I am trying to connect my xbox to my iMac using a Thunderbolt HDMI adapter. One end is an HDMI port, which I plugged my xbox HDMI cord into and then I plugged the Thunderbolt into my computer

However, when I press Command F2, nothing happens. It just makes a sound like its saying "no" or whatever, like the incorrect sound.

Is there another way to go into Target Display or is there a program that I need to actually view the screen on my Mac?

Target Display Mode just isn't popping up, so I've already tried it. What else can I do?


2 Answers 2


The short answer is no, since the DisplayPort to HDMI adapter is one way. You will need an active adapter to ingest the HDMI and output (mini) Display-port if Apples documentation is wrong. Your model is listed as only supporting thunderbolt in, but sometimes undocumented things work (like extra ram or refresh rates more than advertised.)

This is mostly explained in the Apple documentation on target mode display where you have to feed it an actual thunderbolt signal or an actual DisplayPort signal.

Everything else points to this working if you got a different adapter, but I’d be sure you can return the active adapter if you can’t confirm it will work before buying. They are around $100 for good quality adapters and maybe $45 for the lesser expensive. Shop carefully, the A to B direction is crucial as you now see; as is whether you have an active or passive adapter.

  • So I can't use an HDMI to THUNDERBOLT? It would HAVE to be thunderbolt to thunderbolt for it to actually work?
    – Monchao
    Jan 17, 2019 at 20:36
  • HDMI doesn't include Thunderbolt. It's like - take a cheeseburger and remove the cheese -> Hamburger. (a.k.a the CB -> HB adapter) You can't put a hamburger in without adding the cheese to get a cheeseburger out (HB -> CB adapter). Just because the connector fits, doesn't mean the signal is correct. Thunderbolt is an active + powered bus that can encapsulate HDMI. You are correct that Apple documents only Thunderbolt works. Displayport in only works on older iMac and no iMac says it allows HDMI in.
    – bmike
    Jan 17, 2019 at 21:58

A cheaper alternative to using cables and adapters is OneCast which allows you to stream your Xbox to your Mac(costs $20).

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  • That would create a delay/lag in the video, wouldn't it? On windows computers, you can download the Xbox Application which allows you to stream your xbox to the app, and its free, but it still has a delay/lag.
    – Monchao
    Jan 17, 2019 at 20:35
  • For certain @Monchao - you'll want to connect an HDMI display that has a high refresh rate if lag is the issue. This is the low cost option for sure (unless you consider the Mac target mode less cost and can get that working unsupported)
    – bmike
    Jan 17, 2019 at 22:29

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