Can I use my 2017 iMac as a monitor

Can I use my 2017 iMac as a monitor


Unlocking the versatility of your 2017 iMac as a secondary display can supercharge your productivity and creative workflow. In this article, we’ll explore whether your 2017 iMac supports Target Display Mode and alternative methods for using it as a monitor.

Transform your 2017 iMac into a stunning monitor – the ultimate multitasking dream!

Using a 2017 iMac as a secondary monitor is possible, but it largely depends on the specific model and its screen size. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Target Display Mode (27-inch 2017 iMacs): If you have a 27-inch 2017 iMac, it likely supports Target Display Mode. This feature allows you to use the iMac as a secondary display for another Mac. To do this, you’ll need a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable to connect the two Macs. To activate Target Display Mode on the 27-inch iMac, simply press the Command + F2 keyboard combination after establishing a connection.

This effectively turns the iMac into an additional monitor, giving you the flexibility to extend or mirror the display from another Mac. It’s a convenient way to utilize the larger screen real estate for various tasks.

2. 21.5-inch 2017 iMacs: Unfortunately, the 21.5-inch models from 2017 do not support Target Display Mode. Apple discontinued this feature for the smaller iMac models starting with the 2011 versions, and this continued with the 2017 models. Therefore, if you have a 21.5-inch 2017 iMac, you won’t be able to use it as a secondary monitor through the traditional Target Display Mode.

For users with 21.5-inch 2017 iMacs or those looking for alternative methods, you can explore third-party software or hardware solutions for screen sharing or extended displays with other devices. These alternatives may require additional software installation and configuration but can provide a workaround for repurposing your 21.5-inch 2017 iMac’s display.

What hardware requirements are necessary to convert the 2017 iMac into a monitor for another computer or device?

To convert a 2017 iMac into a secondary monitor for another computer or device, you’ll need a few essential hardware requirements. Here’s what you’ll typically need:

1. Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Port: Your 2017 iMac must have a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port. This port is crucial for establishing a high-speed connection between the iMac and the primary computer or device. It allows for the transmission of video signals and data necessary for using the iMac as a secondary display.

2. Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Cable: You’ll need the appropriate Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable to connect the 2017 iMac to the primary computer or device. Ensure you have the proper cable, as using the correct one is essential for a stable and functional connection.

3. Compatible Primary Computer or Device: The primary computer or device you want to use as the source for the secondary display should also have a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port to connect to the iMac. This ensures compatibility and the ability to transmit video signals between the devices.

4. Keyboard Combination: To activate Target Display Mode on the 2017 iMac, you’ll use a keyboard combination. Pressing Command + F2 will initiate this mode, turning the iMac into an external display. This combination is vital for seamless switching between the iMac’s primary display and its role as a secondary monitor.

By meeting these hardware requirements and following the necessary steps, you can easily convert your 2017 iMac into an external display, providing an excellent option for extending your screen real estate or sharing content with another computer or device.

Are there cost-effective solutions for using a 2017 iMac as a secondary monitor?

Using a 2017 iMac as a secondary monitor can be an excellent option, but it’s worth considering cost-effective solutions, especially when budget constraints come into play. If your 2017 iMac supports Target Display Mode (typically the 27-inch models), this is one of the most cost-effective solutions. All you need is a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable to connect it to another computer or device, and the activation process involves a simple keyboard combination (Command + F2). This method provides an additional display without the need for extra hardware expenses, making it a budget-friendly choice for those with compatible iMac models.

For 21.5-inch 2017 iMac users or those looking for wireless options, third-party software solutions like “Air Display” or “Duet Display” can be cost-effective alternatives. While these applications may require a one-time purchase or subscription, they offer the flexibility of using the iMac’s Retina display as an extended monitor wirelessly or through a USB-C connection. While not as seamless as Target Display Mode, these software-based solutions can provide a budget-friendly way to expand your screen real estate or share content with other devices, especially if you already have the necessary hardware in place, such as a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable.