How to Use iMac as a Monitor [UPDATED]

Ever since the iMac’s debut in August 1998, the iMac became the highest-bought desktop computer worldwide. Numerous updated versions have been released since then. In 2009, a new version of the iMac was introduced to workers, and it was the first device with Target Display Mode. This updated version allows people to utilize the iMac as a monitor to display another device.

This distinctive feature that Apple launched was the first ever to be released in the competing technology world. This allowed iMac to be used in a whole different way that was not considered before. Thus, adding another plus point to their portfolio, attracting many more buyers.

There remains some confusion around this topic, whether or not the iMac may be used as a monitor display or not? Yes, the iMac can be used as a monitor for PC as long as the iMac provides a target display mode and the Thunderbolt port or the Mini DisplayPort.

In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to use it iMac as a monitor.

How to Use iMac as a Monitor for PCs?

In order to understand how to use iMac as a monitor, read and follow the steps given below precisely.

  1. Turn off your PC and iMac both.
  2. Plug at the end of a cable into the Thunderbolt port or the Mini DisplayPort of the iMac, and then plug the other end of the cable into the Thunderbolt or Display port on your PC. (Don’t use the adapter)
  3. To connect the PC with the adapter with the help of an HDMI cable. Then, join the opposite end of the adapter to your iMac. (Use the adapter)
  4. Turn on your iMac and PC simultaneously.
  5. Press the “Cmd” + “F2” on the iMac keyboard to trigger Target Display Mode. You can also press “Cmd” + “Fn” + “F2” instead.
  6. Wait for a few seconds, and then you will see your PC’s screen mirrored on the iMac screen.
  7. Don’t forget to correct the screen resolution for optimal display quality. To match the fairly old iMac models, it’s wise to select the 2560 x 1440 resolution on your PC.

Requirements for Using iMac as a Monitor

If you are going to use an iMac as the monitor for a PC, it is advisable to check if the system and version of your device are available and compatible. Considering the operating system, the iMac should use macOS High Sierra or a version released before that.

Also, the iMac you want to use as the monitor must have a bi-directional Mini DisplayPort or a Thunderbolt port that allows your iMac to get the data input and work as a monitor for your device. There are plentiful types of iMacs you can choose from. Some of them are listed below:

1. 27-inch iMac that was released in late 2009 and mid-2010. The port type of this device is the Mini Display Port.

2. iMacs that were produced and released in mid-2011 and 2014. The port type of those gadgets is the Thunderbolt port.

Other iMacs additionally have the ports cited above. For example, in 2004 the 5K retina iMac that was launched had the Thunderbolt port. But it was unable to work as a monitor for PC as it doesn’t back the Target Display Mode.

Things are much simpler when it comes to the requirement for the PC. You only need to make sure the computer you use features a Mini DisplayPort or a Thunderbolt port. Even if the computer doesn’t back those ports, you can use the HDMI to Mini Display adapter to make it work, although it is another trick but works well. Remember to prepare the matching cables to connect those devices.

How to Connect iMac to PC

In order to make the connection, you need to turn off your PC and iMac both. If it’s pointless to use the adapter, you only ought to plug the end of a cable into the thunderbolt port or the Mini DisplayPort of the iMac. After that, you can plug the opposite end of the cable into a thunderbolt or display port on your pc.

If you essentially require the use of an adapter, connect the PC with the adapter using an HDMI cable. After that, you need to connect the adapter to your iMac. After all the devices are correctly connected, the next step is to activate the Target Display Mode on iMac and mirror the PC screen to iMac.

This part will give you the best straightforward method of using iMac as a monitor for PC.

  1. Turn on both of your devices i.e., iMac and PC.
  2. In order to activate Target Display Mode, you need to press “cmd” + F2 on the iMac keyboard.
  3. Wait for a few seconds, and then you will see that your PC’s screen is mirrored on the iMac screen.
  4. Don’t forget to alter the screen resolution for optimal display quality. To match the relatively old iMac models, it’s worthwhile to select the 2560 x 1440 resolution on your PC.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Use a 27-inch iMac as a Monitor for a Mac Mini?

It can be quite difficult to see your Mac mini working as your older 27-inch iMac as a display. The 27-inch iMac has a bi-directional Mini DisplayPort or a Thunderbolt port (depending on the model) that can be used to connect a second monitor.

Can You Connect a Second Monitor to an iMac 27?

For connecting another Mac to your iMac the 27-inch iMac should have a bi-directional Mini DisplayPort or a Thunderbolt port (depending on the model) that can be used to connect a second monitor. The same Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port can be utilized as a video input that allows your iMac to serve as a monitor for another Mac.

How Old iMac Can Be Used as an External Monitor?

A: For those who need a larger screen using an old iMac as the external display monitor can be a good alternative. You can use the target display mode by joining PC/Mac to iMac with the cable.

Conclusion

The question of whether you can use an iMac as a monitor for your PC might have bothered you for a long time but not now. Fortunately, this post solved it by presenting you with an in-depth tutorial on how to use iMac as a monitor for a PC. You should corner yourself with only the model and system of the iMac, the way those devices get connected, and the method of activating the Target Display Mode.

What if your iMac doesn’t have a Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt port and doesn’t support the Target Display Mode? Even if the computer doesn’t back those ports, you can use the HDMI to Mini Display adapter to make it work, although it is another trick but works well. Remember to prepare the matching cables to connect those devices. And it will be ready to go.

In conclusion, the iMac can be used as a monitor as long as it has as long as the iMac provides a target display mode and the Thunderbolt port or the Mini DisplayPort. If these ports are not available you improvise by using HDMI. I hope this solves your problem and helps you utilize this distinctive feature of iMac.

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