Extended/Mirrored Display Between 2018 MacBook Pro an Mid-2011 iMac

Twice I’ve gotten the wrong info from Apple regarding cables, so trying my favorite group of smarties!

I would like to connect my 2018 MacBook Pro to my iMac (mid 2011) to either extend or mirror my desktop. I’ve been told this cannot be done wirelessly. If you know how, share your knowledge :o)

Here are the connections for my MacBook Pro:
Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

Here are the connections for my iMac:
Four USB 2.0 ports
FireWire 800 port
Two Thunderbolt ports

I do have this adapter for my MacBook Pro:

Am I overthinking this? Would a USB-USB work using my adapter?

PLEASE send links to what may work as I’m lost in a sea of links on the inter web!!

What do you know?

Thanks in advance,
Lisa

2 Likes

Hi Lisa,

You might be able to find a wireless solution but I would still recommend using a wired connection. It will eliminate latency and make the connection solid between the laptop and iMac.

As for a cable, one of each of these should do the trick.


I wouldn’t use the hub in this case. Go right from one of the unhubbed TB3 ports, right into the TB port on the iMac.

Hi Lisa, I had no idea you could do this and never tried as I have a separate monitor. If you google “use iMac as monitor” it says to connect them with a thunderbolt cable and hit Command F2 on the iMac keyboard. It didn’t work on my Late 2014 27 inch Retina display iMac and Early 2015 13 inch MacBook Pro. However, on the MacBook I clicked on the Monitor icon in menu bar and then chose Airplay to iMac and worked just fine. Except the resolution on the iMac was terrible. Not useful for LR. Be sure the system preferences on the MBP are set to Mirror and set the Monitor Display to optimize for iMac.Here’s a photo if it uploads properly.

BTW I don’t know why my iMac shows that I have airserver enabled (separate app) but I turned it off and it still worked. [quote=“lisausher, post:1, topic:598, full:true”]
Twice I’ve gotten the wrong info from Apple regarding cables, so trying my favorite group of smarties!

I would like to connect my 2018 MacBook Pro to my iMac (mid 2011) to either extend or mirror my desktop. I’ve been told this cannot be done wirelessly. If you know how, share your knowledge :o)

Here are the connections for my MacBook Pro:
Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

Here are the connections for my iMac:
Four USB 2.0 ports
FireWire 800 port
Two Thunderbolt ports

I do have this adapter for my MacBook Pro:

Am I overthinking this? Would a USB-USB work using my adapter?

PLEASE send links to what may work as I’m lost in a sea of links on the inter web!!

What do you know?

Thanks in advance,
Lisa
[/quote]

q

2 Likes

Hi Forest,

Thanks for the info and a follow-up question…

You suggest buying an Apple Thunderbolt Cable. Is that the same that came with the laptop which I use for charging? If I could use that then I would only need to buy the adapter, correct?

Lisa

The cable that came with your computer is a Thunderbolt 3 cable. Unfortunately you’ll need a Thunderbolt 1/2 cable in order to make this work because of the way Apple made that adapter.

The TB3 end of the adapter will plug into your laptop, the TB1/2 cable will then go from the adapter into the iMac.

I hope that makes sense!