When I took my 2018 MacBook Pro into Apple for a broken screen last month, the genius told me these recent computers will not recognize an external monitor until some account logs in. When I got it back, my tests confirmed that. I found that after the external monitor started working, it kept working, accounts logged in or not, until the system was powered down. (I don't think a reboot powers down the computer.) I considered setting up an account that always automatically logs in but has no permissions to do anything at all.If I plug the dock into the MacBook Pro from a "cold" boot (I come into the office in the morning, plug the OWC dock in and turn on the MacBook Pro from a power-off state), I have to use the MacBook Pro display to select the user to log in - i.e. nothing will show up on the external monitor until some seconds after I select the user to log in.
I can often reboot without touching the MacBook Pro again (i.e. everything still works on the external display), but sometimes the booting process seems stuck and nothing shows up on the external display nor on the MacBook Pro if I open the lid. But I know it's on, because I can hear the fan going. I end up having to do a hard shutdown (hold down power for a few seconds) and then boot up again as if I'm doing it for the first time in the morning (i.e. I have to use the MacBook Pro display to log in, and I can't use the external display until after I do that).
Does anyone else have a similar setup? I'm chalking the "cold boot" issue to security... so is that normal that you can't use an external monitor right off the bat? I remember the old days where I'd plug my monitor and USB hub into my MacBook Pro with the lid closed, and everything would start up and just *work*. But is this the new normal?