You can use this guide to know which port to use with your external display, hard drive, camera, printer, iPhone, iPad, or other device, the port shapes and symbols.
Use Thunderbolt 3 with displays and other devices that connect using either a Thunderbolt 3 cable or USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C power adapter and cable to charge your notebook computer. If you have a device that doesn’t connect to this port, you might be able to use an adapter to connect it.
These Mac models have Thunderbolt 3 ports:
- MacBook Pro introduced in 2016 or later
- MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later
- iMac introduced in 2017 or later
- iMac Pro (all models)
- Mac mini introduced in 2018
- Mac Pro introduced in 2019
If your Mac notebook or desktop computer has more than one port like this, each port supports ThunderBolt 3 and USB-C.
Use USB-C with displays and other devices that connect using a USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C power adapter and cable to charge your notebook computer. If you have a device that doesn’t connect to this port, you might be able to use an adapter to connect it.
MacBook models introduced in 2015 or later have a single USB-C port. This port doesn’t support Thunderbolt devices.
If your Mac has only one port like this, it’s a MacBook that supports USB-C but not Thunderbolt.
Use Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 with displays and other devices that connect using a Thunderbolt cable.
These Mac models have Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 ports:
- MacBook Pro introduced in 2011 through 2015
- MacBook Air introduced in 2011 through 2017
- Mac mini introduced in 2011 through 2014
- iMac introduced in 2011 through 2015
- Mac Pro introduced in 2013
Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 are not the same as Mini DisplayPort . They have the same shape, but use different symbols on the cable and port. However, this port does support Mini DisplayPort for video output, so you can use a Mini DisplayPort cable to connect a Mini DisplayPort display.
Use Mini DisplayPort with displays that connect using a Mini DisplayPort cable.
These Mac models have Mini DisplayPort:
- MacBook Pro introduced in late 2008 through 2010
- MacBook Air introduced in late 2008 through 2010
- Mac mini introduced in 2009 and 2010
- iMac introduced in 2009 and 2010
- Mac Pro introduced in 2009 through 2012
Mini DisplayPort is not the same as Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 . They have the same shape, but use different symbols on the cable and port.
Use HDMI with displays and TVs that connect using an HDMI cable.
Use Ethernet with networks and devices that connect using an Ethernet (RJ45) cable.
Use FireWire with devices that connect using a FireWire 400 or FireWire 800 cable.
Use the SD card slot with SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, and UHS-II media cards, such as those used by digital cameras.
Use Audio-Out — or — with headphones, speakers, and other audio-output devices that connect using an audio cable that has a 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) audio jack.
Use Audio-In with a microphone or other audio-input device that connects using an audio cable that has a 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) audio jack.
Use the power port , if available, to connect your computer to AC power using a MagSafe cable or adapter. This port isn’t available on newer Mac notebook computers, which use Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C for power and charging. Learn more about power adapters and cables for Mac notebook computers.
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