iMac: Infrared Communications

Does iMac support infrared communications? How does it work?
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Note: The infrared port was removed from the iMac beginning with the multi-colored versions introduced in January, 1999.

The iMac does support infrared communications via the Infrared (or IR) transmitter/receiver located behind a dark plastic cover next to the left speaker.

The infrared lens transmits infrared light in a 30-degree radius, pointing outward from the computer. The recommended minimum distance between devices is 1 meter.

The iMac transmits files using the IrDA protocol, which transmits data up to 4 megabits per second and is capable of using AppleTalk and TCP/IP protocols. The iMac infrared port is compatible with some PowerBook computers including the PowerBook 2400, 3400, G3 and PowerBook G3 Series computers. Other infrared capable Apple products are not compatible because they use a different infrared lens and transmitter.

For infrared to function properly with the iMac, the following items must be installed:

- Infrared Control Panel
- IrDALib Extension
- IrLanScanner/PPC Extension

Infrared Control Panel
The Infrared Control Panel provides information about an active Infrared connection as well as infrared type.

Note: The Infrared Control Panel will not open if one of the following conditions occur:

-IrDALib Extension, InLanScanner/PPC Extension, or Infrared Control Panel are missing, disabled, or corrupted
-The Infrared controller board is defective
-The iMac does not recognize the controller board

Additional information on IrDA compatibility can be found in the following Knowledge Base article:
Article 20928: Macintosh Infrared: Is It IrDA Compatible?
Published Date: Feb 20, 2012