a much better job of serving legacy customers …

            1. You know GeoB, I’m not a cynic at all things, mostly against BS. You and I are politically polar opposie, yet we reach common ground.

              I must say publicly that I admire your respect for the truth. FWIW I aspire to the same goal.

            2. “I must say publicly that I admire your respect for the truth. FWIW I aspire to the same goal.”

              Right back at you, AC. I can easily recognize your honest intentions, disdain and impatience for BS is something we share in common as we RESPECT the TRUTH.

              We may have different styles of expression and favor opposite candidates, but it does not matter. The truth is not universally exclusive to anyone — it stands apart and on its own. Keep up the good fight …

      2. I guess you don’t understand what happens when you do a drastic rewrite such as high sierra.

        Adobe has already stated they are waiting for apple to fix the problem. You’re assumption is that Apple delivered an OS with zero bugs and it’s very evident that High sierra and Apple updates across the product line are full of massive bug issues.

      3. Btw, clueless Patrick part of the problem is they was High sierra and the new the file system as problems dealing with RAW files, thus NOT an adobe problem a MAC OS problem and it’s difficulties dealing with raw files. Thanks for playing and being clueless.

  5. Wait. MDN says “Oops” for Apple, but Atlanta boy, who seems to know what he’s talking about, says it’s developer’s fault. Somebody’s wrong. And I side with old Atlanta developer. So for now, I say Apple is in the clear, good side this time.

  6. “DisplayLink” is a company with PROPRIETARY drivers that allows for multiple monitor connections with various Operating Systems. At this point their drivers do not work with 11.3.4. I would assume, they are in negotiations with Apple as far as support goes in the future.

    My limited experience with DisplayLink was that what they offer seems to be useful but it was clearly “not ready for prime time use”. Their software and “Duet Display’s” software simply wasn’t up to front line use. I especially didn’t like Duet Display’s “subscription” model for use of the iPad as a drawing device (like a Cintiq) when they made NO promises of future software support. Basically, I couldn’t be sure “it would work”. As this point, it looks like it doesn’t work.

    I would guess between the three companies Apple, DisplayLink and Duet Display that only DisplayLink and Duet Display fell on their faces. Like I said, not ready for prime time.

    1. Nope. Accessory makers are responsible for keeping up with the platform by updating device drivers in a timely fashion. If they can’t manage to update their drivers during Apple’s beta period, they should hire more and better programmers, or they should expect to lose customers.

  7. This is timely; yesterday I hooked up my iPad Air 1 via an Arc Hub to my 2017 MacBook which is on 10.13.4. I hadn’t used Duet Display in a while and it wasn’t working. I decided to download a newer version of the Mac app from Duet since mine was older, and after I installed it and rebooted my iPad was working as a second display like it used to. I just double checked that is still works in the aforementioned configuration today and it does. I’m not sure why it is working why it is reportedly broken.

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