Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am considering purchasing an iMac. Our office situation is such that the new computer will be placed where a monitor is presently located for a Windows laptop connected via a docking station.

Is it possible to connect external video to an iMac? Alternatively, is the iMac capable of hooking up to a second monitor? (my monitor has multiple inputs which I could just switch between) Are there other options that I am missing?

share|improve this question
Are you asking about using the existing external display with both the iMac and the laptop, or using the iMac's internal display for both itself and the laptop's external display? – Dori Oct 13 '10 at 0:11
@Dori I'd like to use iMac's internal display. – ahsteele Oct 13 '10 at 1:47
possible duplicate of Console + iMac 27" 2011 External Display – Herr Jun 18 '14 at 5:32
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Is it possible to connect external video to an iMac?

Yes, the latest 27" iMac can act as a monitor via Mini DisplayPort. From Apple:

Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI (adapters sold separately); 27-inch models also support input from external DisplayPort sources (adapters sold separately)

You'll need an adapter to convert your laptop output to Mini DisplayPort. Be careful, as some adapters, such as those provided by Apple, are designed to output DVI/VGA/etc, and aren't capable of being reversed to accept it as input.

further reading:

share|improve this answer
Can i connect a PS3 to the iMac 27 i7 mid 2011? – Herr Aug 28 '11 at 19:39
@Herr I don't think so, the newest iMacs can only accept Thunderbolt video input, and I don't think there are any adapters yet – Kyle Cronin Aug 28 '11 at 19:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.