[Updated] Apple Mac Mini M1 dual display issues (green tint, pink squares, lag, etc.)

New updates are added at the bottom of this story …

The original story (released December 10, 2020) follows:

The new Apple Mac Mini M1 appears to be giving dual / multi-monitor users a really tough time with a host of display issues including green tint, pink squares, and random lag.

As a result, there have been a number of complaints on Apple’s official forums, Reddit, and MacRumors.


I am enjoying my Mac mini with the soc M1 but unfortunately connecting two monitors does not work. Upon restart, both monitors are displayed correctly on the login screen. However, during login, both monitors start flashing. I have to unplug and reconnect an HDMI cable for the displays to work again.source

I have 2 displays connected: 1x USBC / Thunderbolt3 24 inch LG Ultrafine 4k screen (purchased through Apple last year) 1x LG 27 inch 4k display, connected via HDMI The problem I’m having is that the 27 inch display has a lag really horrible viewing, moving the mouse, dragging windows on the screen and everything I dosource

As evident from the complaints above, users seem to face a number of problems, but with the exception of one common feature: most, if not all, have a dual monitor setup.

Problems include:

Click to enlarge

1. Pink squares or dots that appear during startup and in the first few minutes after login. Some have also reported that they only appear on the login page. However, changing the wallpaper helped a couple of users, for some reason.

2. Strange green tints that can be coupled with static electricity in the display. These too can only last a few minutes during and after startup. Reconnecting the HDMI cable temporarily disappears the problem.

3. One or both monitors are not working at all. And even if they do, there may be a lot of flickering. Again, reconnecting the cables temporarily solves the problem. The screen may also go black after waking up from sleep mode.

4. Hideous display lag that can be reproduced by simply moving the mouse or dragging windows.

5. 5120 × 1440 screen resolution not supported. This is unrelated to multi-monitor setups, but it’s a display issue nonetheless, and so it had to be included here.

Workarounds for Dual Display Issues on Mac Mini M1

While not much can be done about it aside from waiting for official recognition from Apple, we still managed to pull some workarounds out of the forums.

1. Turn off separate spaces – This has reportedly worked for some users for some reason. You can try your luck by going to System Preferences> Mission Control and turning off “Separate Spaces” or turning it on if it’s already disabled.

2. Make sure you are using appropriate cables – you can read all about supported cable connections Here.

talking to senior support today … it seems that the culprit is these USB C to HDMI adapters … not supported at the moment … however I can get it to work by alternating the refresh ratesource

I was on the phone with apple support and it said with 2 monitors we have to use 2 thunderbolt output, not mixed with hdmi output.source

3. Reinstall macOS: Oddly, a couple of users reported that a reinstall of Big Sur solved the problem for them. However, this is not recommended.

If you still want to try it, you need to reboot first and immediately hold down the Command + R or Command + Option + R keys. Then, click on the “Reinstall macOS” option that appears in the recovery.

Hopefully, Apple will address this and release a bug fix update for the same if it is truly software related. For now, be sure to check out our dedicated macOS Big Sur bug / issue tracker.

Update 1 (December 24)

18:17 (IST): Apple has acknowledged one of the above issues – the unsupported 5120 × 1440 screen resolution issue – and is likely to release an update soon to fix it. This is evident from a new supporting document:

If you connect an ultrawide or super ultrawide monitor to your Apple M1 chip Mac, some resolutions supported by the display may not be available. Apple is aware of this issue and the resolution is expected in a future macOS update.source

Hopefully, this update will also fix the other display issues faced by Mac Mini M1 users.

Update 2 (January 22, 2021)

13:14 (IST): As per the macOS Big Sur 11.2 release notes, Apple has now fixed one of the many display issues plaguing the Mac mini M1 where external displays would show a black screen when connected using a converter HDMI to DVI.

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