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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)
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  • 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
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 16:19

2 Answers 2

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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).

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    Any guidance on setting up dual monitors with two mac book pros. Trying to setup one vertical and one horizontal and use mac wireless keyboard and mouse. I was reading and gathering information and stumble upon this answer. Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 23:26
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    @add-semi-colons you might want to look into the LogiTech MX Master 3 and a compatible keyboard which can move between two different computers
    – brienna
    Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 22:57
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    Does this really work with a Thunderbolt display? The Q&A section for the linked amazon.com/gp/product/B007580WGC adapter says it only works with Mini DisplayPort displays, not Thunderbolt displays, and so say the descriptions of similar adapters available on Amazon.
    – Otto G
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 13:27
  • The Thunderbolt KVM/Dock mentioned by @OttoG has been discontinued. The same company's replacement is at iogear.com/product/GUD3C04 (and, pleasantly, about half the price).
    – TextGeek
    Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 16:35
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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.

Note the and •• buttons on top of the device for switching Macs:

enter image description here

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