What is Thunderbolt Bridge and How Does it Work?

Thunderbolt is a high-speed interface technology developed by Intel and Apple that allows the connection of external peripherals to a computer. One of the features of Thunderbolt is Thunderbolt Bridge, which allows two Thunderbolt-enabled computers to be connected directly to each other to share peripherals, such as a keyboard, mouse, and display.

This is accomplished by creating a direct, high-speed connection between the two computers using a Thunderbolt cable. The computers essentially act as a single computer, with each computer able to access the peripherals connected to the other.

This allows for greater flexibility and convenience in working with multiple computers, as it eliminates the need for multiple peripherals for each computer.

What Is Thunderbolt Bridge? How to Setup Mac OS 

What is Thunderbolt Bridge and How Does it Work?

Thunderbolt Bridge is a feature of Thunderbolt technology that allows two Thunderbolt-enabled computers to be connected directly to each other using a Thunderbolt cable. 

This creates a direct, high-speed connection between the two computers, allowing them to share peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, and display. With Thunderbolt Bridge, each computer can access the peripherals connected to the other, eliminating the need for multiple peripherals for each computer. 

This feature can be used to share peripherals between a desktop and a laptop computer, for example, or for creating a more flexible and convenient workflow with multiple computers.

Basics of Thunderbolt Bridge

When it comes to connecting peripherals to your computer, you may have heard of Thunderbolt cables. These specialized cables offer lightning-fast transfer speeds and can connect a wide variety of devices to your computer, such as external hard drives, displays, and even other computers. 

But what makes Thunderbolt cables different from standard cables and how do you use them? In this guide, we’ll give you an in-depth look at Thunderbolt cables and how to get the most out of them.

First of all, it’s important to understand that Thunderbolt cables are not the same as standard USB or HDMI cables. Thunderbolt cables are able to transfer data much faster than those types of cables, with speeds of up to 40 Gbps.

This allows for the lightning-fast transfer of large files and smooth video playback. Another key difference is that Thunderbolt cables can daisy-chain multiple devices together, allowing you to connect multiple peripherals to your computer using just one Thunderbolt port.

When it comes to using Thunderbolt cables, it’s important to note that they are compatible only with devices that have a Thunderbolt port. So, before you go out and buy a Thunderbolt cable, make sure that the device you want to connect to your computer has a Thunderbolt port. 

Additionally, you’ll need to ensure that your computer has a Thunderbolt port as well, otherwise, the cable won’t work.

Lastly, Thunderbolt cables come in two different varieties: Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2. The main difference between the two is the speed at which they transfer data, with Thunderbolt 2 being slightly faster. But both types of cables will work with devices that have a Thunderbolt port.

In summary, Thunderbolt cables are an excellent choice if you’re looking to transfer large amounts of data quickly or connect multiple devices to your computer. They’re fast, versatile, and easy to use. And you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re getting the best connection available.

How do I Activate the Thunderbolt Bridge?

To activate the Thunderbolt Bridge on your Mac os, go to the System Preferences and click on Network Preference. Then, click on the “+” button at the bottom left and select “Thunderbolt Bridge” from the interface list. 

Once Thunderbolt Bridge is added, make sure it is selected as your preferred network interface. You can do this by clicking either the gear icon at the bottom of the Network Preferences window or by clicking on the “Advanced” button in the Thunderbolt Bridge interface configuration window.

From there, drag Thunderbolt Bridge to the top of the list of network interfaces. This will ensure that your Mac uses the Thunderbolt Bridge as its primary network interface. Now, you can start using Thunderbolt Bridge for transferring large files between two Macs without the need for Wi-Fi or a direct Ethernet connection.

How to use Thunderbolt Bridge to transfer files between two Macs?

 To use Thunderbolt Bridge to transfer files between two Macs, you will first need a Thunderbolt cable. Connect one end of the cable to one Mac and the other end to another Mac. Both Macs should be turned on and running.

On the Mac you want to transfer files from, go to “System Preferences,” then “Network,” and under “Thunderbolt Bridge” you should see the IP address listed. On the other Mac, go to “Finder” and under “Shared” you should see the name of the Mac to which you want to transfer files.

Tap or Click on it and enter the password if prompted. Now you can drag and drop files from one Mac to another. Another option is to use Target Disk Mode to transfer files between Macs. If your Mac doesn’t have a Thunderbolt port, you can use USB to transfer files.

Why won’t my Thunderbolt Connect to my Mac?

There could be a number of reasons why your Thunderbolt won’t connect to your Mac. Firstly, it is important to check whether you are using the correct cable. Thunderbolt cables are specially designed to transfer data between devices at high speeds, and not all cables are created equal.

If you are using a regular USB cable or an older Thunderbolt cable, this could be the reason why your devices won’t connect. Additionally, you may need to check your Mac’s settings to ensure that Thunderbolt connections are enabled.

You should also ensure that your Thunderbolt device is compatible with your Mac’s hardware and operating system. If all else fails, it may be worth contacting the manufacturer of both your Thunderbolt device and your Mac for further assistance.

How do I Connect Thunderbolt to USB?

Connecting Thunderbolt to USB is a simple process that requires either an adapter or a cable, depending on the devices involved. Thunderbolt ports are available on certain models of the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac. USB ports, on the other hand, are ubiquitous on Mac devices.

To establish a connection between the two, one can use a Thunderbolt to USB adapter, which is widely available at tech stores or online. Alternatively, if the Mac device has a USB-C port, one can use a Thunderbolt 3 to USB adapter.

Once the adapter is plugged in, users can then connect the USB device to the Thunderbolt port with a USB cable. Overall, connecting Thunderbolt to USB is a straightforward process that can be done in just a few simple steps.

How do I test my Macbook Pro Thunderbolt port?

To test your MacBook Pro Thunderbolt port, the quickest way is to connect a Thunderbolt device such as a docking station or an external hard drive that uses Thunderbolt technology.

Once you connect the device, check if it is recognized by your MacBook in the System Information window. To access the System Information window, click the Apple menu at the top left corner of the screen, then select About This Mac > System Report.

In the System Report, click on the Thunderbolt option in the sidebar and look for any connected Thunderbolt devices. If the Thunderbolt device is recognized, it means your Thunderbolt port is functioning correctly.

 Alternatively, you can also use a Thunderbolt-to-DisplayPort adapter to check if the Thunderbolt port can output video signals to an external display.

How do I Connect my MacBook to my iMac using Thunderbolt?

Connecting a MacBook to an iMac using Thunderbolt is a straightforward process. First, ensure that both devices have a Thunderbolt port, which is usually located on the backside of the iMac and on the side of the MacBook.

Next, get a Thunderbolt cable. These cables are specifically designed to transmit data and video signals between devices using Thunderbolt technology. Connect one end of the Thunderbolt cable to the Thunderbolt port on the MacBook and the other end to the iMac’s Thunderbolt port.

Once connected, your iMac should detect your MacBook and display the contents on its screen. This feature is called Target Display Mode, which allows you to use your iMac as an external display for your MacBook. Overall, connecting your MacBook to your iMac using a Thunderbolt cable is a quick, easy, and effective way to utilize both devices simultaneously.

How do I use Thunderbolt on Windows?

To use Thunderbolt on Windows, follow these easy steps.

Firstly, ensure that your computer system supports Thunderbolt’s latest version. Ensure that you have a Thunderbolt port on your Windows device, which is usually displayed with a lightning bolt icon. Connect your Thunderbolt device or cable to the appropriate port on your Windows computer.

You might require a Thunderbolt-to-USB type-C adapter if you do not possess a compatible Thunderbolt port. Install the Thunderbolt software or update to the latest version if you haven’t already from the manufacturer’s website.

Ensure your latest Thunderbolt device’s software is up-to-date, especially if you’re experiencing connectivity concerns. To make sure your Thunderbolt device is still working, examine your Device Manager to determine if your device is detected.

Finally, ensure you use a Thunderbolt-certified cable for maximum performance and data security.

What is the Thunderbolt port used for and its Benefits?

Thunderbolt Bridge is an advanced feature of Thunderbolt technology that allows you to connect two Thunderbolt-enabled computers directly to each other using a Thunderbolt cable. This creates a direct, high-speed connection between the two computers and enables them to share peripherals like a keyboard, mouse, and display.

One of the main benefits of Thunderbolt Bridge is the convenience it offers. By allowing you to share peripherals between multiple computers, it eliminates the need for multiple sets of peripherals for each computer, which can save you both time and money.

Additionally, Thunderbolt Bridge allows for greater flexibility in your workflow. You can use one computer for certain tasks and another for others, all while sharing the same peripherals. This can be especially useful if you’re using a desktop computer for heavy-duty work and a laptop for on-the-go tasks.

Furthermore, Thunderbolt Bridge uses the Thunderbolt protocol to connect the computers, which offers high-speed data transfer rates of up to 40 Gbps, making it ideal for working with large files or transferring large amounts of data quickly.

It’s also worth noting that Thunderbolt Bridge uses a Daisy-chain connection which allows you to connect multiple peripherals to one computer, and then connect the second computer to the first, without having to use multiple Thunderbolt ports.

Can you convert Thunderbolt to HDMI?

Yes, Thunderbolt can be converted to HDMI. Thunderbolt ports often come with the capability to output video, and with the help of an adapter, you can easily convert this video output into HDMI. Thunderbolt to HDMI adapters is readily available in electronics stores or online.

These adapters provide an easy, convenient, and reliable way to connect your Thunderbolt-enabled device to HDMI display devices like monitors, TVs, and projectors.

Simply plug the adapter into your Thunderbolt port and then connect the HDMI cable to the adapter, and your video output should then be displayed on your HDMI device. However, be sure to check for compatibility between your Thunderbolt device and the adapter before making your purchase.

How do I activate a Thunderbolt bridge on a Mac?

To activate a Thunderbolt bridge on a Mac, follow these quick and easy steps. Begin by connecting two Mac computers that you want to link together using a Thunderbolt cable.

Once you have connected the Macs, navigate to the “System Preferences” menu on both machines. Then, click the “Network” icon and select the Thunderbolt Bridge option on each Mac. Hit the “Create Bridge” button on one of the Mac computers to activate the Thunderbolt bridge.

Once the bridge is established, you can share data, files, and network connections seamlessly between the two systems. The Thunderbolt bridge offers fast and reliable connectivity, making it a valuable tool for users who need to transfer large amounts of data or stream high-resolution media across multiple devices.

Why won’t my Thunderbolt bridge connect?

There are several reasons why your Thunderbolt bridge may not be connecting.

One possibility is that the Thunderbolt ports on either device may be damaged or faulty. It is also possible that the cable you are using to bridge the two devices may be defective, so it is worth trying a different cable to see if that resolves the issue.

Another reason could be a software issue or compatibility problem. Ensure that both devices are running the latest software updates and are compatible with each other. Additionally, check that the settings on both devices are configured correctly to allow for Thunderbolt connections.

If all else fails, it may be necessary to seek technical support or consult the user manual for additional troubleshooting steps.

How do I Set up my Thunderbolt Bridge?

Creating a Thunderbolt Bridge between two computers is a relatively straightforward process, but there are a few steps you’ll need to follow to ensure that everything is set up correctly. Here’s a detailed guide on how to form a Thunderbolt Bridge:

Step 1: Check prerequisites: Before you start, make sure that both of the computers that you want to connect using Thunderbolt Bridge have Thunderbolt ports and are running compatible operating systems. Additionally, you’ll need a Thunderbolt cable to connect the computers.

Step 2: Connect the Thunderbolt cable: Plug one end of the Thunderbolt cable into the Thunderbolt port on the first computer, and the other end into the Thunderbolt port on the second computer.

Step 3: Configure the computers: On both computers, you will need to configure the Thunderbolt port to allow for Thunderbolt Bridge. This may include adjusting security settings and configuring the computers’ Thunderbolt ports in a specific way. Please check your computer’s manual or consult with a professional IT technician for more detailed instructions.

Step 4: Connect the peripherals: Connect the keyboard, mouse, and monitor (if using one) to the computer that will be sharing them.

Step 5: Verify that the Bridge is formed: Once everything is connected and configured, you should see the peripherals connected to the first computer appear on the second computer as well. You should now be able to use the peripherals to control both computers as if they were one.

It’s worth noting that for your peripherals to be shared, the first computer must be turned on and running.

In summary, forming a Thunderbolt Bridge is a simple process that allows you to connect two computers directly to each other and share peripherals like a keyboard, mouse, and display. 

By connecting the computers with a Thunderbolt cable, configuring them, connecting peripherals, and verifying that the bridge is formed, you will be able to use the peripherals to control both computers as if they were one.

Does Apple still use Thunderbolt?

Yes, Apple still uses Thunderbolt in their latest products. Thunderbolt is a high-speed data transfer and display interface technology that allows users to connect their devices to high-resolution displays, storage devices, and other peripherals.

Apple first introduced Thunderbolt in 2011 and has since incorporated it into most of its products, including MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac mini. In 2019, Apple announced the integration of Thunderbolt 3 in their latest MacBook Pro models, which offers faster transfer speeds and supports a 5K display.

Thunderbolt technology has become a crucial feature for Apple users who require fast data transfer and reliable connectivity, and it is not expected to be phased out anytime soon.

Thunderbolt bridge network interface guide

Thunderbolt Bridge is a network interface that connects two Mac computers directly via a Thunderbolt cable. This network interface is especially useful when transferring files or sharing resources between two Macs. Setting up a Thunderbolt Bridge network interface is relatively easy.

First, connect the two Macs using a Thunderbolt cable. Then, open the System Preferences on both computers and navigate to the Network section. Click the ‘+’ button to add a new network interface and select Thunderbolt Bridge from the list of available options.

After this, both Macs should be able to see each other in the network and users can transfer files or share resources using standard protocols like SMB or FTP. Thunderbolt Bridge offers a high-speed and convenient way to transfer large files or share resources without the need for additional networking hardware.


In conclusion, Thunderbolt Bridge is an advanced feature of Thunderbolt technology that offers many benefits, including convenience, flexibility, high-speed data transfer rate, and Daisy-chaining capability.

By following the steps to set up a Thunderbolt Bridge, you’ll be able to share peripherals between multiple computers and enjoy a more streamlined and efficient workflow.

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