I have 2 MacBook Pros and one Thunderbolt Display (27 inch). Both MBPs support Thunderbolt connectivity and work fine with external display. I need a way to switch between 2 MBP, without changing the connection everytime.

Is there any hardware / KVM switch which supports this functionality?

MBP Models are as below:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)
  • You could set 1 MBP into target disk mode and run it thru a virtual machine using the other MBP. Then you have two macs running at the same time. I've never done this but here's how to do it in VMWare: vmware.com/support/ws5/doc/ws_disk_add_raw.html – iTunes May 13 '18 at 16:19

I do know of a Thunderbolt 2 Dock and KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) device that will allow you to do just this - IOGEAR Thunderbolt 2 KVM, Docking Station, GTD732

There are two key bullet points that address your specific situation:

  • Share your peripherals and Thunderbolt 2 devices between 2 computers
  • Supports 4K (UHD) resolution. Supports Dual displays with HDMI and Thunderbolt 2 monitors

Unfortunately, I don't know of any Thunderbolt 1 Dock/KVM's. (The MBP 2012 and TB Display are both TB1)

Thunderbolt 2 is backward compatible with Thunderbolt 1 (the main difference being bandwidth) so in theory, it should work just fine especially since you are connecting just one TB display.

The other major downside is that it's extremely expensive. For the $320 USD for this device, I personally would go through the pain of switching cables or (what I would most likely do) get a display with multiple inputs.


Responding 2 years later because I just had to solve this problem, and this answer wasn't super helpful when I was trying to.

New work insisted I use their Macbook pro for work, on top of the Macbook pro I already have (and use for personal projects / consulting gigs).

Here's what I figured out (links to specific products below) Thunderbolt's native Lightening 2->Mini Displayport F to Displayport->1x2 Displayport Switch->2 Displayport M to USB-C M cables.

Mini Displayport F to Displayport M - $10 1x2 Displayport Switch - $36 Displayport M to USB-C M cables x2 - $12 x 2

Theoretically you could use this approach to switch between a macbook and a PC on a Thunderbolt display, by using a Displayport M to HDMI M cable (like this $13 one).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .