Using iMac as an External Monitor to my MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by amo.mac, May 14, 2008.

  1. amo.mac macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2008
    I have an MacBook Pro that I am running most of my programs on and wondered if I can hook it up to my 24 inch iMac. I have Aperture running on my MBP and could use the extra screen on the iMac
  2. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2003
    You could do screen sharing (built into 10.5, available via various VNC programs prior). There isn't, afaik, any way to just use your iMac as an external monitor (well, you could take the iMac apart disconnect some thing and connect others, but I doubt you want to do that)
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    There have been many threads about this. No, it doesn't work.
  4. amo.mac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2008
    Thanks for the reply, was afraid it would not work
  5. Simon K macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    Using iMac as a Monitor for Macbook - Firewire method

    1.With both the iMac and Macbook off connect the computers with a Firewire cable.
    2. Turn on the MacBook while holding the "T" key. This puts the MacBook into Target Mode and a firewire icon appears on the screen.

    From now on you only need touch the iMac Keyboard and mouse.
    3. Turn on iMac while holding the Option key. This allows you to choose the Start Up volume, in this case the MacBook. Use the left and right arrows to select the MacBook icon.
    4. Press Return and iMac will start up with the MacBook System, Users, and Applications.
    5. You can now close the MacBook and enjoy the "big screen".

    To turn off.
    1. Shut down iMac using the Shut down command in the apple menu (ie the normal way).
    2. When the iMac is shut down. Press the power key of the MacBook to turn it off.

    Hope this helps
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Good idea.

    There is also a screen sharing app too.
  7. WillWhiskey macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    Fan Issue

    I've hooked up my MacBook Pro to my iMac successfully with your instructions, but the fan on the MacBook is constantly blowing. Should I be concerned? Is there a way to make it stop? I looked in Activity Monitor and there is something called SMSDaemon using 20-25% of the CPU. Could this be the reason the fan is running?
  8. SureFirePost macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    Problems linking with firewire method

    I have an older 3rd gen iMac Dual Core 2 duo, and I'm trying the firewire method of hooking it up to my new 27" to use it as a display (use the 27" as the display that is), and it's not working. I followed the intstructions above, but it only gets as far as choosing to use the old imac as the active computer and then when I press return to select it, the 27" freezes and nothing happens.

    I am doing something wrong, or is it even possible with an older imac?


  9. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Try connecting the computers directly with an Ethernet cable, then installing an app called ScreenRecycler (Google it).
  10. gabo77 macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    Will it work with firewire in your opinion ?
  11. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Does this REALLY use the iMac as a monitor, or is it just starting up your hard drive from the MacBook Pro and the Imac is actually doing all the processing?

    I'm guessing using this target, it's just mounting the disk as a volume on the machine and booting from that volume. I would suspect due to differences in hardware (i.e. if you're using a 2009 imac, but a 2011 macbook pro) there would be differences, not to mention your machine would be slower if your imac is older then your macbook pro... But who knows.

    I think it sucks that Apple did it this way, it's like they are forcing Macbook pro users to buy a 1000 dollar Cinema display rather then buying an iMac and having the benefit of an extra computer as well as using it as a secondary display when they need it. My boyfriend and I are planning on moving in together soon, but will only have room for one desk in the apartment initially, so we were going to use his iMac on the desk and I would just plug my Macbook Pro into it when I need a full monitor setup.

    Anyway, I guess I'll just have to try the screen sharing programs, although as an IT support person who remote desktops into machines all day long, the user experience is far inferior then if you were directly connected up, so I'm sure it's not going to be as good.
  12. tklesse macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2011
    This is a good idea but i would strongly dis regard it, well yes this would work it would cause your laptop to got hot because of the hard drive making your fans spike, also all your data is running throw a fire wire cable, 400 or 800 mhz so your computer is running very slow because it can't pull data fast enough. if you want to do this the best way which still isn't really practicable because you are sending your data wirelessly and that takes time unless you have a VCN application that is flawless in its coding (defiantly not "Screen Share) [:/System/Library/CoreServices/Screen] but its still the thing i use if anyone has nice apps please do tell

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