How Can I Use iMac as Monitor for PC? [Explained in Detail]

It is not difficult to learn how to use iMac as Monitor for PC. If you are tired of the size of your PC’s screen, the good news is that Apple built a unique feature for iMac to be used as a display unit for other devices. The impressive display function of the iMac makes it a better option to use as a monitor for your Windows PC. 

Aside from using iMac as monitor for PC, you can as well make use of the Target Display Mode feature of the iMac before you can connect a MacBook to various other versions of Mac. Examples of such include the version released towards late 2009 or a version that was released around June 2010. 

In this post, you will learn in detail the simple steps of how to use iMac as monitor for PC. However, before we get started, you want to ensure that you are making use of an iMac device that is compatible with a PC device. This is the first thing to ensure. 

Use iMac as Monitor for PC

To start with, ensure you have a compatible iMac and PC with the required cable. Note that if your Mac uses a Retina Display, then you may not use iMac as monitor for PC. If you have the Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt on the iMac, you can use it as a monitor for your PC. 

Check out for either of the following:

  • Do you have the late 2009 or a mid-2010 coupled with a 27 inches in size, which usually comes with a Mini Port Display? 
  • Do you have the 2014 and a 2011 iMac having a Thunderbolt?

Apart from the above conditions, there are some late 2014 models which you could use as alternatives as a second monitor. Note that the late 2014 5k Retina iMac mod lacks the Target Display Mode. 

It is also important to note that you cannot use iMac as monitor for a PC if your PC doesn’t come with a Mini DisplayPort or a Thunderbolt port. You can still use your PC even if it doesn’t come with the required ports. You only need to get a compatible adapter with your display port or, better still, make use of the computer’s HDMI port. 

Now that you know everything, you need to use iMac as monitor for PC, get everything ready accordingly, and let’s get started. 

Step 1

The first thing to do to use iMac as monitor for PC is to turn off your iMac device as well as your PC. After both your iMac and PC are completely turned off, you can proceed to connect all the necessary cables. Connect your cable to the HDMI, or connect from your Display Ports to your Windows computer or laptop. Next, proceed to connect the necessary cables to your Thunderbolt or your Mini Display from your iMac device. 

In case you are using an adapter, the first thing to do while making the connection is to connect those cables needed to the adapter. Next, insert the male end of the adapter to the Mini Display or the Thunderbolt port in your iMac. 

Step 2

Congratulations if you were able to complete the first step. The next thing for you to do after you have connected the cables is to turn in both your PC or laptop and your iMac device. As you turn on your iMac, you should press and hold down the keys: CMD + F2 simultaneously. If the F2 is not active until you press the function key on the iMac keyboard, then you will press and hold CMD + Fn + F2. 

In this way, you will be able to have access to the Target Display Mode. Now, you are getting closer to using the iMac as monitor for PC. In the Target Display Mode, you will see the screen that is available on your PC that can be mirrored over to iMac. 

The function of the Target Display Mode is to allow you to use your iMac when you are using Mini DisplayPort or when you are using the Thunderbolt port connected to your iMac device. You can, generally, consider the Target Display Mode as a crucial feature that allows you to connect your iMac and be used as a mirror screen for Windows PC or any other compatible device. 

Step 3

For you to use iMac as monitor for PC, the screen resolution of your PC is also an important factor to consider. You should be able to correlate your PC’s screen resolution to your iMac if you put the video into 2560 × 1440 on your PC. I’m this case; we are considering the iMac models of either 2009, 2010, 2011, and other models from the 2014 version. Then also, Apple has introduced the 4k Retina Display of the size 27 inches. The 4k Retina debut was in 2014. 

The 4k Retina Display in the 27 inches line as released in 2014 has a resolution of 5120 x 2880. This implies that with such a resolution, finding perfect compatibility might be hard to get, most especially for laptops. Also, Target Display Mode might not be present. 

At this stage, you should proceed to check your iMac’s screen resolution. To do so, from the taskbar, hit the Apple icon logo and click on the “About This Mac” button. Next, select the “Display” check.

Use iMac as Monitor for PC as a Second Display Procedures

Irrespective of your iMac model, it can serve as an alternative screen for your PC. That means that the PC’s display can be mirrored on the iMac screen, which doesn’t matter if it is the latest 5k or not. 

You shouldn’t, however, be unaware that the iMac needs Windows 10 Pro or Home for this whole thing to work out. You can read Apple’s guidelines on how to run Windows on Mac through Boot Camp. Take note of these final steps for you to use iMac as monitor for PC:


Ascertain that the iMac is turned on and simultaneously running Windows. Next, connect your iMac and PC to the same internet set up, making use of your PC Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Going forward, click on settings on your iMac, select ‘system’ and then select “Project to this PC”. You will see this at the Menu bar present on the left side of the screen. 


Select from the “Projecting to this PC” from the drop-down the “Available everywhere” option. Then, choose “First time only”, located just at the down of “Ask to project to this PC”. For privacy, you can turn on the “Required PIN for pair” if you would want nobody to do this behind you. You can as well leave the option turned off.  


On the PC, access the Action Center located at the underpart-right corner. Click the “Project” tile, and again, click “Connect to a wireless display”. At that instant, the PC will check for available displays of which your iMac will display in the next results. Select iMac, and you should immediately see the two displays on your PC. This means your PC screen is successfully being mirrored on the iMac

Last of All

If you want the same display on your iMac and PC, from the “Display setting”, change the resolution. For instance, the resolution of 2560 x 1440 should be okay if your PC is mirroring a 5k iMac. However, this is still a factor of the iMac and PC models you have. 

Don’t forget; it is not difficult to use iMac as monitor for PC if you follow the above steps and use the right cables/adapters as well as compatible devices. 

How to prevent MacBook overheating? read here.

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