So I have two older MacBook Pros:

More details:

  • Both are running OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.
  • The 17" has a Mini DisplayPort, and the 15" has a Thunderbolt port.

The goal:

I would like to physically connect the two computers, and screen-share from the more powerful 15" (Core i7), to the older 17". Basically I want to be able to use the 15" laptop but with the larger screen of the 17".

Is there any way I can achieve what I would like to here?

Other notes:

I am aware that I can share screens via System Preferences over a local network, or Bluetooth or something. -But the picture quality is too degraded, and the frame-rate too slow for what I require.

Also, I do not have a male-to-male Mini DisplayPort cable yet, and I don't want to buy one until I can confirm that a connection like this can be successfully made between the two laptops.

  • 1
    I assume you mean Target Display Mode. Sorry, no. That was only evailable on iMac of a similar period. See apple.stackexchange.com/questions/389348/…
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 2 at 12:02
  • I'd plug an ethernet cable between the two, set up that networking and see if screen sharing over a zero-lag network is sufficient for your needs. One would think a gigabit connection should do the trick. Oct 2 at 13:09

1 Answer 1



  • You cannot screen share by connecting a male-to-male Mini DisplayPort cable between the two Macs.
  • You cannot screen share by connecting an Apple Thunderbolt Cable between the two Macs.
  • Neither Mac supports Target Display Mode.
  • The fastest screen share will be by using the Gigabit Ethernet. However, since the maximum resolution on the 2011 Mac is 1440x900, the screen share window on the 2009 Mac will be this resolution and not the maxinum resoution of 1920x1200 offered by the 2011 Mac.

Below is an example where the Screen Sharing window is the Desktop from Snow Leopard installed in a VirtualBox virtual machine. The machine running the Screen Sharing application is a 2013 iMac with Catalina installed. Note the Screen Sharing window does not fill the entire screen on the iMac.

Below is the result of setting the Screen Sharing window to Full Screen. The window does not get larger.

  • Who sees no difference between 'No' and 'Yes, but the resolution will in no way be ideal'? Oct 2 at 21:07

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