Microsoft Surface iMac Connectivity (Discussed in detail)


Apple and Microsoft are worlds apart in the tech incorporated in their devices, particularly their operating systems. Therefore, it can become challenging to connect apple products to Microsoft’s products. However, I did research to find if there is a way the two can operate concurrently.

So, can you connect Microsoft Surface to iMac? You can connect an iMac to a Microsoft surface using a Mini DisplayPort attached to the side of your laptop. Since Microsoft Surface is compatible with most external devices, it automatically detects the iMac that you can use as a mirror. You can also connect the latest Apple monitors to other laptops because they have the DisplayPort or VGA. Alternatively, you can also use an adapter.

There are many different devices the Microsoft Surface range of laptops can connect to including monitors. This gives you extra viewing options as sometimes working with two screens is better than just using the surface laptop screen. Especially if you are comparing documents or using one document for research whilst you write up another document on the other screen.

If you have an iMac, it turns out you can successfully connect this with a Microsoft Surface and use the iMac as the Microsoft Surface’s mirror desktop. The first thing you need is a mini display port that can display on both devices. The iMac usually has a slot at the back to plug a cable in and connect it to the Surface, whose port is at the side.

Luckily, the Surface is compatible with other external devices; therefore, the cable should show immediately you connect them. However, it will only work if the wire automatically detects, as it will allow your Surface Laptop to set the iMac as a mirror.

Connecting the two is a simple process but depends solely on the type of cable you use and your device models. The best part about it is that you can do your projects on a bigger display screen, and you can go further to set up the connection to your preference. To configure, swipe your Microsoft Surface on the right to get the settings, then tap on “select device,” then click on “project” to pick your favorite display window successfully.

You can also adjust the screen orientation or set the programs to run simultaneously or have different apps on each gadget. You can do this by clicking on “start,” then click right at the control panel to get the options you need. If you are still having problems with the setup, you can always contact your customer service or ask a tech expert near you.

Can You Connect Microsoft Surface to an Apple Monitor?

Microsoft and Apple are two different companies that produce devices with various components. However, some tech-savvy individuals have mastered the art of making them work together. In this section, I will tell you how to connect your Apple monitor to a Microsoft Surface.

Provided that your devices have compatible connection ports, or you can do a we-connection, which makes connecting your laptop to the Apple monitor a walk in the park. It can also work if you have a converter. Most PCs, including Microsoft Surface, only have HDMI, DVI, VGA, DisplayPort, and mini-DisplayPort.

If your Surface doesn’t have a VGA-supporting system, you can always use an adapter for compatibility. Apple devices older than 2014 have a DisplayPort or VGA that make it easier to connect the device to a PC, but even if your Surface isn’t DisplayPort-enabled, you can still use an adapter to get a successful connection.

Connecting the Surface has been a problem with the introduction of Apple monitors that use Thunderbolt. The technology isn’t compatible with Surface laptops, although a PC with Thunderbolt technology can save you the hassle. Unlike Apple, Microsoft hasn’t embraced Thunderbolt display to such levels. The system doesn’t support a DisplayPort or HDMI.

Therefore, unless you ensure that your laptop’s motherboard supports the Thunderbolt display, you won’t connect to an Apple monitor. Fortunately, the current Microsoft Surface, like Pro 7, comes with a USB-C-enabled port that works harmoniously with Thunderbolt systems. However, the connection may fail to utilize the power and speed in a Thunderbolt 3.

Furthermore, you can still have a wireless connection to the Microsoft Surface to make it work as it would with a cable. You may only need to install an AirParrot application on the Surface and the Reflector App on the Apple monitor that functions as the receiver on the other end. Once installed, you can click into the applications and follow a few easy prompts to guide you to a successful connection.

Can You Use iMac as a Monitor for a PC?

For your iMac to work as a monitor for your windows, the two devices must be compatible to allow a successful connection. Your iMac’s large screen may give you a whole new experience than most PCs. Therefore, it’s understandable to want to use it as a display screen for your PC.

As much as some online sites claim otherwise, it is possible to use an iMac as your PC’s monitor. Provided that your PC’s port is compatible with your iMac and you have an appropriate cable, you can make a successful connection to link the Apple display to your computer. Notably, it must be two-way between the two devices.

Luckily, the 27″ iMac models launched late 2009, mid-2010, 2011 and 2014, have Mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt ports that can work effortlessly with a PC. iMacs developed in late 2014 have the Retina 5K display that doesn’t support Target Display Mode, making it impossible to connect them to your PC. You can only use your iMac as an additional monitor to your computer if your PC also has the Mini DisplayPort that also supports video cables. On the other hand, if the computer has an HDMI, you will require an HDMI to Mini DisplayPort converter for consistency.

Alternatively, iMac has a Thunderbolt port that can only work if your computer has the same channel for easy connection. Suppose you successfully connect the two devices with the cable, press command + f2 to set the ‘Display Target Mode’ on the iMac keyboard. Apple’s iMac has a higher resolution than the PC; thus, you may have to reconfigure it for a better visual display.

The best part is that connecting your PC to an iMac gives you a broader and clearer vision and allows you to transfer data between the two devices. Fortunately, the two can run some standard applications to facilitate the easy transfer of files and documents across the board. However, note that most Apple apps cannot run on windows.

Microsoft, in contrast, has a vast client base thanks to its great features, and many love that their products are cheaper. The bottom line is, connecting your iMac to a PC is quite beneficial since it allows you to transfer your data, and you can have a great experience utilizing the iMac’s large screen display.

How To Use Microsoft Surface with iMac Computers

You may love the massive screen and the crispy visuals of your iMac, but, at the same time, you still want the impressive features of the Microsoft Surface. You may also have one of them but find it hard to make the switch. The good news is you can have the best of both worlds.

Instead of switching to iMac or Surface, you can use them concurrently. One effective way is to have an iCloud storage or an external drive as a data backup. This way, you can always access the files you need on either device. The only downside is that the iCloud space has a 5GB limit and you can lose your data if you lose your external storage. Also, there are chances that some apps won’t work on both devices.

You will find it easy to alternate between both devices if you frequently use iCloud. The platform is a convenient way to back up your contacts, emails, files, and other important stuff; therefore, you can always access them when you need to. The best way to go is to have it running on both devices since you can easily find them whenever you access them on your account.

The only downside may be the storage limit. Usually, the iCloud space can only support 5GB of data. Therefore, it won’t be ideal if you need to save more files. You may also need a network connection if you want files on your iCloud Drive. Lastly, it isn’t a guarantee that the same applications will run on both devices, thereby limiting access to some files.

However, one way to overcome space limitations on your iCloud is through an external drive as extra storage that you can use on both devices. You will appreciate that it is easy to switch your access by plugging it into your iMac or Surface. Alternatively, you can rent more iCloud space, although it is relatively expensive, unlike the USB external drive.

However, iCloud storage is safer, but there are chances of losing your Drive and losing all your data. Another issue with using the two gadgets concurrently is the issue of application compatibility. Not every app works on the two platforms, denying you access to some essential files. Luckily, you can work around this by being careful with how you save your files, and it’s more convenient to keep your files in a standard format that will show on both devices.

Can You Transfer Data From Microsoft Surface to iMac?

If you have recently bought an iMac but you are worried about retaining the data stored on your PC, the good news is that you don’t have to start afresh. Thanks to Apple’s user-friendly interface, you can transfer all your essential files from Microsoft Surface.

It is easy to transfer old files from windows 7 to 10 to your iMac through Microsoft Assistant. This free utility has to run on both devices, which must also be using the same network to detect each other automatically.

The only downside is that the process is usually slower, depending on transfer means: using Wi-Fi may be slower than Ethernet cables. Generally, the transfer will also depend on your Windows and MacBook versions and the programs you used to create the files.

The utility that facilitates the file transfer is the Migration Assistant in all iMac computers. You can detect it during start-up when it requests whether you need any data transfer from other devices.

The best part about the interface is that it is free to download for all Apple users, although it depends on your iMac’s Operating System. There is also a Windows Migration Assistant for OS X, macOS, and Windows versions. Therefore, the only way to transfer data is when both devices are running the utility.

The process will only be complete if the iMac and Surface are on the same network, but the process can take longer depending on your network speed. You can transfer files from the image files, iTunes, contents from browsers, system settings, or obtain your email messages and contacts if you use Microsoft outlook. If you have other files, you can always confirm Apple’s chart that outlines what crosses over.

Fortunately, the Migration Assistant isn’t the last resort; you can also deploy thumb drives to work for both devices to enable easy file transfer. However, the only difference is that the Assistant is cheaper and more convenient.

If you have any hurdles in the process, you can redo everything after quitting all apps. Still, if your Setup Assistant doesn’t detect on your PC or iMac, you can recheck the connection to ensure they use the same network.

Most people find Ethernet cables more effective since they perform faster transfers. Another issue maybe when there is antivirus software on your Surface. You can turn it off first for the transfer and turn it on afterward. However, if all efforts fail, your last resort should be uploading your data on an external drive then copying it to your iMac.

Final Word

If you don’t want to make the painful switch to either iMac or Microsoft Surface, you don’t need to worry. You can connect them using a display port to use them simultaneously with the iMac as a large display. However, you have to ensure that the two run on the same network and the cable are compatible for both devices.

Alternatively, you can use your iCloud storage to access your essential files on either platform or get external storage. You will also appreciate that you can transfer your files between the two computers using Microsoft Assistant.

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