How to Use an iMac 21.5-inch Monitor With a PC

Written by kelvin hayes
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How to Use an iMac 21.5-inch Monitor With a PC
(BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Apple's iMac 21.5 inch computer displays a high definition 1680 x 1050 resolution, designed for graphic art, photography and even movies. First released in 1998, the iMac is geared toward an "out-of-the-box" design in which users can quickly set up and begin using the computer. This plug-and-play approach quickly led to the third-party development of a mini DisplayPort cable accessory that allows the iMac to function as an external video display.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mini DisplayPort adaptor
  • HDMI or VGA cable
  • PC or external video source

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    Entering Target Display Mode

  1. 1

    Connect the male end of the mini DisplayPort adaptor to the appropriate port on the back of the iMac. The computer may remain running, including any applications, during plugin of the mini DisplayPort adaptor.

  2. 2

    Connect the female end of the mini DisplayPort adaptor to the HDMI or VGA cable connected to your PC or other external video source. The iMac is also compatible with DVD, Blu-ray, HDTV tuners and many other analogue/digital video sources.

  3. 3

    Watch as the iMac automatically recognises the incoming video signal. After interpreting the video signal, the iMac will switch to Target Display Mode and begin displaying the signal. Once in this mode, the iMac's keyboard, USB ports and FireWire will be disabled, with the exception of the keyboard's volume, brightness and display mode command keys.

  4. 4

    Press "Command"+"F2" on the iMac's keyboard to manually enter Target Display Mode, if the iMac fails to enter this mode automatically.

  5. 5

    Press "Command"+"F2" to exit Target Display Mode and return the iMac to its normal OS X operating platform. You can also unplug the mini DisplayPort adaptor at any time to exit Target Display Mode.

Tips and warnings

  • Mini DisplayPort adaptor, with a HDMI or VGA input, may be purchased at an electronics retailer for £6 to £13 as of October 2010.
  • While in Target Display Mode, the iMac will continue to run the OS X software and any applications that were running when Target Display Mode was activated.

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