Use iMac as monitor: How to create a Mac to Mac, PC to Mac, or iPad to Mac setup

Wish to discover a method to make use of iMac as a monitor? Whereas Apple’s goal show mode is proscribed to 2009 to 2014 iMacs, luckily, there are a number of different choices to utilize that good large display in your iMac as a monitor.

Target display mode is an Apple resolution to make use of iMac as a monitor with one other Mac in a wired setup. It was a very fashionable characteristic for years, however when Apple launched its Retina iMacs beginning in late 2014, assist was dropped.

The excellent news is even when you don’t have an 8-year-old+ iMac that helps goal show mode, you possibly can nonetheless use iMac as a monitor with a wide range of totally different choices. Let’s dig into your 5 choices…

Use iMac as monitor: 5 options

Desk of contents

Luna Show or Duet Show

To get the identical performance that focus on show mode affords with Mac to Mac (and even get PC to Mac and iPad to Mac) assist, Luna Display and Duet Display are two of the highest choices.

Luna Show does require a $119 Luna Display USB-C dongle however has no subscription value.

Duet Show doesn’t require any {hardware} however goes from $25/year for Duet Air (to get Mac to Mac, PC to Mac, and iPad to Mac assist). One profit right here is that Duet Display offers a free trial.

We’ve used each right here at 9to5Mac and have discovered them to be nice merchandise that see common updates.

Use iMac as a monitor with Sidecar

Use iMac as monitor Sidecar

This in fact doesn’t provide Mac to Mac assist, however if you wish to use iMac as a monitor with an iPad, Sidecar is a superb free resolution. And it really works wired or wirelessly.

  • On macOS Monterey or Ventura, click on Management Middle (two tablet icon) within the Menu Bar > Display screen Mirroring > select your iPad.
    • As soon as related, below System Preferences/Settings you possibly can select whether or not the Mac or iPad is the first show

Sidecar is constructed into Mac and iPad since macOS Catalina and iPadOS 13. For those who haven’t tried Sidecar earlier than, take a look at our full information right here:

AirPlay to Mac

This characteristic doesn’t work if you wish to lengthen your iMac or iPad desktop house, however you possibly can mirror from iPhone, iPad, or iPod contact on to an iMac or every other suitable Mac.

Nevertheless, this does require a newer Mac. Study extra in our full information:

Pair iMac with an exterior monitor

This might sound apparent however one other alternative is to pair your iMac with an exterior monitor and select which one you need to be the first show and secondary show.

For a more in-depth have a look at a few of the finest screens in the marketplace, take a look at our guides:

And one inexpensive 32-inch 4K monitor that matches the M1 iMac aesthetic is Samsung’s M8 Smart Monitor.

Goal show mode

For those who occur to have an outdated iMac, you could possibly use goal show mode however it is going to additionally must be working macOS Catalina or earlier – similar for the secondary Mac. Right here’s what you’ll want to make use of iMac as monitor with the unique resolution.

Necessities per Apple for 2011-mid 2014 iMacs:

  • iMac used as a show will need to have macOS High Sierra or earlier put in.
  • The opposite Mac that you simply’re connecting it to will need to have been launched in 2019 or earlier and have macOS Catalina or earlier put in.
  • The cable connecting the 2 Mac computer systems have to be a Thunderbolt  or Thunderbolt 2  cable.

Necessities for 2009-2010 fashions to make use of iMac as monitor:

  • iMac used as a show will need to have macOS High Sierra or earlier put in.
  • The opposite Mac that you simply’re connecting it to will need to have been launched in 2019 or earlier and have macOS Catalina or earlier put in.
  • The cable connecting the 2 Mac computer systems have to be a Mini DisplayPort  cable.

You probably have two Macs that meet these necessities, Apple says:

  1. Guarantee that your iMac is on.
  2. Guarantee that the opposite Mac is began up and logged in to a macOS person account. 
  3. Join the 2 computer systems utilizing the suitable Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable. 
    You should use multiple iMac as a show, if every iMac is utilizing a Thunderbolt cable to attach on to a Thunderbolt port on the different Mac (not the opposite iMac). 
  4. Press Command-F2 on the keyboard of the iMac. It is best to now see the desktop of the opposite Mac.
  5. To exit goal show mode, press Command-F2 once more. Or disconnect the cable, or restart both Mac.

Thanks for studying our information on methods to use iMac as a monitor!

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