Can I use my 2012 iMac as a monitor

Can I use my 2012 iMac as a monitor


Unlocking the potential of your 2012 iMac as a secondary display can provide a valuable boost to your productivity and creativity. In this article, we’ll explore whether your 2012 iMac supports Target Display Mode and other options for using it as a monitor.

Does my specific 2012 iMac model support Target Display Mode?

The ability to support Target Display Mode on a 2012 iMac depends on the model’s screen size and specifications. In the case of the 27-inch 2012 iMacs, they typically do support Target Display Mode. These iMacs feature Thunderbolt ports that allow you to connect another Mac or device to them using a Thunderbolt cable. By pressing the Command + F2 keyboard combination, you can trigger Target Display Mode, effectively turning the 27-inch iMac into a secondary monitor. This enables you to extend or mirror the display from another Mac onto the 27-inch iMac’s screen. It’s a relatively straightforward process and an excellent option for users seeking extra screen real estate without the need for a separate monitor.

However, the 21.5-inch 2012 iMac models do not support Target Display Mode. Apple discontinued this feature for the smaller iMac models starting with the 2011 versions, and this trend continued with the 2012 models. Consequently, users with a 21.5-inch 2012 iMac seeking to utilize it as a secondary display would need to explore alternative solutions, such as third-party software applications or hardware adapters, to achieve their desired setup for screen sharing or extended displays.

Transform your 2012 iMac into a stunningly vibrant monitor!

Yes, you can use your 2012 iMac as a secondary display, thanks to a feature called “Target Display Mode.” This feature allows your 2012 iMac to function as an external monitor for another Mac. Here’s how to set it up:


  1. Two Macs: You’ll need your 2012 iMac and another Mac computer (such as a MacBook) with a Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort.

Unlock the Magic: Transform Your 2012 iMac into a Dazzling Display!

  1. Check Compatibility: Ensure that both your 2012 iMac and the other Mac support Target Display Mode. Most 2011 and 2012 iMac models support this feature.
  2. Prepare Both Macs: Turn on both Mac computers and log in to the account you want to use. The 2012 iMac should be logged in and at the desktop, not at the login screen.
  3. Connect with a Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort Cable: Use a Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort cable to connect the Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort on the 2012 iMac to the Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort on the other Mac.
  4. Enable Target Display Mode: To access the Mission Control feature on the 2012 iMac, press and hold the “Command (⌘)” and “F2” keys at the same time. Alternatively, you can also press and hold the “Command (⌘)” and “Fn” keys along with the “F2” key if you have a keyboard without a dedicated “F2” key.
  5. Use Your 2012 iMac as a Monitor: Once Target Display Mode is activated, the 2012 iMac’s screen will function as an external display for the other Mac. You can now drag windows, apps, and content from the other Mac’s screen to the 2012 iMac’s display.
  6. Exit Target Display Mode: To exit Target Display Mode, press the “Command (⌘)” and “F2” keys again on the 2012 iMac. This will return the iMac to its normal operating mode.

It’s important to note that while Target Display Mode is a useful feature, it requires specific cable connections and may not support the highest resolutions available on more recent external monitors. However, it’s an excellent way to repurpose your 2012 iMac as a secondary display and extend your workspace, making it a valuable tool for multitasking and productivity.