I currently have:

  • 2019 MBP on MacOS 10.14.6
  • 2012 iMAC on MacOS 10.14.6 (thunderbolt 2)

I am connecting them to each other using a Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter, both of which are brand new.

I was able to trigger target display mode ONCE. Then cmd + F2 stopped responding entirely. Things I've tried:

  • reset the PRAM/NVRAM on both devices
  • cmd + F2 + fn
  • every combination of the ports on each end
  • booted the iMAC in safe mode (can't do it on the MBP; it's a work laptop)
  • tried initiating TDM by connecting iMAC to MBP 2014, still no dice on cmd + F2

I've perused all the Apple support pages and similar stackexchange questions to no avail and now I'm at my wit's end. Did anybody face something similar and was able to resolve?

  • do you have a Retina display. According to one source Target display mode not available on iMacs with retina displays.
    – Natsfan
    Jun 10 '20 at 21:34

Did you use a 'Thunderbolt' or 'Thunderbolt 2' cable to connect the two macs? Also judging by your description the iMac has Mojave installed whereas TDM would work only on an iMac with High Sierra or below. For reference please follow this official Apple article: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204592

  • ?? The Apple tech who talked about TDM on my 2019 MBP with Big Sur is ignorant?
    – WGroleau
    Mar 19 at 16:47

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