Lack of Target Display Mode Predicament-M1 IMac

I write this post to vent my frustration, at the lack of target display mode on the M1 IMac. I purchased an M1 IMac for the family home last year, great machine, perfect for home computing. In addition i bought the M1Pro MBP 16 in December, as my main work computer, i have a Studio Display in the office.

Often, I need a larger display when working from home. Why won’t Apple let me use my M1 IMac as a display for my M1 Pro MBP? This is so frustrating, the IMac is clearly capable of video in, via the Thunderbolt4 ports. I feel eventually, I am going to be shoe horned into buying a Studio Display, selling the IMac and having to buy a M1 Mac Mini for the family. Why should I have to spend all that cash, when the IMac is more than capable of accepting video in? I annually give a kidney to Apple for services and devices.

Has anyone tried Luna Display, this is the only other reasonably viable option that I can find. I am just concerned about latency.

Sorry for the rant guys!

2 ways around it:

Luna Display as you said, works great or else just remote desktop into your MBP from your iMac. There will be no noticeable latency on the same network. I use a utility called Displays to set the resolution to whatever I need at the time

+1 for remoting into your MBP. I regularly did this to support my users and never noticed any latency.

I recently got my Mac Studio, and it can act as a Airplay receiver. It turns up as a second screen option in System Settings of my older iMac. Not sure if the M1 iMac can, but no reason it can’t and worth taking a look.

Of course, slight latency is to be expected. I agree that it would be nice to just plug in a Thunderbolt cable.

Hmm I’ve been using my M1 Mini as a second monitor for my M1 MBP with no real problems…Are you running Monterey 12.4 or later?

Hmmm I used (ca. 2015-2019) to use Duet to drive my iPad Pro as an external monitor but now I just use Sidecar.

How do you mean? M1 Mac Mini as a display, the Mac mini doesn’t come with a display?

1 Like

I completely agree. The lack of target display mode makes it unfeasable for me to buy an IMac.

driving its external monitor via thunderbolt

I have a 2017 iMac 5k that is basically worthless except the awesome display. I’d kill to have target display mode again so I could turn it into an external monitor for my MBP. I’ve thought about doing the conversion by putting a new driver board in it.

You should try the free method of setting up your iMac as an airplay receiver which you can do if your running Monterey or higher. If that works for you, all good.

If not, the LunaDisplay is an excellent option. I use one for MacBook Pro to use my old 2017 27’’ iMac as an external display for my work MacBook Pro. I use a thunderbolt cable to make sure there is no latency but wireless also works fine. I’m extremely happy with it.

Do either of those options allow you to use the MBP in clamshell mode?

Yes, I use my Mac in clamshell. Obviously on reboot and such you need to open your laptop.