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Can I connect a Dell XPS running Windows 8.1 to a Thunderbolt Display? Based on reading other questions and answers on your site it seems that this is possible. When I plug in the Thunderbolt to the Dell XPS via the Dells thunderbolt sized female input i get no response and am not able to "find" the Thunderbolt in the Display controls area.

  • This may shed some light forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1217077 – Simon Dec 11 '13 at 15:21
  • Could you link to the research you did? We can guess that your Dell has only display port hardware, but if you can clarify the specifications of your PC hardware, that might help too. – bmike Nov 9 '15 at 21:21
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I don't believe your "Thunderbolt" port on your Dell XPS is a Thunderbolt port, it's more likely to be a DisplayPort connector. I'm not aware of Dell making any equipment that has a Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt and DisplayPort do use an identical form factor, so it's easy to get them confused.

You cannot use a Thunderbolt display in a DisplayPort connector.


Since this answer was originally written, Dell has indeed added Thunderbolt 2 or 3 ports to their XPS line of laptops. Double check it is a thunderbolt port in the specs of your exact model and year, but a Dell XPS works well with my Thunderbolt display since the addition of a Thunderbolt port.

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As far as I know you can only connect Apple Thunderbolt devices to the display for it to work. I haven't tried my display with anything else but I doubt it would work. When I run Windows 8.1 through Boot Camp on my rMBP it doesn't recognise the display at all so it seems it only works with Apple computers running OS X.

  • Apple provides drivers, but the hardware requirements are probably not there for thunderbolt out of most Dell computers. – bmike Nov 9 '15 at 21:22

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