A step-by-step guide to the right method of connecting a USB-C MacBook and an Apple Display


connecting a USB-C MacBook and an Apple Display

A few weeks ago I received an inquiry about the possibility of somehow connecting Apple LED Cinema Display with the USB-C port on Apple’s laptops. I myself would broaden this issue even further to bring to light the issue about the Thunderbolt Monitor, too. I wanted to reply to this question to check if a cable was to be anticipated from Apple or other intermediaries (potentially foreign ones). However, nothing has come out yet.

(When talking about cables, I am going to use the following abbreviations to make life simpler (both yours and mine):

Female=F and Male=M;

DisplayPort= DP)

DP data may be transported across the port via USB-C. This would be achievable if the market was large enough for pushing producers to act quickly. I discovered a USB-C to Mini DP adapter which costs $35. I had no opportunity to test it just yet, why is why I am not connecting it. The connector is intended to be just for video, meaning that no different USB accessories, which import data, may be linked to Apple’s laptops once they are turned on. However, the same item is sold on the market but it is called differently at every shop.

macbook usb-c


A few DP and HDMI cables exist. However, all of them need a display with a plug for adapters. Monitors offered by Apple have 2 cables: a Thunderbolt cable and a hard-wired Mini DP.

A group of all the accessories below may be a quick fix to help in this situation (the price for each item is included in brackets):

Apple’s USB-C Digital AV Multiport Charger  ($79)

A DP-to-HDMI wire ($6)

StarTech’s F Mini DP to M DP charger ($4.50)

A F-F DP connector ($13.50)

We have thought of a possible key to the puzzle: purchasing a Mini Display adapter. Monoprice produces a F-to-F Mini DP coupler compatible with chain cables. However, we have found that on a constant basis it gains discouraging reviews and bad criticism, since it turns out to only work with the 1.0 standard. This is rather odd due to the existence of the newer, more updated 1.2 standard (that is needed for more modern monitors) , which is spread pretty much everywhere worldwide.

macbook usb-c connector

I own no Apple monitors, so I did not check this. I cannot say with 100% confidence that it will progress and proceed through without deformities. However, perhaps the DP data obtained from the Apple monitor would just travel via a few cables without influential distortion.

You would need to insert the display cable into the StarTech adapter. The coupler would shift its gender and let the M-to-M DP-to-HDMI cable to function properly. The HDMI M end would be connected with Apple’s adapter.

If you wish, you may use Cable Matters’ F DP to M HDMI adapter (costing $14) instead of the F-to-F coupler and DP-to-HDMI. However, this is very likely to evoke transformation of signals and reduce chances of a lucky accomplishment in this procedure.

Certainly, everybody is expecting the launch of Thunderbolt 3 in the near future, which will easily perform its function via USB-C. The yet unreleased but upcoming MacBooks will possibly do their job with a USB-C to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. Otherwise, the company should also upgrade its monitors to enable various ways of connections by doing so.

  1. Reply Alicia A. 27.11.2016 at 15:09

    To tell the truth i had to read this article twice (sometimes being a blonde is tough lol). But still i think i`d rather ask my brother to perform all the manipulations as there`re no chances i could ever do it myself. So all i need to do is to show him this guidance and ask for help. But, unfortunately, i will have to pay for the accessories myself lol Well, we will see what we can do.

  2. Reply perfect_stranger 03.12.2016 at 15:07

    It looks like it`s pretty easy to do, I just need to find a cable, i think i have it somewhere… Or in case i lost it i would have to order a new one. But that`s not a big problem.
    One way or another, i`m glad i`ll be able to do it myself just following your advice. Thanks to your articles i feel more confident when it comes to dealing with all sorts of devices. That`s a good thing! 🙂

  3. Reply Blondy 22.12.2016 at 15:12

    I read this article by 2 times and realized that it isn’t very difficult! You just need to choose the right adapter to your wire. But globally, USB-C – it’s a huge mess! Absolutely not every cable USB-C, port, device and its power will be compatible with each other, and we have to learn and to purchase a variety of combinations to the device for its work together properly. Furthermore, that USB-C cables have varied compatibility, also its have different quality from each company that produces this cables.
    Thank you for the step-by-step, I understood how to work with different types of devices, because wrong cable may damage the device!

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