How do I display the screen from a Windows 7 laptop on a iMac’s (27″) screen?

Anonymous February 17, 2014

I have a 27″ iMac desktop as my home machine. It has USB and Thunderbolt connectors in the back.

My company furnishes us with Lenovo Windows 7 laptops. These laptops have small screens. Is there any solution (hardware, software or connectors) that will let me display the Lenovo laptop screen on my much larger iMac desktop screen?

  1. Sukumar Ramanathan
    February 21, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Oron, the hardware solution does not work because no Windows laptop has a Thunderbolt connection (it works on an iMac only with a Thunderbolt-to-Thunderbolt connection).

    Remote Desktop does work, but I was not able to get Corporate IT to enable it because of security concerns.

    I ended up buying a HP 27xi monitor (prices have come down to the $230 level) and connecting the Windows laptop through a VGA connection. This also works fine as an extended desktop for the iMac, so the new monitor serves a double purpose.

    Thanks for your insight!

  2. Sukumar R
    February 18, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Thank you, Oron. I shall try both your suggestions and let you know how it goes.

  3. Oron J
    February 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    If your laptop has Thunderbolt or DisplayPort outputs, then you can do so by setting your iMac to Target Display Mode as explained at .
    However, it's extremely unlikely that your laptop has those outputs, so the only other way I can think of is to use a remote-access type of program such as Microsoft Remote Desktop Client [Broken Link Removed], TeamViewer or VNC etc. To use these, you run the server site (in the case of the Microsoft product, enable "Remote Desktop" in Windows. With the other products, download and run the PC version of the product and run in in server mode), and run the client on the Mac. Establish a "session" and control your laptop remotely. This is very satisfactory for basic use of another computer, but there are little delays and degradation of graphics due to bandwidth issues, so don't expect to be doing Photoshop-type work or watching videos regularly on your beautiful Mac's screen. For office-type work though, it's a good solution.