You Cannot Use the 24-inch iMac as a Target Display (aka External Monitor)


If you were wondering whether or not you can use your 24-inch iMac’s 4.5K Retina display as an external monitor, well, you cannot.

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Little do people know, Macs sold before 2014 had a built-in feature called Target Display Mode where you could use your iMac as an external monitor. The feature was great and Apple removed it entirely with 2014 iMacs and above.

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Fast forward to 2021, the new 24-inch iMac with a 4.5K Retina display is here. And if you are wondering whether or not you can use its display as an external monitor, then you might be disappointed to learn that you cannot. Apple does not support it and at this point we are not even going to suggest that the company will enable the feature going forward in any capacity. It is as simple as that.

However, if you wish to add another display to your new iMac, you can do that. Apple says that you can attach an external monitor to it with support for up to 6K resolution, which is monstrous. In other words, the Pro Display XDR will work like magic on this computer. Something like the LG UltraFine will work marvelously, too.

Alternatively, you can wirelessly extend the display capabilities of the iMac using SideCar, if you have a supported iPad. At this point pretty much every iPad supports SideCar and it is a great way to extend your desktop without having to spend extra money on a new external display.

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