View Full Version : Mac Mini to iMac

02-09-2017, 04:33 PM
Can I use a Mini Display to Thunderbolt cable to connect my 2009 Mac Mini to my 2012 iMac for the purpose of using the iMac as a display? I specifically want to run an older OS on the Mini to be able to run my old FileMaker and Appleworks files yet display on the Sierra equipped iMac. Thanks

02-09-2017, 04:37 PM
Try here:

02-09-2017, 07:22 PM
Try here:

Thanks, but that doesn't help me in that there is no information on connecting in a "mixed port" environment. Apple shows using MiniDisplayPort to MiniDisplayPort as well as Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt, but when one machine has only MiniDisplay,(Mini) and the iMac only has Thunderbolt, that complicates the issue - thus the question.

02-09-2017, 09:11 PM
Here is the Apple Support article discussing what you are attempting, https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204592. See if your Macs meet the requirements.

02-09-2017, 11:29 PM
Just as I stated before, Apple only discusses the two conditions of MiniDisplay to MiniDisplay and using a Thunderbolt cable. That's not my situation. I'm getting the impression that I'm not going to be able to connect my computers as I would like. I do know that there exist MiniDisplay to Thunderbolt cables. Is there anyone who can explain if that will/will not work? thx

02-10-2017, 05:47 AM

A warm welcome to Mac-Forums.

I have no personal experience of what you are trying to do; but I have located a few additional articles for you and my reading of them convinces me that what are attempting won't work.

I quote from one of the articles linked below:

"With Thunderbolt-capable iMacs – the Mid 2011 models and up – Target Display Mode will only work with other Thunderbolt-capable devices. This means that connecting another Thunderbolt Mac to your iMac, such as a 2012 MacBook Air, will work just fine, but devices that only output HDMI or DVI, such as the Xbox One, won’t work."

Here are the Links:


I do hope this helps you.


02-10-2017, 07:39 AM
Thanks Ian. That seems to answer the question.


02-10-2017, 08:22 AM
You're very welcome.


02-10-2017, 09:31 PM
There is software that should accomplish what you want to do but it can be slow depending upon which Macs are involved. Have a look at ScreenRecycler (https://www.screenrecycler.com/ScreenRecycler.html). The built-in OS X screen sharing features (https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-enable-mac-screen-sharing-2260830) might also work for what you want to do. I used it for a while to do some things similar to what you are trying to do. It worked pretty well but could be a bit slow if the computers are connected wirelessly. Won't cost anything to try.