Newer Macs Can Use Another Mac as an External Display on macOS Monterey (2023)

by Joe Rossignol

One of the key new features of macOS Monterey is the ability to AirPlay content to a Mac from other Apple devices, such as an iPhone, iPad, or another Mac. According to the macOS Monterey features page, AirPlay to Mac works works both wirelessly or wired using a USB cable, with Apple noting that a wired connection is useful when you want to ensure that there's no latency or don't have access to a Wi-Fi connection.

Newer Macs Can Use Another Mac as an External Display on macOS Monterey (1)
AirPlay to Mac also allows users to extend or mirror an Apple device's display to a Mac, and we've confirmed this works on a Mac-to-Mac basis. This makes it possible for supported Macs to use another Mac as an external display, and with AirPlay to Mac working both wirelessly or with a wired connection, Apple has come close to reviving Target Display Mode, which allowed 2009 to 2014 iMac models to serve as another Mac's external display.

It's worth noting that these new AirPlay features do not serve as a complete Target Display Mode replacement, as we've been told that AirPlay compresses video sent from one Mac to another, and at least some latency might still be possible.

Starting with macOS Monterey, a supported Mac can also function as an AirPlay 2 speaker source, allowing users to wirelessly stream music or podcasts from an Apple device to a Mac or use the computer as a secondary speaker for multi-room audio.

AirPlay to Mac works with a 2018 or later MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, a 2019 or later iMac or Mac Pro, an iMac Pro, and the 2020 Mac mini.

macOS Monterey is available now in beta for developers, with a public beta to follow in July. The software update will likely be publicly released for all compatible Macs at some point between late September and early November.

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FAQs

Can you use a Mac as a monitor for another Mac? ›

You can use more than one iMac as a display, if each iMac is using a Thunderbolt cable to connect directly to a Thunderbolt port on the other Mac (not the other iMac). Press Command-F2 on the keyboard of the iMac. You should now see the desktop of the other Mac.

Does Target display Mode work with Monterey? ›

Target display mode won't work if the 2019 MacBook Pro has Monterey. Catalina was the last OS to support it.

How do I use another Mac as a second monitor wirelessly? ›

You can use AirPlay wirelessly if both Macs are connected to the same Wi-Fi network with great results.
...
Here's how to turn it on:
  1. Click the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Click Sharing.
  3. Check the box next to "AirPlay Receiver" in the left panel.
  4. Choose who can connect to this iMac with AirPlay.

Can you use a Mac as a monitor? ›

"Can I use my iMac as a monitor for PC?" Many people are curious about this question. Yes, you can use the iMac as a monitor for a PC as long as the iMac offers a target display mode and the Thunderbolt port or the Mini DisplayPort.

What iMacs can be used as external monitor? ›

24-inch and 27-inch iMac models introduced in 2009 and 2010

To use any of these iMac models as an external display: The iMac used as a display must have macOS High Sierra or earlier installed.

Can I use M1 iMac as a monitor? ›

Apple Silicon M1 and M2 Macs cannot use iMacs that support Target Display Mode as an external display because they do not support macOS Catalina which the Primary Mac needs to run in order to connect to an iMac with Target Display Mode.

Do new Macs have Target display Mode? ›

Target Display Mode was an extremely popular feature that allowed older macs to be used as external monitors for newer macs. However, Apple killed off Target Display Mode a few years back because it required too many Thunderbolt ports on newer model macs.

Can I use 24 iMac as external monitor? ›

You can connect an external display, a projector, or an HDTV to ports on your iMac that support video output. on the 24-inch iMac.

Can I use an iMac as a display for a Mac studio? ›

Nope. The 5K iMac while a better and more capable screen, still cannot be used as a display for the Mac Studio. The Target Display support was dropped for retina Macs, and the new wireless AirPlay to Mac option requires a 2019 or later iMac.

How do I extend my Mac to another Mac? ›

Set up the displays as an extended desktop
  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Displays , then click Display Settings. Open the Displays pane for me.
  2. Click the name of your display, then choose Extend Display from the pop-up menu.

Why does Mac M1 only support one monitor? ›

Because it requires a third-party driver, users are at the mercy of Apple and the third-party developer to support later versions, the company told Macworld. However, this combination of display technologies does allow M1 and M2 MacBooks to run more than one external monitor, and the M1 Mac mini to run more than two.

How do I connect two Macs to dual monitors without Thunderbolt? ›

Connect 2 Macs for a Duel Display Setup WITHOUT THUNDERBOLT!

What is Target display mode on iMac? ›

Target display mode (TDM) allows supported iMac models with a Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt interface to function as an external monitor for another Mac.

How do I mirror my MacBook to my iMac? ›

Start a screen sharing session with another Mac

On the Mac you want to share, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sharing , select Screen Sharing, then note the name and address of the Mac (it's listed on the right). The name looks like “iMac (7)” or “Joe's MacBook Pro.”

How do I use my iMac as a monitor for my MacBook wirelessly? ›

Ensure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on your MacBook Pro. For best results, connect the laptop to the same Wi-Fi network to which your iMac is connected. You can also “AirPlay” from Mac to Mac using a USB-C cable, but this option obviously is limited to Macs with USB-C ports.

Can I use my 2012 iMac as a monitor? ›

If you have a suitable iMac model, appropriate cables, and the specified operating system, you can set up Target Display Mode. Here's how: Turn on the iMac that will be used as the display and the Mac that will be the source. Connect the two Macs with either a Mini DisplayPort cable or a Thunderbolt cable.

Can I use my MacBook Pro as a monitor? ›

You can even use a MacBook as the second monitor for your PC using a free and easy streaming application called Deskreen. Using your MacBook as a second display for your PC is a great way to mirror or extend your desktop space.

How do I use my 2021 iMac as a monitor for PC? ›

How to Use the iMac as a Monitor for PC
  1. Switch off your PC and your iMac.
  2. Plug your iMac with either the Thunderbolt cable or the Mini Display Port cable varying on their features. ...
  3. Make sure that all devices are connected and made use of properly. ...
  4. Switch to your iMac and PC.
  5. Press on Cmd + F2 on the iMac keyboard.
14 Feb 2022

Can you connect an iMac to a MacBook Pro? ›

If you have both a MacBook and an iMac, you can use the iMac as a secondary display for the MacBook, or use an iMac as a display for another iMac. This gives you a bigger screen without needing to buy another screen.

Can a 2017 iMac be used as a monitor? ›

No. The last iMac to support Target Display Mode was the 2014 model. And even then, the iMac would need to be running High Sierra or earlier, and the Mac Studio would need to be on Catalina or earlier...which, obviously, is not possible.

Does 2020 iMac have Target display Mode? ›

So, i'll using thunderbolt but I think Apple has ignore to support this feature with the new Macbook M1 Pro and M1 max. Thanks so much for your advices. Target Display Mode is not supported on any 2020 or later Mac.

How can I tell if my iMac support Target display Mode? ›

On your iMac, go to Keyboard System Preferences and see if "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys" is checked. If it is, instead of Command-F2, press Command-Fn-F2 to enter Target Display Mode. Log the iMac you want to use as a display out to return to the login window.

Can I use an iMac just as a monitor? ›

Check the compatibility of the iMac for monitor use

First, you'll need to check that the iMac for monitor use meets the requirements for the target display mode. If the iMac is from 2011, 2012, 2013 or mid-2014, then it is compatible, provided that it has macOS High Sierra or an earlier OS installed.

Can old iMac be used as a monitor? ›

How to Use an Old iMac as a Secondary Monitor - YouTube

Does Luna display work with M1? ›

Since our Luna hardware uses the same industry standards as a regular monitor, Luna counts as a Thunderbolt (USB-C) display. For example, the M1 MacBooks can only support one external display at a time and the 2020 M1 Mac mini can support only one display using Thunderbolt/USB-C.

What can I do with my old 27 iMac? ›

Electronics can't go in your city recycling bin, but many companies accept old electronics for recycling. You can drop off your old iMac at a local Staples or Best Buy. You can also return old Apple products to Apple for recycling.

What is a Mac Studio? ›

The Mac Studio is a pro-oriented desktop Mac that's a hybrid between a Mac mini and a Mac Pro. Equipped with an M1 Max or M1 Ultra chip, tons of ports, and new thermal design.

What does extend display do? ›

In Extended mode, the Desktop is extended across multiple displays to maximize the work space. The displays can have different screen resolutions, refresh rates, and orientations (Portrait and Landscape) when configured in Extended Desktop mode.

Why is my Mac not recognizing my external monitor? ›

Check your cable or adapter

Disconnect the cable from your external display from your Mac, then reconnect it. If the cable from your external display doesn't connect to the ports on your Mac, you can use a USB-C or Thunderbolt adapter.

Does the M1 chip support dual monitors? ›

If you're using a Mac with M1 Pro: You can connect up to two external displays to your Mac using the Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) and HDMI ports.

How do I connect two monitors to my MacBook Pro 2022? ›

To connect two monitors to your MacBook Pro, you can use its HDMI, mini DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt (over USB-C) ports and connect them to your monitors with the proper video cables and adapters. The MacBook will auto-detect the displays, giving you more screens.

Can I use 2 monitors with MacBook Air M1? ›

Let's go back to our earlier example of MacBook Air (M1, 2020) model laptop. According to Apple, that particular model is limited to one external monitor.

Can I connect two Macs with USB-C? ›

If you have two Mac computers with USB, USB-C, or Thunderbolt ports, you can connect them so that one of them appears as an external hard disk on the other. This is called target disk mode. Note: If either of the computers has macOS 11 or later installed, you must connect the two computers using a Thunderbolt cable.

Can you connect two Macs together wirelessly? ›

How to Create a Wireless Ad-Hoc Network between Macs For Dummies

Is USB-C the same as Thunderbolt? ›

USB-C ports and Thunderbolt ports are universal, but they're not entirely the same. Thunderbolt ports are fully compatible with USB-C devices and cables, but Thunderbolt ports offer several features that make them stand out from USB-C ports.

Can a late 2013 iMac be used as a monitor? ›

Yes. You will need a Thunderbolt 2 cable. You will also need a keyboard and/or mouse for the 2013 iMac. This is required so you can enter the Command + F2 key combination to put the iMac is target display mode.

What is sidecar on Mac? ›

With Sidecar, you can use your iPad as a display that extends or mirrors your Mac desktop.

How do I connect two Apple computers? ›

On each Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sharing , then note the computer name for each computer. In the Finder on one of the Mac computers, choose Go > Connect to Server, then click Browse. Double-click the other computer in the window, then enter your password, if necessary.

Can you use sidecar with two Macs? ›

With Universal Control between two Macs, you can control both machines using the same keyboard and mouse. You can even connect a Mac and an iPad to the main Mac at the same time for a total of three connected platforms, all using the same input devices.

Can you use MacBook Pro as a monitor? ›

You can even use a MacBook as the second monitor for your PC using a free and easy streaming application called Deskreen. Using your MacBook as a second display for your PC is a great way to mirror or extend your desktop space.

How do I mirror my MacBook to my iMac? ›

Start a screen sharing session with another Mac

On the Mac you want to share, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sharing , select Screen Sharing, then note the name and address of the Mac (it's listed on the right). The name looks like “iMac (7)” or “Joe's MacBook Pro.”

How do I connect my Mac desktop to my MacBook? ›

Follow the below steps to connect a MacBook to an iMac:
  1. Step 1: Determine the cable you'll need for your iMac. ...
  2. Step 2: Locate the port on your MacBook.
  3. Step 3: Turn on both computers. ...
  4. Step 4: Connect the Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable to both computers.
  5. Step 5: Press Command + 2 on the iMac.
3 Dec 2020

How can I use my laptop as a monitor when my Mac is closed? ›

After your Mac notebook's Desktop appears on the external display, close the computer's lid. Your external monitor may flash off for a moment but it will then show your Desktop (you may need to wake your Mac by pressing a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse).

Why won't my Mac recognize my external monitor? ›

What To Know. Go to System Preferences > Displays, click Scaled and hold down the Option key to show and select the Detect Displays button. Go to System Preferences > Displays and check the resolution and brightness settings. Also, check the display cable connections, and update adapter software if applicable.

Why is my Mac not recognizing my external monitor? ›

Check your cable or adapter

Disconnect the cable from your external display from your Mac, then reconnect it. If the cable from your external display doesn't connect to the ports on your Mac, you can use a USB-C or Thunderbolt adapter.

Can I use my MacBook Air as a monitor? ›

You can use an external display, such as the Apple Studio Display, a projector, or an HDTV with your MacBook Air. The USB-C ports on your MacBook Air support video output. You can attach one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz.

How do I extend my Mac screen to another Mac? ›

Set up the displays as an extended desktop
  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Displays , then click Display Settings. Open the Displays pane for me.
  2. Click the name of your display, then choose Extend Display from the pop-up menu.

Can you connect an iMac to a MacBook Pro? ›

If you have both a MacBook and an iMac, you can use the iMac as a secondary display for the MacBook, or use an iMac as a display for another iMac. This gives you a bigger screen without needing to buy another screen.

Is Apple support Screen Sharing safe? ›

Yes, they've done that a couple of times for me. The obvious difference is scammers will try and get you to download TeamViewer or LogMeIn to access your desktop. Apple has their own remote access protocol built right into the OS, which they guide you through to connect with them.

What is Target display mode on iMac? ›

Target display mode (TDM) allows supported iMac models with a Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt interface to function as an external monitor for another Mac.

How do I enable Screen Sharing on Mac? ›

Turn on screen sharing on your Mac

On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing . If Remote Management is selected, deselect it. You can't have both Screen Sharing and Remote Management on at the same time. Select the Screen Sharing checkbox.

What is clamshell mode on Mac? ›

Clamshell mode allows you to use your MacBook with the lid closed. For this, you will need an external monitor, an external keyboard and an external mouse or trackpad.

How do I connect 2 monitors to my MacBook Pro 2020? ›

To connect two monitors to your MacBook Pro, you can use its HDMI, mini DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt (over USB-C) ports and connect them to your monitors with the proper video cables and adapters. The MacBook will auto-detect the displays, giving you more screens.

How do I set up a second monitor? ›

How To Connect Two Monitors To One Computer - YouTube

Videos

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2. Use any IMac as a second monitor for your M1 Mac
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3. How to enable SIDE CAR MacOS Monterey !! (UPDATE)
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4. Customize the Date and Time in the Mac's Menu Bar in macOS Monterey
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5. iMAC Dual Monitor Setup: Newer iMAC to older iMAC
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6. Use iMac as A Second Monitor.
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