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I have a Surface Pro 4 and an iMac (late 2019). I would like to connect my Surface Pro to the iMac to use the iMac screen as a second monitor. Is that possible?

What are the requirements to use an iMac as a second screen?

2 Answers 2

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No. You cannot do this. The 2019 iMac is not supported for Target Display Mode.

This is an attempt to write a canonical QA for this issue, as per the Meta post: Where is the list of canonical questions stored for Ask Different? I expect it to be periodically edited with the goal of becoming a comprehensive information resource.


Which iMac Models Support Target Display Mode?

  • General Rule of Thumb: If it's after 2014, Target Display Mode isn't supported.

  • 24 and 27 inch iMacs from 2009 - 2010 support TDM via Thunderbolt or mini DisplayPort (mDP)

  • All iMacs (21 inch and 27 inch) from 2011 through mid 2014 support TDM via Thunderbolt only.

  • Retina iMacs from late 2014 and on do not support TDM at all.


Which Mac models can you use as a source?

All Mac models through 2019 that meet the above requirements can use Target Display Mode. Currently, 2020 Macs will not connect (i.e. 2020 MacBook Pro running Catalina), but a 2019 MacBook Pro also running Catalina works fine.

What version of macOS is required?

  • On the Target iMac, it must be running High Sierra or earlier.
  • TDM is not supported on any iMac running Mojave or later.
  • It doesn't matter what version of macOS you're using on your source computer

Can I use my iMac as a Target Display for a PC?

Yes! As long as the target Mac meets the above requirements and the PC has the proper port; Thunderbolt or mDP. The OS on the source computer doesn't matter at all.

Can I use a "bricked" or broken iMac as a Target Display?

No. Your iMac must be a fully functional iMac running High Sierra or later.


Sources & Further Reading:

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  • I am using a 2013 iMac in TDM while the same Mac is booted to Catalina. So your statement "On the Target iMac, it must be running High Sierra or earlier" is not true. Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 3:34
  • First link under Sources and Further Reading, Apple states the target must be HS or earlier, “It does not work with Mojave or later”. Apple’s words, not mine.
    – Allan
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 2:30
  • I do not understand your previous comment. I posted your statement "On the Target iMac, it must be running High Sierra or earlier" is not true. This statement is not the same as “It does not work with macOS Mojave or later”. Commented May 10, 2020 at 2:40
  • Did you visit the link? “ Target display mode requires macOS High Sierra or earlier on the iMac used as the external display. It does not work with macOS Mojave or later.”
    – Allan
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 2:42
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    I think Luna Display should be mentioned somewhere. Academically, it doesn't answer the question directly, but practically, it does solve the problem, in that it lets you use a recent Mac as a target display.
    – Beetle
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 12:26
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Hardware based, No.

However - you could bootcamp the iMac and use Windows 10's built in display extension features to create a software base solution?

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  • This is a nice idea, but looks like it won't work: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/260451/…. Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 15:47
  • @optimus_prime The link given doesn't show Windows display extention won't work, only that Target Dispaly Mode requires macOS installed. Windows display extension is something similar but not related to TDM.
    – MacGuffin
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 0:32

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