I am trying to connect a MacBook Pro 2013 to an iMac 2008. The latter is a 24 inch model and has no thunderbolt, just a Mini Display Port.

Any idea how to connect the iMac to the MacBook Pro, to use as an external monitor?

  • Do you want to use both monitors at the sametime or only the iMac screen ? – Matthieu Riegler May 20 '14 at 9:01
  • screenrecycler.com A Cable-Setup is not possible, but the App should work though. – rwenz3l May 20 '14 at 22:30

This will not work since Target display Mode is a feature only available on iMacs since 2009.

  • Is Target display mode is the only option ? – iori Mar 6 '15 at 1:45
  • 1
    The other option would something like Remote Desktop, so to me : yes. – Matthieu Riegler Mar 6 '15 at 7:44
  1. With both the iMac and Macbook off connect the computers with a Firewire cable.
  2. Turn on the MacBook while holding the "T" key. This puts the MacBook into Target Mode and a firewire icon appears on the screen. From now on you only need touch the iMac Keyboard and mouse.
  3. Turn on iMac while holding the Option key. This allows you to choose the Start Up volume, in this case the MacBook. Use the left and right arrows to select the MacBook icon.
  4. Press Return and iMac will start up with the MacBook System, Users, and Applications.
  5. You can now close the MacBook and enjoy the "big screen".

To turn off.
1.Shut down iMac using the Shut down command in the apple menu (ie the normal way). 2.When the iMac is shut down. Press the power key of the MacBook to turn it off.

Hope this helps

There is no way of connecting the iMac through display port or thunderbolt since it is incompatible as stated in the comments below

  • It's an 24" iMac as stated in his post and it's not compatible : support.apple.com/kb/ht3924 – Matthieu Riegler May 20 '14 at 7:51
  • you're right, I will edit my answer. – dennismuijs May 20 '14 at 8:33
  • Nice solution unfortunately in this way you're using the hardware of the iMac instead of the one of the MacBook – Nicholas Jan 9 '17 at 22:13
  • You are right Nicholas, I must have read the question wrong – dennismuijs Jan 10 '17 at 9:41

The previous answers are correct: You cannot have a 24" iMac used as a raw display for another Mac (per Matthieu Riegler's link to this article).

A nifty workaround might be Synergy. It's a virtual keyboard/mouse switcher and might be a good fit, assuming your Macs are running at least 10.5.

  • Thanks to all for the speedy replies. It looks like the iMac won't do as a monitor...:-( Will try the Synergy suggestion though. – user78596 May 22 '14 at 5:59

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