Use iMac as a monitor – here’s how

by Corinna

You can also use your iMac as a second monitor. In this practical tip, we show you how to proceed and what you need to bear in mind

iMac as a second monitor: Which models are compatible?

First of all, it is important to note that not all models in the iMac series can be operated in screen synchronization mode. In addition, the way in which the screen is connected differs:

  • Per Mini-DisplayPort: iMac 27″, late 2009 iMac 27″, mid 2010
  • Per Thunderbolt: iMac mid 2011 | iMac mid 2012 – mid 2014 (all sizes)
  • Prerequisites are that Mac OS X 10.6.1 or newer is installed and a Mini-DisplayPort or Thunderbolt is available.
  • Newer models do not offer this option.

Use iMac in screen synchronization mode

To set up your iMac as an external monitor, there is a simple key combination:

  • First boot up the iMac and connect it to the other device via Mini-DisplayPort or Thunderbolt.
  • Then press the [cmd] + [F2] keys on your iMac.
  • The screen of the iMac should now be recognized as the second monitor of the connected device and show its desktop.
  • If the above key combination does not work, check whether the setting “Use F1, F2 etc. as standard function keys” is activated on the connected device. In this case, the key combination [cmd] + [Fn] + [F2] must be pressed on the connected computer. Then press [cmd] + [F2] on the iMac.

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