Connecting Devices Requiring Video Adapters

Identifying the connector on your Device

Apple has a very diverse range of products and adapters being used by these devices. The easiest way to start finding the right adapter for your device is simply to explore it. Ports for connectivity are usually located on the sides of the device (MacBook) or the bottom edge of the device (iPad or iPhone). Microsoft Surface Pro devices typically have these on the side.

Mini DisplayPort

Used on older MacBook devices. Also present on Microsoft Surface Pro devices.

Thunderbolt v1 or v2 (same connector)

Used on more recent MacBook devices.

Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C

Used on the most recent MacBook devices and iPhones. Starting to be used on some smaller form-factor PC laptops as well. For more information on the video output capabilities of certain USB-C connectors, see this article.


Used on some older iPhones and iPads. (Note the difference from USB-C. Lightning does not have any circuitry in the middle of the connector.)

Identifying the connector needed by the A/V system

HDMI is the preferred connector for A/V systems. Please see this article for information on spaces equipped with HDMI.

If the system is not equipped with HDMI, you must use a VGA connector. If audio is desired with a VGA connection, you must also connect the 3.5mm audio cable to your headphone jack.

Which adapter to use?

  HDMI (recommended) VGA (not recommended)
Mini Displayport Mini Displayport to HDMI Mini Displayport to VGA
Thunderbolt 1 or 2 Mini Displayport to HDMI Mini Displayport to VGA
Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C USB-C to HDMI USB-C to VGA
Lightning Lightning to HDMI Lightning to VGA



Article ID: 48251
Mon 2/12/18 9:10 AM
Wed 6/28/23 10:18 AM

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