I use an iMac as a nice large external display for a laptop on occasion. However swapping between the external input and the OSX desktop view means I can't view both at the same time (Cmd+F2).

I wonder if it is possible to have that external display viewed inside an app's window (sort of picture in picture, with the normal OSX desktop displayed at the same time).

Any ideas if this is even feasible, and if so, what solutions may exist?

  • Late 2009 27" iMac
  • Thanks Kevin. As a full-blown secondary monitor, that's no issue for me. However I'll check out some of the proposed solutions on that thread. Thanks for the pointer.
    – RichyRich
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


Screen sharing https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/mac-help/mh14066/mac or you could use a VNC solution. Have a look at Real VNC: https://www.realvnc.com/en/

  • Thanks for the pointers. I should've added the laptop is running Windows, and will be already VCN'd into my work's network. I don't recall if RealVCN can run alongside this (and maybe not, for the obvious security hole it creates). I was hoping for a cabled solution coming into the Mac through the mDP port.
    – RichyRich
    Commented Aug 7, 2019 at 10:37
  • I don't know whether RealVNC would run alongside your work network. I suspect policy will prevent you installing the server, but you could always try using the free trial.
    – Lorccan
    Commented Aug 7, 2019 at 11:14

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