Mac and Windows-friendly home docking solutions


I am looking for options on how to best setup a home office with peripherals (esp monitors and a wired keyboard*) that will make switching from a Windows laptop to a Macbook and/or iMac a breeze.

There is intent to purchase a new iMac in the near future, so would use it as an extended monitor for both my Macbook and Windows machine. I want to minimise cable clutter as much as possible. And have a second monitor (so iMac + standalone monitor = 2 in total). I’ll likely get the standalone monitor before the new iMac.

I think any solution would necessitate something like these docking stations or similar.

Are there other considerations I need to take into account? Is what I’m proposing feasible? Has anyone already set themselves up with something similar (if so, some links to products you’ve used and/or a pic of your setup would be awesome)?

*I say wired as it seems to me the KB would be plugged into a device that is shared between the Macbook and Windows lappy. I’m happy to work with multiple mice - one per machine. Unless there’s a smarter way?


You cannot use a new iMac as an external monitor anymore…


I just use a MacBook Pro with Windows 10 in Parallels. Windows runs on the external monitor, MacOS on the MBP display. No need to run a Windows and Mac device separately anymore.


Really? That sucks. Which model was that restriction introduced with?


Parallels is not an option for me, unfortunately, given i have a work-issued Windows machine and use Macs for personal use.


Since late 2014, with the introduction of the Retina 5k iMacs and also the 4k iMacs.


I would have thought that a regular USB-C docking station would work fine for modern Mac and Windows machines with USB-C ports.


Yeah, that seems to be the option.

Obviously need to revise my expectations now that it’s been clarified that more recent iMacs can’t be used as a secondary monitor, as I had first thought.

Thanks guys. I’ll find a suitable docking station solution with USB-C.


Would a simple KVM do what you want? Although I will say that they really get up in price if you want anything other than VGA :open_mouth:

…also my Macs have historically not played all that well with KVM’s…

Maybe just a USB based dock would be best :stuck_out_tongue:


Back in the day I used to have L shaped corner desk with one monitor/dock on one side for the Windows stuff and another on the other side for Mac. Sometimes the old ways are the best.


I ended up buying this Kensington docking station. Seems to suite my needs for the most part and will be fine once I buy a USB-C capable MBP instead of a high-end iMac.