Target Display Mode

I’m intrigued by the idea of the latest Mac Mini, it might be all I need. I’m currently well served by my ‘late 2013’ 27 inch iMac running Mojave. But I wouldn’t mind having access to latest technology. Any chance that I could connect my iMac to a Mini in order to use the iMac as a display for the mini. (But I understand there is some limitation in the latest OS concerning the resolution of the computer’s monitor? My understanding is that my “old” iMac isn’t supported by the latest OS, mainly due to monitor resolution issues.)

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Patrick, your late 2013 27" iMac should work in target display mode (Use your iMac as a display with target display mode - Apple Support). I have a similar model now booted from external SSD after the internal HD died. Wokrs OK with my INtel MBPro 13 outputting from Thunderbolt 3 into Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, then connected to Tunderbolt port on the iMac with Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 2 cable. Ought to work for M1 Mac Mini, but have not tested it.


Thanks Dennis – there may be a catch though: the linked page says that you can connect a Mini to an iMac (as display) only if the iMac has “macOS High Sierra or earlier” (!) and the Mini must be pre-2020 “and have macOS Catalina or earlier” – which is a pretty idiosyncratic combination that I can only achieve if I downgrade my old iMac. Sigh …

I’ve used Target Display Mode for a while in the past, and while it’s a neat hack, I wouldn’t recommend it as a long-term solution. Aside from the highly specific hardware and software requirements, it’s just flaky, and I found myself fiddling with it regularly to get the secondary iMac to work.

Could Luna Display be a more robust solution here?

Edit: here’s the TidBITS article on Luna.

We’ve written about that! Check our archives. TLDR: It’s a nifty tech.