MBA using iMac as display

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by canvasback13, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. canvasback13 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    #1
    I am trying to use my 2013 air(OSX 10.9.1) with a mid 2010 27' iMac (3.2 ghz intel, OSX 10.7.5) as display. I bought a mini display port to mini display port cable.

    When I hit cmd F2, I see the background of the MBA desk top appear and the info bar at the top. I can't see my mouse or any active windows from the MBA or my dock.

    Any thoughts on why I can't get full functionality?
     
  2. canvasback13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
  3. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    Not sure if this is the correct answer but I can do this between my 2013 MBA and 2011 iMac using a Thunderbolt cable. I can't do it between my partners 2010 MBA and iMac.

    I didn't think you could do it with a mini display port cable, although I could be wrong.
     
  4. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Land of eternal Spring
    #4
    Well the 2010 iMac is display port only.

    It *should* work, maybe he's seeing the iMac as a second display and not the primary?

    @canvasback13 are you in clamshell mode?
     
  5. canvasback13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    #5
    i bought a thunderbolt cable from apple. That doesn't seem to work at all.

    i had the air open when using the mini display port cable. I don't know what clamshell mode it, I just had it open.

    How would I know if it was showing as second display, not primary?
     
  6. canvasback13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    #6
    ok, i got it. the MBA needed to be plugged into the wall.

    Now it all works!
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    That is odd. I don't have an iMac, but my MBA will drive an external screen via either HDMI or DVI without problems while running on battery power.
     
  8. wetcanvas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    #8
    it took me awhile to figure this out too. it seems like every few months I change my setup to use an external monitor and I cant figure out why when I close the air the external monitor doesnt work. its like I forget every time the air has to be plugged in to make the external monitor work in clamshell mode.

    this has happened 3 times already and I forget every time.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    Ah, I see. I never use clamshell mode. External screens work fine on battery power when the lid is open. :)
     

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