Imac As Display For Mac Mini
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How to Use Your Old iMac as a Display for Your Mac Mini
If you have an old iMac lying around and want to use it as a monitor for your Mac Mini, you might be wondering if it's possible and how to do it. The answer depends on the model of your iMac and your Mac Mini, as well as the type of cable you need to connect them. In this article, we'll explain the different scenarios and show you how to use your iMac as a display for your Mac Mini.
What is Target Display Mode
Target Display Mode is a feature that allows some older iMac models to be used as an external display when plugged into another Mac. This means you can use your iMac's screen to show the desktop of your Mac Mini, and use your iMac's keyboard and mouse to control it. Target Display Mode is useful if you want to save space, reuse an old iMac, or have a larger screen for your Mac Mini.
Which iMac Models Support Target Display Mode
Not all iMac models support Target Display Mode. According to Apple's support article[^2^], only the following older iMac models can be used as an external display:
iMac models introduced in 2011, 2012, 2013, and mid 2014
24-inch and 27-inch iMac models introduced in 2009 and 2010
The iMac used as a display must have macOS High Sierra or earlier installed.
Which Mac Mini Models Can Connect to Target Display Mode
Not all Mac Mini models can connect to an iMac's Target Display Mode. According to Apple's support article[^2^], only Macs introduced in 2019 or earlier (i.e., Intel-based Macs) can connect to an older iMac's Target Display Mode. This means that Apple Silicon M1 and M2 Macs such as the M1/M2 Mac Mini cannot use iMacs that support Target Display Mode as an external display[^4^]. The other Mac that you're connecting it to must have macOS Catalina or earlier installed.
Which Cable Do You Need to Connect Your Mac Mini to Your iMac
The type of cable you need to connect your Mac Mini to your iMac depends on the ports of both devices. According to Apple's support article[^2^], the cable connecting the two Mac computers must be either a Mini DisplayPort cable or a Thunderbolt cable, depending on the model of your iMac:
The iMac models introduced in 2011, 2012, 2013, and mid 2014 have Thunderbolt ports, so you need a Thunderbolt cable to connect them to another Mac.
The 24-inch and 27-inch iMac models introduced in 2009 and 2010 have Mini DisplayPort ports, so you need a Mini DisplayPort cable to connect them to another Mac.
You can buy these cables from online shops such as Amazon or eBay. Make sure you choose the right cable for your devices.
How to Use Your iMac as a Display for Your Mac Mini
Once you have the right cable and compatible devices, you can use your iMac as a display for your Mac Mini by following these steps:
Turn on the iMac that will be used as the display and the Mac Mini that will be the source.
Connect the two Macs with either a Mini DisplayPort cable or a Thunderbolt cable.
The connection typically happens automatically, but if your iMac doesn't automatically enter Target Display Mode, press Command + F2 on the iMac to manually enter Target Display Mode.
You should now see the desktop of your Mac Mini on your iMac's screen. You can use the keyboard and mouse of either device to control it.
To exit Target Display Mode, press Command + F2 again. Or disconnect the cable, or restart either Mac.
If you encounter any problems with Target Display Mode, check out Apple's troubleshooting tips[^2^].
In this article, we showed you how to use your old iMac as a aa16f39245