Use old iMac as a monitor via USB (without official compatibility)

To the post "Use old iMac as external monitor“ there are now almost 400 comments. It is often a matter of using the Target Display Mode used for the monitor use of the old iMacs on non-compatible models as well. But as much as we would like to present a workaround, unfortunately the feature is limited to a few Mac models and macOS versions. However, a good and comparatively cheap alternative to the new monitor is the Luna Display. With Luna Display you can connect any Mac to the old iMac or MacBook wirelessly – and since this summer also via USB cable – to expand the display.

Abbreviation: Here it goes directly to the provider

Luna Display from astropad gives you the option of using any Mac model or iPad as an external monitor. This year, peer-to-peer and USB coupling have also been added to the WLAN connection. So you can use the Mac as a USB monitor, regardless of the target display mode.
Luna Display from astropad gives you the option of using any Mac model or iPad as an external monitor. This year, peer-to-peer and USB coupling have also been added to the WLAN connection. So you can use the Mac as a USB monitor, regardless of the target display mode.

Luna Display connects Mac to other Mac or iPad

If you still have an iMac or MacBook lying around whose display you still want to use for high-resolution display of graphic content, then you don't have to look for an equivalent monitor. You can save the money for one of these and spend it on Luna Display starting at $59,99. Luna Display is a stick and software - the stick is selected depending on the computer model: USB-C for modern Mac models, Mini-DisplayPort for older Mac models and HDMI for Windows PCs. 

A wireless connection is established via the stick so that you can send the image from your new Mac or PC to the iMac, MacBook or iPad via WLAN or peer-to-peer. This eliminates the need to install a specific operating system, set the target display mode, and solve the problems that can arise with it. Thanks to the peer-to-peer function, which has only been available since July 2023, you don't even need WiFi. The direct radio connection ensures a fast connection and up to 46% less latency.

Use a second Mac as a monitor via USB

With the Luna Display 5.3 presented in July, you also have the option of establishing a Mac-to-Mac connection via USB. This makes it even easier to connect Apple computers for image playback, and the choice of connection options is even greater: WLAN, peer-to-peer and USB. There is something for everyone, no matter what technical skills you have. It couldn't get any simpler than connecting a USB cable. And using Luna Display is easy in and of itself. 

To use Luna Display, all you have to do is choose the right dongle in the shop (pay attention to the USB-C, Mini-DisplayPort and HDMI connections, because the dongles work not with adapters), connect the small device to the Mac, start the apps on the two devices to be connected and automatically establish the connection via WLAN, direct radio or USB. And best of all: It is a one-time purchase without a subscription model or other additional costs. Further information and details on the right dongle for your setup are available on the provider side.

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2 comments on “Use an old iMac as a monitor via USB (without official compatibility)”

    1. Hi Tom,

      the Luna hardware is connected to the computer that is used as the image source. So on the new Mac.

      Best regards
      John

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