Why You Probably Can't Use Your Old iMac As a Display

A common question is whether you can use your old iMac as a display for a new Mac mini, Mac Studio or maybe a second display for a MacBook. This is called Target Display Mode. Unfortunately, it only works with some older iMacs if you are connecting from older Macs and using specific systems. It probably isn't a good idea anyway as those older iMacs have screens that are not as good as what you can get cheaply today.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Why You Probably Can't Use Your Old iMac As a Display”

    Frederick Olson
    8 months ago

    I am new to the site and am very encouraged by the experience…24years with Macs.

    8 months ago

    Another option I'm testing is using the System Setting --> Displays --> Advanced... Link to iMac.
    It allows the cursor to go from one Mac to Mac by taking the cursor to the edge and "push" through to the other screen. (The same keyboard & trackpad are used).
    I'm testing if I could REALLY benefit from having two 27" monitors. I now have a 27" Studio Display which costs the same as the value of my 2017 27 iMac (with an internal 3rd party 2TB NVMe SSD). Interesting results so far.

    8 months ago

    WOW! Excellent info. I really you love your videos.

    8 months ago

    I bought a new mac mini about a year ago. I was able to connect the old mac mini to use as storage. My master plan was to connect 2 monitors to the mini, but, after trying for quite a while and also calling tech support; I learned that it will only handle one display. . . This is somewhat off the subject, but I thought that it might be valuable for this topic also. . .

    8 months ago

    Lynn: An M2 Mac mini can support 3 displays. An older M1 Mac mini can support 2 displays. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT213501

    5 months ago

    Great help! Thank you.

    3 months ago

    I have the same config as GazDownbUnder: Studio display and 2017 iMac. Both 27 in. I can connect the two but not always, and the connection is occasionally lost. It can come and go, usually when I'm in the middle of something, which is very frustrating. I connect the two by lightning cable. I suspect the erratic connectivity is because 2017 iMacs cannot install the latest OS version. Any way around this?

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