I'd like to get an external monitor for my 15" MacBook Pro, but the 27" Cinema Display is too large (and too expensive) for me. Ideally I'd like a 21" version of the Thunderbolt Cinema Display but such a beast does not exist.

Is it possible to use a 21" iMac as an external monitor from a MacBook Pro via Thunderbolt?


1 Answer 1


The answer is sometimes yes. I found a list of iMacs that support "Target Display Mode" here ...


... and it includes "iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011)" and "iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012)".

That would imply that any iMac with a Thunderbolt port can be used in Target Display Mode.

  • 1
    I need to correct you : It works on every thunderbolt iMacs but not on Display Port 21" iMac. Prior to 2011 there was no thunderbolt. ;) Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 4:49
  • @MatthieuRiegler I think you are right! I did some digging and it seems the Mid 2011 21" iMac was the first 21" iMac with a Thunderbolt port -- all earlier ones had MiniDisplay Port. Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 13:35

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