How to Hook Up an Apple Display

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Apple's displays are designed primarily for use as external monitors for the company's laptop and desktop computers. How you go about hooking up your Apple display will vary slightly depending on the model you are using. Earlier Apple displays connect via Mini DisplayPorts, while the most recent Apple display as of March 2013, the Thunderbolt Display, connects via Apple's proprietary Thunderbolt connector.

Thunderbolt Display

  • To hook up your Apple Thunderbolt Display, start by removing the protective film from the included cables and the display itself. Insert one end of the included power cord into the rear of the display and the other end to a grounded power outlet. Connect the Thunderbolt cable from the Thunderbolt port on the display to the Thunderbolt port on your computer. Connect the MagSafe power adapter to the MagSafe port on your MacBook, if you are using a MacBook. Turn on the computer. The monitor turns on automatically.

LED Cinema Display -- 2010

  • The 2010 LED Cinema Display is designed for use with Apple computers with Mini DisplayPort ports. To hook up your 2010 Cinema Display, start by removing the protective film from the display and all included cables. Insert the power cord into the display and then plug the other end into a grounded electrical outlet. Connect the included MagSafe power port into the MagSafe port on your MacBook, if you are using the display with a MacBook computer. Connect a USB cable to a free USB port on your computer if you intend to use the display's microphone, Web camera, speakers or USB ports. Connect the Mini DisplayPort cable to your computer. Turn on your computer.

LED Cinema Display -- 2008

  • The 2008 Cinema Display is designed for use as an external display for MacBook computers that have Mini DisplayPort ports. The necessary procedures to hook up the display are the same as those for the 2010 Cinema Display, except that Apple recommends doing them in a slightly different order.

    To hook up your 2008 Cinema Display, start by removing the protective film from the display and cables. Connect the power cable and plug it into a grounded outlet. Connect the Mini DisplayPort to your computer. Connect the USB cable to a free USB port on your computer. Plug the MagSafe power adapter into the MagSafe port on your computer to supply power to the computer, if you are using a MacBook. Press the power button on your computer to turn it on. The display turns on automatically.

Enabling Camera and Microphone

  • If your display is outfitted with a built-in camera or microphone or both, you must enable them before you can use them with your computer.

    To use your display's iSight camera and microphone with iChat, start by launching iChat. Click "iChat" on the menu bar and click "Preferences." Click the "Camera" pop-up menu and select "Display iSight." Click the "Microphone" pop-up and select "Display Audio."

    To enable your display's microphone for universal use on your computer, click the Apple icon in the menu bar, select "System Preferences" and then click "Sound." Click the "Input" tab and click "Display Audio" to enable the microphone.

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