I have connected mac mini to ATD with the ATD's thunderbolt port on the back side using extra thunderbolt-thunderbolt cord, and I sometimes connect my macbook with the thunderbolt cable from ATD's.

To make screen active I have to disconnect one of the computers manually, what is pretty inconvinent.

I know this answer of somebody on Apple store Q&A from 2011 but I would like make sure if somebody not invented somme hack for not doing the switch manually.


software solutions are much more apriciated over the hardware one.

  • A hack means you do not want to spend any money?
    – Ruskes
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 9:29
  • how much? is it software or hardware based solution?
    – andilabs
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


What you describe asks for a KVM switch. That would be a small box with 2-4 output ports (non-enterprise class) where you connect one monitor/TB/USB devices and as many computers as you have ports on the switch. Then you switch which one is active and uses screen.

What it effectively does is actually disconnecting computers from the screen, but you don't have to pull the cable, just press a correct button.

A nice feature with those is that you can also connect Windows/Linux PCs and be able to seamlessly switch between all of them.

For example: http://www.atlona.com/Atlona-2x1-Mini-DisplayPort-KVM-Switch.html (it allows to connect 2 mini DP to one screen and switch between them using buttons on the front) [I'm not associated with manufacturer nor the online store, just giving it as an example].

  • not cool at all.
    – andilabs
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 22:17
  • @andi what are you finding bad with this answer? Explaining how a mini DP KVM doesn't preserve thunderbolt is a valid criticism, but just a thumbs down should probably just get deleted...
    – bmike
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 15:47
  • This is the best solution. Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 4:03

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