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How to Use Your Old iMac as a Monitor

Some iMacs can do double accountability as a track for different Macs

The 27-inch iMacs presented in overdue 2009 incorporated the primary model of Target Display Mode, a characteristic that allowed iMacs to be used as presentations for different Apple gadgets. However, when Apple launched the 2014-2015 iMac Retina Display, they not supported the characteristic.

If you may have one of the crucial Target Display Mode iMacs, your Mac mini or different Mac can use your previous 27-inch iMac as a show.

Target show mode is simplest to be had on explicit iMacs made between overdue 2009 and 2013.

What to do with an previous iMac

10 issues to know when purchasing an previous used Mac

What you wish to have to use your iMac as a track

Display mode well suited 27-inch iMacs have a bi-directional Mini DisplayPort port or a Thunderbolt port (relying on type). You want the right ports and cables to attach between the 2 Macs. The iMac used as the show should be working macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) or previous. The supply Mac should have macOS Catalina (10.15) or an previous model put in.

well suited iMacs

The iMac not helps goal show mode, however a number of fashions offered between overdue 2009 and 2014 make stronger the characteristic.

IMac Model *

Door sort

Mac well suited supply *

2009 – 2010 27-inch iMac

Mini DisplayPort

Mac with Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt

2011 – 2014 iMac

Lighting bolt

Mac with Thunderbolt

iMac Retina 2014 – 2015

Lighting bolt

No make stronger for goal show mode

How to allow and disable the objective show mode

If you may have a appropriate iMac type, suitable cables, and the desired working gadget, you’ll be able to set the objective show mode. That’s how:

Turn at the iMac that will likely be used as the show and the Mac that would be the supply.

Connect the 2 Macs with a Mini DisplayPort cable or a Thunderbolt cable.

The connection most often occurs routinely, but when your iMac does not routinely input goal show mode, press Command+F2 at the iMac to manually input the objective show mode. The iMac presentations the display content material of the supply Mac.

When you’re ready to go out the objective show mode, manually deactivate the serve as by way of urgent the important thing Command+F2 key aggregate or by way of unplugging the iMac from the supply Mac.

What to do if the objective show mode does not paintings

If the objective show mode does not paintings as anticipated, take a look at these items to identify the relationship.

Uses Command+Fn+F2. This might paintings for some keyboard sorts.

Make certain the Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable is hooked up correctly.

If the iMac used as the show is recently booted from a Windows quantity, restart it from the standard Mac boot power.

If you might be recently attached to the iMac you propose to use as a show, sign off and go back to the standard login display.

Some third-party keyboards don’t ship the record Command+F2 as it should be. Use every other keyboard or the unique keyboard that got here together with your Mac.

Things to believe

  • The iMac will proceed to run its working gadget and any open packages when it has entered goal show mode.
  • During the objective show mode, simplest the important thing combos of show brightness, quantity and keyboard goal show mode are energetic. Any different keyboard enter is disregarded. USB, FireWire, and non-keyboard inputs also are disregarded.
  • The supply Mac can’t use any of the iMac show options, together with the integrated iSight digital camera.
  • Target show mode will also be helpful in lots of eventualities, however it isn’t a full-time alternative for having a devoted show for every other Mac.

Should you utilize your iMac as a show?

If a transient want arises, certain, why no longer? But ultimately, it merely does not make sense to waste the computing energy of an iMac, nor does it make sense to pay for the ability the iMac wishes to run when the usage of simply the show. Remember, the remainder of the iMac remains to be working at the back of the scenes, eating electrical energy and producing warmth.

If you wish to have a huge show in your Mac, get a 27-inch or greater pc track. It does not want to be a Thunderbolt show; nearly any track with DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort will paintings superb.

The 7 perfect 27-inch LCD screens of 2022

Using more than one iMacs as presentations

You can use multiple iMac as a show as lengthy as all Macs, each the iMacs used for the show and the supply Mac, use Thunderbolt connectivity.

Each iMac used as a show counts in opposition to the at the same time as attached presentations supported by way of the Mac you might be the usage of as a supply.

Maximum choice of attached Thunderbolt presentations

Mac

Number of presentations

MacE book Air (Mid 2011)

1

MacE book Air (mid 2012-2014)

2

MacE book Pro 13-inch (2011)

1

MacE book Pro Retina (mid 2012 and later)

2

15-inch MacE book Pro (Early 2011 and later)

2

17-inch MacE book Pro (early 2011 and later)

2

Mac mini 2.3 GHz (Mid 2011)

1

Mac mini 2.5 GHz (Mid 2011)

2

Mac mini (Late 2012-2014)

2

iMac (mid 2011 – 2013)

2

21.5-inch iMac (Mid 2014)

2

Mac Pro (2013)

6

How to arrange twin screens on a Mac

FAQ

  • Why did Apple take away goal show mode from more moderen iMacs?

    With the release of the Retina 5K iMacs in 2014, the solution of the iMac larger such a lot that no less than two Thunderbolt ports can be required to energy up a track. Apple made up our minds that there have been too many ports, so as a substitute of accelerating the bandwidth in each and every port, it silently disabled the Target Display characteristic.

  • When will the objective show mode go back?

    Probably by no means. Mac customers have been hoping for a go back with the iMac M1, which incorporated extra Thunderbolt ports, however Target Display Mode hasn’t been on any iMac since overdue 2014. And now that Apple has archived its article at the characteristic, it is lovely protected. say it’s long past perpetually.

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How to Use Your Old iMac as a Monitor

Some iMacs can pull double accountability as a track for different Macs

The 27-inch iMacs presented in overdue 2009 incorporated the primary model of Target Display Mode, a characteristic that allowed iMacs to be used as presentations for different Apple gadgets. However, by the point Apple launched the 2014-2015 Retina Display iMacs, they not supported the characteristic.

If you may have one of the crucial iMacs with Target Display Mode, your Mac mini or every other Mac could make use of your previous 27-inch iMac as a show.

Target Display Mode is simplest to be had on explicit iMacs made between overdue 2009 and 2013.
What to Do With an Old iMac
10 Things to Know When Buying an Old, Used Mac
What You Need to Use Your iMac as a Monitor

Display mode-compatible 27-inch iMacs have both a bi-directional Mini DisplayPort or a Thunderbolt port (relying at the type). You want the right kind ports and cables to make the relationship between the 2 Macs. The iMac used as a show should be working macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) or previous. The supply Mac should have macOS Catalina (10.15) or previous put in.

Compatible iMacs

The iMac not helps Target Display Mode, however a number of fashions offered in overdue 2009 via 2014 make stronger the characteristic.

iMac Model *

Port Type

Compatible Mac Source*

2009 – 2010 27-inch iMac

Mini DisplayPort

Mac with Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt

2011 – 2014 iMac

Thunderbolt

Mac with Thunderbolt

2014 – 2015 Retina iMacs

Thunderbolt

No Target Display Mode make stronger

How to Enable and Disable Target Display Mode

If you may have a appropriate iMac type, suitable cables, and the desired working gadget, you’ll be able to arrange Target Display Mode. Here’s how:

Turn at the iMac that will likely be used as the show and the Mac that would be the supply.

Connect the 2 Macs with both a Mini DisplayPort cable or a Thunderbolt cable.

The connection normally occurs routinely, but when your iMac doesn’t routinely input Target Display Mode, press Command+F2 at the iMac to manually input Target Display Mode. The iMac presentations the display contents of the supply Mac.

When you’re ready to go out Target Display Mode, manually flip off the characteristic by way of urgent the Command+F2 keyboard aggregate or by way of disconnecting the iMac from the supply Mac.

What to Do If Target Display Mode Doesn’t Work

If Target Display Mode isn’t functioning as anticipated, take a look at these items to assist in making the relationship.

Usie Command+Fn+F2. This might paintings for some keyboard sorts.

Make certain the Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable is hooked up as it should be.

If the iMac getting used as a show is recently booted from a Windows quantity, restart it from the standard Mac startup power.

If you’re recently logged in to the iMac you propose to use as a show, sign off and go back to the standard login display.

A couple of third-party keyboards don’t ship the Command+F2 as it should be. Use every other keyboard or the unique keyboard that got here together with your Mac.

Things to Consider
The iMac will proceed to run its working gadget and any packages that have been open when it entered Target Display Mode.
While in Target Display Mode, simplest the keyboard’s show brightness, quantity, and Target Display Mode key combos are energetic. Any different keyboard enter is disregarded. USB, FireWire, and inputs rather then the keyboard also are disregarded.
The supply Mac can’t employ any of the show iMac’s options, together with the integrated iSight digital camera.
Target Display Mode will also be useful in lots of eventualities, but it surely’s no longer a full-time replace for having a devoted show for every other Mac.
Should You Use Your iMac as a Display?

If a transient want arises, certain, why no longer? But ultimately, it simply doesn’t make sense to waste the computing energy of an iMac, nor does it make sense to pay for the power the iMac wishes to run whilst you’re simplest the usage of the show. Remember, the remainder of the iMac remains to be working at the back of the scenes, eating electrical energy and producing warmth.

If you wish to have a huge show in your Mac, seize a respectable 27-inch or greater pc track. It doesn’t want to be a Thunderbolt show; nearly any track with a DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort will paintings smartly.

The 7 Best 27-Inch LCD Monitors of 2022
Using Multiple iMacs as Displays

It’s conceivable to use multiple iMac as a show supplied all of the Macs—each the iMacs used for show and the supply Mac—are the usage of Thunderbolt connectivity.

Each iMac used as a show counts in opposition to the concurrently attached presentations supported by way of the Mac you’re the usage of as the supply.

Maximum Connected Thunderbolt Displays

Mac

Number of Displays

MacE book Air (Mid 2011)

1

MacE book Air (Mid 2012 – 2014)

2

MacE book Pro 13-inch (2011)

1

MacE book Pro Retina (Mid 2012 and later)

2

MacE book Pro 15-inch (Early 2011 and later)

2

MacE book Pro 17-inch (Early 2011 and later)

2

Mac mini 2.3 GHz (Mid 2011)

1

Mac mini 2.5 GHz (Mid 2011)

2

Mac mini (Late 2012 – 2014)

2

iMac (Mid 2011 – 2013)

2

iMac 21.5-inch (Mid 2014)

2

Mac Pro (2013)

6

How to Set Up Dual Monitors on a Mac
FAQ

Why did Apple take away Target Display Mode from more moderen iMacs?
With the release of Retina 5K iMacs in 2014, the iMac’s solution larger such a lot that it might take no less than two Thunderbolt ports to activate a track. Apple made up our minds this used to be too many ports, so as a substitute of accelerating the bandwidth in each and every port, they quietly disabled the Target Display characteristic. 

When will Target Display mode go back?
Probably by no means. Mac customers was hoping for the go back with the M1 iMac, which incorporated extra Thunderbolt ports, however the Target Display Mode hasn’t been on any iMacs since overdue 2014. And now that Apple has archived its article concerning the characteristic, it’s lovely protected to say it’s long past perpetually.

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