This tip is intended for those who either have, or are considering buying a Mac Mini since it does not take up much space and don't wish to use a screen because you're a Voiceover user who don't need a screen. I have created this tip because Apple's support article does not (yet) explain a solution that works. However, I know that they are going to investigate this issue.
Can you use a MacMini without a screen?
Yes, you can. However, if you do not perform the following steps it may result in random issues, such as: Navigating websites is slow, and in some websites will Voiceover often say: busy, busy, busy when typing text. When you write in TextEdit, the above also occur even if you only write a few lines of text. When the computer restarts VoiceOver does not start automatically. When the computer restarts the checkbox "Use all keys F1, F2, etc. as standard function keys" becomes unchecked. I have also heard that the Finder can be very slow to work with. However, I could not provoke the problem myself. But, Skype was very very slow on my machine. In fact I would say it was unusable. I couldn't navigate to my contacts and it took my 5 seconds to get a call answered. Please note: The issues mentioned here may not be what you get with a Mac mini. So if you know some other issues please let me know.
Is there a solution?
Yes, there is a solution. This requires two components. You will need the following: First A VGA adapter that you can buy when you order your Mac. Second A VGA to RCA box if you live in Europe. Please note: If you live in the United States, it is a VGA to NTSC box you need. The VGA to NTSC or RCA adapter is not easy to get. I have unfortunately no specific model number or a specific manufacturer to recommend, but may instead recommend that you contact a typical electronics business if you are in doubt. I nearly bought a total wrong adapter when I tried doing a search for it online, therefor this advice.
Here's how to do when you have the items mentioned above: First Turn off your Mac. Second Connect your VGA adapter with VGA to NTSC or VGA to RCA box, depending on where you reside. 3rd Connect the box to your Mac via the Thunderbolt port with the VGA'S adapter where the box is connected to. 4th Start your Mac and open the system preferences and open: screen. To the right of the two tabs you should hear VoiceOver say: Image, you now have a MacMini which should be fully functional. I hope this tip was useful for some of you. Any feedback is welcome.
Read John Panarese's post "Adventures with my Mac Mini"
U.S. Mac Mini users can buy an adapter that performs similar function. For a description and specific model of a device, read John Panarese's article, "Adventures with My Mac Mini" at his Mac for the Blind web site:
You wrote: "Yes, there is a solution. This requires two components. You will need the following:First A VGA adapter that you can buy when you order your Mac.Second A VGA to RCA box if you live in Europe.Please note: If you live in the United States, it is a VGA to NTSC box you need.The VGA to NTSC or RCA adapter is not easy to get. I have unfortunately no specific model number or a specific manufacturer to recommend, but may instead recommend that you contact a typical electronics business if you are in doubt. I nearly bought a total wrong adapter when I tried doing a search for it online, therefor this advice." The specific model John used was given in this link, based on information supplied by Chris Blouch in August 2011:http://sewelldirect.com/pc-to-tv.asp This was Sewell TVdeck PC to TV Converter (VGA to Composite)Sewell Part #: SW-23000 Mfg Part #: SW-23000 It lists for $29.95, and is currently in stodk. The Sewell site also lists a Sewell PC to TV Converter (VGA to RCA), but I don't know whether this works for European systems. I'm not a Mac Mini user myself.
Reply to #1
<p>I came across a product called the Fit-Headless while researching workarounds for this very problem. It's a very small adapter which plugs into the HDMI port of the mini or any other computer you'd like to run without a display. I ordered one last week and it arrived yesterday. I'll report back when I've taken it for a spin, my mini should be here in the next few days. You can find more information about it at http://www.fit-pc.com/web/products/fit-headless/</p>
in regards to using your Mac Mini without a monitor or screen
I know of the device that was mentioned in the previous comment that was posted a while back and thought I would share my experience with this said product.
the fit headless is an HDMI dongle made by a company called compu labs and they have two different models available, The fit headless, and the fit headless 4K.
Both of them can be purchased via amazon.
Price wise, I believe the last time I checked, the fit headless was about $8 and the fit headless 4K, I'm not sure.
The fit headless works as a good pseudo monitor if you do not wish to search around for extra components to complete this task.
Credit goes to the original creator of this guide, I just thought I would put that info out there just in case anyone was interested in other ways you could use your Mac Mini without a monitor because I had the same issue back in 2015 when I purchased my Mini.
is this still an issue with the new mac minis?
HI. i am wondering if this is still an issue with the new mac minis? I heard years ago that this issue with the computer not running correctly without a display was resolved? If an adaptor is still needed, can anyone suggest one for Australia?
No. They no longer need a dongle to spoof a HDMI. You will need
No. They no longer need a dongle to spoof a HDMI. You will need a wired mouse and keyboard though. Why we need a mouse, I don't know, but this was an issue when I was trying to set one up.
2018 Mac Mini experience
I use a 2018 Mac Mini with a monitor that is normally turned off. Between the mac Mini and the monitor, I have a VGA switch box that allows me to share the monitor, keyboard, and mouse between multiple computers. The VGA switch box acts like a dumb monitor so that all computers behave as if they are connected to a monitor, regardless of which computer is actively using it.
This works well, with one exception. Anytime I reboot my Mac Mini, I need to turn my monitor on first. If I fail to do this, or if I reboot while the switch box is switched over to another computer, the Mac Mini picks up the dumb terminal setting from the switch box and reduces the desktop resolution to 800x600. This might not be a problem for some users, but I like a full resolution desktop for those times when I want to show something to a sighted friend.
This is a long way of saying, @Maria, if you have an old VGA switch box sitting around gathering dust, you might be able to use it to address this issue.
I have a mac mini 2022 and also a 2023 mac mini: here's my gake
I have a 2022 and a 2023 mac mini. I use the fit headless dummy monitorso, and knock on wood, everything's been good with both of them. I got my 2022, well I guess it's a 2021 mac mini, I got it for Christmas in 2021, lol. Anyway, I liked my 2021 mac mini with the fit headless so much, I got a 2023 mac mini. One thing I noticed, for initial setup, you have to plug an HDMI monitor into it, I unplugged the HDMI from my cable box and plugged it into my mac mini, so my TV served as my monitor, just for the setup though. It wouldn't go without it, even with the wired keyboard. I will say I didn't need a mouse of any kind though.
Yes, you're quite right. I…
Yes, you're quite right. I did set mine up with it plugged into a TV, then no dongle or anything is needed. Interesting re the mouse, I wonder if that is an update. I had to purchase a cheap one which I've obviously never used since.