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Short answer is no I believe. It was possible using a feature called Target Display Mode but not with the new M1 Macs. You would need to get an external monitor. See the recent thread about 24” monitors. 

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1 hour ago, DerekVallintine said:

Can I hook up my 11 year old iMac to my new Mac air book as a monitor? If sp how do I do it? 

https://www.apeaksoft.com/screen-mirroring/use-imac-as-monitor.html

 

Maybe useful? Isn't target mode set on the iMac, not the new MacBok Air (M1?).

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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7 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

https://www.apeaksoft.com/screen-mirroring/use-imac-as-monitor.html

 

Maybe useful? Isn't target mode set on the iMac, not the new MacBok Air (M1?).

 

Mark

No bottom line is it doesn’t work with the M1 Macs. It is now an obsolete feature. It is Target Display Mode by the way which is different from Target Disk Mode. I have never used either. All this info is a available on the Apple support website. 

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27 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

But OPs iMac isn't M1, and is 11 years old so may support Target Display Mode

https://www.macsx.com/how-to-use-an-imac-as-an-external-monitor-for-a-macbook/

Do we know OP's "new" Mac Air is M1?

 

Mark

 

 

 

Yes by any reasonable logic because he said new and he also posted elsewhere that he needed a new computer so I deduce he just got it. The M1s are the only MacBook Air models available now.

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Thanks everyone for replying. M.Chapman thanks for the link, according to the link I can do it with a special cable. I will go to my local Apple store tomorrow and see if they have the cable. I will keep you posted. Thanks again

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31 minutes ago, DerekVallintine said:

Thanks everyone for replying. M.Chapman thanks for the link, according to the link I can do it with a special cable. I will go to my local Apple store tomorrow and see if they have the cable. I will keep you posted. Thanks again

 

If it is an M1 MacBook Air, you can't do it. Simple - it can't be done. If it is an older MacBook Air, then maybe you can but you said new (Mac air book?) in fact. Next time you should really state the actual model. I spent half an hour searching around the Apple website to find that information. I am beginning to wonder why I bother really trying to help people. I am going to start being very selective as I have wasted a lot of my time lately advising people who appear to totally ignore what is clear and simple good advice that if followed would answer their questions and solve their problems. Do let us know what type of MacBook Air you have (Apple Menu - About This Mac).

Edited by MDM
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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

If it is an M1 MacBook Air, you can't do it. Simple - it can't be done. If it is an older MacBook Air, then maybe you can but you said new (Mac air book?) in fact. Next time you should really state the actual model. I spent half an hour searching around the Apple website to find that information. I am beginning to wonder why I bother really trying to help people. I am going to start being very selective as I have wasted a lot of my time lately advising people who appear to totally ignore what is clear and simple good advice that if followed would answer their questions and solve their problems. Do let us know what type of MacBook Air you have (Apple Menu - About This Mac).

Welcome to my world in 2021 Michael,

 

BTDT..... and they Yell at me?

 

Chuck

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To MDM it is an M1 MacBook Air, my apologies for not stating that. Please bear In mind that not everyone is extremely knowledgeable as you are about computers, we do need help!!!  

 

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5 hours ago, MDM said:

I am beginning to wonder why I bother really trying to help people. I am going to start being very selective as I have wasted a lot of my time lately advising people who appear to totally ignore what is clear and simple good advice that if followed would answer their questions and solve their problems. Do let us know what type of MacBook Air you have (Apple Menu - About This Mac).

My apologies - I also spent quite a while looking in an attempt to help - with best intentions, especially as you only said "I believe" in your first posting. If you'd also posted the URL it would have been useful.

 

I also see from here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204592 that "Target display mode requires macOS High Sierra or earlier on the iMac used as the external display. It does not work with macOS Mojave or later." Which is a shame as it won't work for me either as my iMac is running Mojave.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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5 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Thanks for posting. I note one of the later posts in that thread states the following (my bold text) which may be directly relevant to the OP.

 

"Yes, Thunderbolt ports on a Mac can be used with Mini DisplayPort cables and displays, but when connecting to a Thunderbolt iMac, such as the 2013, you have to use Thunderbolt adapters and cables. Mini DisplayPort won't work if the iMac being used as a display has Thunderbolt, even though the plugs will fit.

 

A 27" 2009 or 2010 iMac in Target Display Mode does act just as a Mini DisplayPort display, and can be used with any Mac, including 2020 M1 Macs, with a Mini DisplayPort cable, or USB-C to Mini DisplayPort cable.

 

A 2011 to 2014 iMac, though, does not appear just as a display, and the Mac using it has to do something special, which Macs newer than 2019 can't do."

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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49 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

Seeing is believing?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3HD_Hg490c

 

Mark

 

OK I should have known I would become a hostage to fortune by making a dogmatic statement like it can't be done rather than I believe it can't be done. It appears to work only with some 2009-2010 iMacs and it doesn't use the Command-F2 method. Everything I read pointed towards it not being possible including Apple archiving their advice. I will now gracefully take a back seat and wait for the OP to come back positive or negative as the case may be. 😀

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40 minutes ago, MDM said:

OK I should have known I would become a hostage to fortune by making a dogmatic statement like it can't be done rather than I believe it can't be done.

 

We live and we learn (hopefully).

 

I suspect there are quite a few "unsupported or unofficial" ways of doing things. For ages Apple said 2012 MacBook Pros could only take 8GB RAM, but it was easy to upgrade to 16GB without problems. I couldn't see why Target Display mode shouldn't work, even with an M1 Mac as source, which is why I persisted.  If correctly configured the target display should just appear as an external monitor - which M1s do support. (Just like in Target disk mode my MacBook simply appears an external disk to my iMac (great for fast synching between my machines using Thunderbolt)

 

Using an old iMac as a display perhaps provides an interesting upgrade route for older iMac owners who want M1 performance but are happy with their iMac screen? Buy a MacMini M1 and use the old iMac (with High Sierra or earlier) as the display? Although relying on this "unsupported" combination could give problems as MacOS is updated.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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41 minutes ago, MDM said:

I will now gracefully take a back seat and wait for the OP to come back positive or negative as the case may be. 😀

 

Let's hope he does come back and report results - if any.

 

Mark

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Presumably Macs are so "special":mellow: that you can't just plug in one of these and go from a USB port to DVI/VGA? Only way I could get a second monitor on my HP all-in-one. The cheap ones off Ebay don't work

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HP-NL571AA-USB-DVI-External-Graphics-Multiview-Adapter-/224410344146?var=0&mkevt=1&mkcid=1&mkrid=710-53481-19255-0&campid=5338268676&toolid=10044&customid=Cj0KCQjwvYSEBhDjARIsAJMn0lgPAK2gqbLecaOQd4d2C6xK61j9zHb8vd_E9-vSxcI_gazLo6GcPFUaAk_9EALw_wcB

 

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

Presumably Macs are so "special":mellow: that you can't just plug in one of these and go from a USB port to DVI/VGA? Only way I could get a second monitor on my HP all-in-one. 

 

 

For the benefit of non-Mac users who are still awake and vaguely interested, this thread is not about running an external monitor from a MacBook (Mac laptop) or an iMac (all in one Mac) which is trivial. You just plug and play your external monitor without having to download drivers and so on. Very simple indeed. The cable you need depends on the Mac itself but it is generally a Thunderbolt, DisplayPort cable (including mini DisplayPort) or HDMI on the Mac end. Most Macs can run several external monitors, although the latest M1 (non-Intel) MacBooks, which have a very new graphics implementation, can only run one external monitor (I should say I believe - before Mark C finds an example of a workaround). 

 

No, this thread is about using an all in one iMac as an external monitor. This is indeed possible with most Macs if the iMac being used as an external monitor is old enough and running an older operating system but it seems the general consensus from those who know about such thngs was that it was not possible with the new M1 (non-Intel) Macs. However, through Mark C's investigations, it seems now that it is possible with some old iMacs although the details of which ones can do this job are fuzzy. We will have to wait and see if the OP's old iMac works should he decide to go ahead and purchase the required cable..

 

I would think it might be false economy to use an old computer as an external monitor in the longer term as it is presumably going to use a lot more energy than a modern monitor. I would also wonder about colour accuracy and calibration etc whereupon I will hand over to Mark C. 

 

 

Edited by MDM
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2 hours ago, MDM said:

I would think it might be false economy to use an old computer as an external monitor in the longer term as it is presumably going to use a lot more energy than a modern monitor.

 

Most likely, with only a partial and temporary offset by avoiding the energy costs of manufacturing a new monitor. I've no idea how much an iMac consumes in Target Display mode, I guess it depends on how much of the iMac has to be active in this mode.

 

2 hours ago, MDM said:

I would also wonder about colour accuracy and calibration etc whereupon I will hand over to Mark C.

Thanks for the curve ball 🙂  I'm tempted to duck. 🙂

 

My initial reaction was that the system (MacBook + iMac) could be calibrated in exactly the same way as calibrating an external monitor. ie. run the profiling software on the MacBook whilst the colorimeter is on the iMac screen. This would then produce a profile on the MacBook which can be used when the iMac is connected as an external monitor. A much more risky way might be to run the profiling software on the iMac and then copy and install the generated profile on the MacBook. But that really relies whether the iMac display and graphics chip is setup in the same way when the iMac running normally and when it's running in target display mode and how the graphics chips in MacBook and iMac handle stuff.

 

I wonder if, in target display mode, does the iMac still apply a profile? Or is the RGB image data received from the MacBook passed "straight through" to the display.

 

There are a couple of other unknowns

- Will the MacBook automatically swap to the right profile when the iMac is connected?

- If any settings are altered on the iMac when it's running normally (e.g. WB, brightness etc.) will they mess up the calibration when it's used as an external monitor.

 

All pretty easy to determine with some simple tests if the OP has a calibration device, but otherwise it's a concern. Only worth looking into this further if the OP decides to go ahead and use his iMac in this way.

 

Mark (in danger of making it up as he goes along)

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48 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Thanks for the curve ball 🙂  I'm tempted to duck. 🙂

 

 

I figured you wouldn't resist the bait though and you didn't 🤣. I think it is academic really, as anyone who is serious about running a colour managed workflow is not going to use an old iMac as a monitor. I am not intending to even think any further about this. I will save my brain power for other things. The 24" monitor thread and contained links should be useful to anyone wanting a reasonably priced external monitor with or without colour management.  

 

As for energy consumption, there was a second video that popped up on YouTube, beside the one you linked to, by a girl who mentioned that the hum of the iMac fan could be distracting while making videos on her MacBook Pro, implying that the iMac does stay on. It may use less energy if the hard drive is off but it must be using some if the fan is on. Intuitively a cheap modern external monitor should use a lot less energy.

 

 

Edited by MDM
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1 hour ago, M.Chapman said:

 

You know me too well....

 

Mark

 

🤣 🤣  🤣 

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