iMac screen broken how do i connect an external display without seeing the screen

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mvp6648, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Mvp6648 macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2013
    My iMac 21.5 inch has a broken screen (the screen is completely blacked out and not visible)

    However I can connect to an external display but it only shows the second screen with no dock or settings just a background with nothing on it is it possible to set my external display to be the primary screen without seeing my iMac screen is there any shortcuts? So i can use my imac again because right now it runs perfect but i just cant see the screen I would really appreciate any help given cheers.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    This may seem like a totally irrelevant question, but...

    Do you know anyone else with a Mac?
    Can be iMac, Mac Mini, Macbook -- ANY kind of Mac?

    What I would do:

    First, I'd need an external drive.

    Then, I'd take that drive and the monitor you want to use to ANOTHER Mac.

    Then, I'd connect the monitor, boot up, install a clean system to the external drive.

    When done, I'd boot the OTHER Mac from the external drive.
    (to do a switch-boot, see notes below)

    When I got to the finder, I'd go to System preferences and set up things so that the dock and menu bar appeared on the EXTERNAL monitor.

    Then, I'd take the monitor and drive back to the "dark" iMac, connect everything, and boot up. BUT...
    At boot, I'd do this:
    - as soon as the startup sound chimes, hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN
    - the startup manager will appear. Use the arrow/tab/pointer to select the external drive, and hit return
    - iMac should boot from the EXTERNAL drive
    - when the finder loads, should use the settings you had set on the other Mac

    The result is the iMac (booted from the external) should now have the menu bar and dock on the external display.

    If this works, I'd get the data I wanted OFF OF the iMac's internal drive.

    Then, I'd wipe the internal, and use CarbonCopyCloner (free to download and use for 30 days) to clone the contents of the external drive to the INTERNAL drive on the iMac.

    Then, I'd reboot from the internal.
    Hopefully, the preferences would "carry over", and you will see the menu bar and dock on the external monitor.
  3. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
  4. Halkovaja macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2016
    Thank you Google and macthefork. Just today my imacs display died and this keyboard shortcut saved my day.
  5. Mariourroz macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2017
    I had the same problem. Frustrated i almost through something at my screen again lol . What i tried was unplugging the hdmi cabl to my tv and plugging it back in and poof the screen cloned and i was in recovery mode where i was able to format my new drive and install osx .


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