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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.

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    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
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    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

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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

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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.

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    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
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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.

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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

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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).

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  • 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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