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Model A1312 / Mid 2010 / 3.2 GHz Core i3 or 2.8 & 3.6 GHz Core i5 or 2.93 GHz Core i7, ID iMac11,3

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Target Display Mode not working. Is thunderbolt the problem?

I'm trying to use an old iMac 27-inch (Mid 2010) as a monitor, using the Target Display Mode without success. I'm connecting a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015).

The cable is a completely new Thunderbolt - Thunderbolt cable. I've tried resetting SMC and NVRAM on the iMac which haven't solved the problem. I've also tried the VirtualKVM application but it looks as if the Thunderbolt port isn't recognising the cable.

Obviously the CMD+F2 option isn't working either.

Any ideas?

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You'll need to get a DisplayPort cable Vs a Thunderbolt cable. Surprising even though they look the same they don't work the same!

Your iMac has a mini DisplayPort not Thunderbolt so it can't power the cable which is needed for the head-end circuitry located in the cables connector.

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Hi Dan, yeah so I've just figured this out. Do you know if it specifically MUST be a mini to mini? Right now I'm using a mini to hdmi, still no luck :(


Thats the only way I've used it between two Mac's (DP to DP).

Here's a bit more on how to use it: The Ins and Outs of Your iMac’s Target Display Mode and here's Apple's T/N on it: Use your iMac as a display with Target Display Mode


Dan's answer is correct, they can work together only with DP Mini to DP Mini cable. I have tried both thunderbolt and DP Mini and only DP Mini worked.

Hi Jacob, i've faced exactly same problem, solved with a dp mini to dp mini cable. i have tried thunderbolt too. not worked but dpmini dpmini cable works like a charm. Immediately works after connect them together.


Good to know because I was about to try out the VirtualKVM application. I have also the same iMac and it doesn't work either with my Mac Book Pro 2016... did you find an answer?


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Dear ladies and gentlemen, It’s not the problem with the cable or the adapters, I have a Mac Mini 2018 running Mojave and an 27” iMac mid 2010 running High Sierra. I used a USB-C to mini DP cable. When I connected them it worked perfectly command f2 button was pressed only once, after when I was plugging the cable into my Mac it was detecting the Mac Mini automatically.

But, here is the big but that screwed up all the users of this amazing feature , macOS Catalina, and the latest update for older versions of Combined OS Update, its not the problem in the cables or adapters because the TDM was not working directly after I UPDATED my both Macs, its a waste of time and money if you want to buy different cables, the combined update is something like Catalina only for the older models.

So good luck to everyone ... Check you version of MacOS and prove me if Im wrong!!!!

Target Display Mode is not working with macOS Catalina

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I am a user that had difficulty simply getting my 2009-iMac into Target Display Mode after using an upgrade hack upgrading to macOS Mojave.

The iMac was failing to connect as other users on Apple’s support forums have reported. I had success with repeated presses of the Command-F2 keyboard combination. I was successful with this method as well.


@andrewdalewest - Yep! As Andrei stated it's a dead feature if you use the newer versions of macOS's.

Go back to High Sierra or Mojave if you want the feature.


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jacob será eternamente grato(a).
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