Apple Vision Pro Virtual Display works with Intel Macs, but is limited to 3K resolution

by Joe Rossignol

Apple's new Vision Pro headset can serve as an external display for your Mac, allowing you to view and control your computer in a VisionOS window. This feature is even compatible with some older Intel-based Macs, but with one limitation.

In a new support document, Apple has confirmed that Mac Vision Pro's virtual display feature is compatible with any Mac running macOS Sonoma. If your Mac has an Apple silicon chip installed, the headset can display up to 4K resolution. However, if your Mac has an Intel processor, Apple says resolution is limited to 3K.

macOS Sonoma is compatible with the following Macs:

  • MacBook Pro: 2018 and up.
  • MacBook Air: 2018 and up.
  • Mac mini: 2018 and up
  • iMac: 2019 and up
  • iMac Pro: 2017
  • Mac Studio:2022 and up.
  • Mac Pro:2019 and up.

To use this feature, Vision Pro and Mac must be signed in to the same Apple ID and two-factor authentication must be enabled on the account. In addition, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be turned on on both devices to establish a connection.

If you look at a MacBook while wearing the Vision Pro, there will be a Connect button above it. For desktop Macs, or if the button is not visible, Mac Virtual Display can also be enabled in Vision Pro Control Center.

You can move your Mac's Virtual Display by pinching and dragging the bottom pane of the window, and bring it closer or further away . You can also resize the window by pinching and dragging the window bars that appear in the bottom corners.

If you have multiple external displays connected to your Mac, Vision Pro displays only the one set as the primary display. in your Mac's System Preferences app.

You can use your Mac's built-in keyboard and trackpad, or a paired Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad, to control your Mac's Virtual Display and other VisionOS apps. However, according to Apple, Vision Pro cannot be used with a Bluetooth mouse.

Apple's instructions for enabling Universal Control:

If you want to share a pointer between macOS and VisionOS apps, Handoff must be enabled on both devices. In Apple Vision Pro, go to Settings > General > Transfer. On a Mac, go to System Preferences > General > AirDrop and Handoff.

On a Mac, you'll also need to turn on “Allow your pointer and keyboard to move between any nearby Macs or iPads.” Go to System Settings > Displays, then click Advanced.

A few more details provided by Apple:

  • Mac Virtual Display not working when your Vision Pro is in guest mode.
  • Mac Virtual Display does not support managed Apple IDs.
  • Device must be within 10 meters (32 feet) to maintain a connection from each other.
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For more information about Mac Virtual Display, see the Apple Vision Pro User Guide.

Related reviews: Apple Vision Pro, VisionOS Guide for buyer: Vision Pro (buy now) Forum on topic: Apple Vision Pro[ 63 comments ]

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