How to connect Xbox to Mac with HDMI (Solved!)

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A commonly asked question is, “How to connect Xbox to Mac with HDMI.”

As somebody who wanted to use their Mac laptop as an external monitor for their Xbox, I went down the rabbit hole and got the answer for you!

Although it would be great if you could connect your Xbox to your Mac with HDMI, unfortunately, it is not as easy.

You cannot use the monitor of a Macbook Air or Macbook Pro to connect to your Xbox with HDMI.

Some other solutions, such as third-party software and the Xbox cloud gaming platform, can bring Xbox gaming to your Mac!

Please see: Using my Mac Laptop as an external Monitor (Via Casting) and Cloud Gaming (Beta) on Macbook.

Can you connect Xbox to iMac via HDMI?

You can use your iMac as an external monitor for your Xbox console through an HDMI connection.

How to connect Xbox to iMac with HDMI?

If you want to use your iMac as an external monitor for your Xbox, you will need a mini-display-to-HDMI adapter. You can pick these up from Amazon for a reasonable price.

Mini Display to HDMI adpater
Mini Display to HDMI Adapter

Step 1: Connect the Mini Display to the back of your iMac

Step 2: Connect the HDMI cable from your Xbox to the adapter HDMI slot

Step 3: Once everything is connected, press COMMAND + F2 on your iMac to choose the Xbox as the desired screen output

This is a straightforward process however, the method may differ slightly between iMac models. Some iMac models require an adapter box, such as the Elgato HD60 S.

Elgato Hd60 s+
Image Source: Elgato

This process of using a third-party adapter box is covered in the video below.

How to connect Xbox to MacBook

As mentioned above, although you can’t use your laptop screen as the external monitor via HDMI, there are other solutions.

You can’t connect your Xbox to a MacBook because the HDMI from your laptop is for outputs only.

It does not support an incoming signal via HDMI.

Related reading: How to get your Xbox clips on your Mac

How to play Xbox on Mac

Despite the limitation of the Macbook display regarding connectivity with your Xbox console, there are several ways in which you can play Xbox on your Mac.

Option 1: Use Cloud Gaming to play on your MacBook

If you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription, you can play select titles on your laptop’s internet browser.

How do I use Cloud Gaming on Macbook?

Head to the Xbox Cloud Gaming site and log in using your Xbox / Microsoft login credentials.

Xcloud on Mac
Cloud Gaming screenshot on a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina

Once logged in, you will see a list of games compatible with the Cloud Gaming software.

I highly recommend using Microsoft Canary Edge as your internet browser for Cloud Gaming on a MacBook. I have found that this setup offers the best performance and stability over Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

I find Cloud Gaming better for single-player experiences as I get intermittent lag, making multiplayer and sports games too challenging to play competitively.

Cloud Gaming Pros:

  • Easy Setup
  • Ever improving

Cloud Gaming Cons:

  • You will still experience input lag at times
  • The video quality is poor

Although steaming games online will likely never be as sharp and responsive as gaming on a console in your home, there are ways to reduce Xbox cloud gaming lag.

Option 2: Use OneCast to use your MacBook as an external monitor for Xbox

I’ve used this option for a while, especially if your usual Xbox TV is shared with the family.

Using your MacBook monitor, you can fire up your MacBook and game on your Xbox.

What is OneCast?

OneCast Xbox to Mac
OneCast Website

Want to stream to your Mac from your Xbox? OneCast is another solution that can help you achieve this.

I have used this personally, and it works exactly as advertised but with some caveats.

As you are casting directly from your Xbox to your Mac, your Xbox remains the primary device, and you will need a wireless Xbox controller if you plan to be some distance from your Xbox console.

If gaming in another room, ensure your Xbox console’s wireless signal can reach your controller.

OneCast Pros:

  • Easy setup
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Access to your full game library

OneCast Cons:

  • You need to be near your Xbox console

Future Xbox and Mac connectivity

Microsoft announced on March 14th, 2023, that they plan to expand functionality beyond the current web browser connectivity available to Mac users.

I hope that Microsoft will bring a native Xbox gaming app to Mac.

Other recent news reports also suggest they considering bringing gaming to iOS through the mac store.

This is excellent news for those wanting to play Xbox games on their Apple Mac devices.

Post Updates

This post was updated on March 24th, 2023, to give more context about the Microsoft announcement that suggests better connectivity for Xbox gaming on the Mac Platform.


Connecting your Xbox to an HDMI of a Mac is only viable for iMac devices.

You can use third-party services to achieve the same results to enjoy Xbox gaming on your Mac computer.

We hope that this article helps you achieve Xbox gaming on your device.

Happy gaming!

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