I have a Apple Thunderbolt Display 27 which I want to use on a Windows machine with only an HDMI port. So I basically need to cable which will have female Thunderbolt port in one side and male HDMI port in other side of the cable.

  • 1
    I typed "hdmi to thunderbolt" into Amazon and got literally 100's of possibilities... Not hard to find.
    – Tyson
    Aug 10, 2015 at 13:45
  • 1
    I guess you want a Mini DisplayPort <-> HDMI adaptor. There is nothing like a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable.
    – bot47
    Jan 11, 2016 at 16:41

5 Answers 5


There's no such thing as a female Thunderbolt to male HDMI cable. Consequently, you cannot connect an HDMI Source to a Thunderbolt Display

DisplayPort (DP) and mini DisplayPort (mDP) can drive HDMI devices, but not the other way around.

I also want to connect it to my Windows laptop via HDMI. I bought this converter, which converts the HDMI signal to DisplayPort. Everything plugs in just fine, but the display just does not turn on.

Source: how do I connect an Apple Thunderbolt display to a PC?

In short, HDMI simply cannot create the "signaling" required for a DP or mDP signal. The Thunderbolt display is more than a display; it's a Thunderbolt hub/dock with a display attached to it.

enter image description here

From this picture, you can see all the ports that the display comes with:

  • 3 USB ports
  • 1 Firewire Port
  • 1 Ethernet Port
  • 1 Thunderbolt Port

As such, this is not a mDP or DP monitor. You need a Thunderbolt signal to drive this monitor and HDMI simply can't do it.

What will drive this monitor?

Per Apple's Support Page on the Thunderbolt Display....

enter image description here


What you want to be looking for is Mini DisplayPort to HDMI (unless you have a windows machine with a thunderbolt port in that case you would just use a thunderbolt to thunderbolt, but I am assuming you don't). Here is a cheap Mini DisplayPort (which fits in your thunderbolt port) to HDMI cable, here is a more reputable Amazon branded adapter (for this one you would need a spare HDMI cable).

In case you don't know ThunderBolt uses Mini DisplayPort for its video connections so if you are looking for a cable just for video searching 'mini displayport to HDMI cable' will likely yield more results than 'thunderbolt to HDMI cable'.

EDIT: If you want something in store BestBuy usually has Mini DP to HDMI cables in their apple section.

  • 3
    Those cables do the opposite of what the OP has asked. The point is to connect an Apple display (with only a thunderbolt plug) to a windows PC which has an HDMI. Thus, the "female thunderbolt port" and "male HDMI port". All of the items I see at Amazon are male thunderbolt, and female HDMI.
    – Kent
    Aug 11, 2015 at 2:09

Has the OP tried this? It should work.

  1. Connect the male Thunderbolt Cinema Display cable into the female end of a Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt (male) adapter.

  2. Next, connect the male thunderbolt end from step 1 into the female end of a Thunderbolt to HDMI (male) adapter.

  3. Connect the HDMI male end from step 2 into the HDMI port (female) of the Windows PC.


Here is a cheap, yet very reliable version of what you're looking for. I use this on my own MacBook Pro, when I want to connect to my tv for a 32" monitor...

mini DisplayPort/thunderbolt to hdmi connection

As for what you're looking for exactly, I don't think they make a female thunderbolt adapter. If you look online, they're all male


I just incidentally solved this problem while trying to figure out how to use one Thunderbolt display with 2 macbook Pros [which I explained here].

If you want to use a Thunderbolt display with a PC that only has HDMI you can use a mini displayport f to HDMI cable (like this one for $50). You could also do the longer solution with a switch that I describe in that other post.

If you want to do Thunderbolt to a PC with USB-C you can use a cable like this (for $13).

  • Unfortunately, the description of the linked HDMI adapter amazon.com/gp/product/B07H29J86N specifically states that it does not work with Thunderbolt displays. The USB-C adapter description says the same thing (that it is only compatible with Mini DisplayPort displays, not Thunderbolt displays).
    – Otto G
    Feb 25, 2022 at 13:31

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