How to Sidecar iPad: A Comprehensive Guide to Extending Your Mac Display

If you’re looking to extend your Mac’s screen real estate, you can use your iPad as a second monitor with Apple’s Sidecar feature. It’s super helpful for multitasking, whether you’re working on a complex project or just want more screen space. Here’s a quick guide to get you started:

Sidecar lets you turn your iPad into a second display for your Mac. To set it up, you’ll need to ensure both devices are compatible and connected to the same Apple ID. Then, you can easily enable Sidecar through the AirPlay menu on your Mac.

How to Sidecar iPad

Sidecar can greatly improve your workflow by giving you more screen space. Follow these steps to set it up:

Step 1: Check Compatibility

Make sure both your Mac and iPad support Sidecar.

Macs need to be running macOS Catalina or later, while iPads need to be on iPadOS 13 or later. Also, ensure both devices are signed in to the same Apple ID.

Step 2: Connect to the Same Network

Ensure both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

This is crucial for a smooth Sidecar experience, as it allows your devices to communicate seamlessly.

Step 3: Enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both devices.

Sidecar relies on these connections to establish the display link between your Mac and iPad.

Step 4: Open System Preferences on Mac

Go to the Apple menu and open System Preferences.

Here, you’ll find the Sidecar settings as well as other display options to adjust according to your needs.

Step 5: Select Sidecar

In System Preferences, click on Displays and then select Sidecar.

This will bring up the options to connect your iPad as a secondary display.

Step 6: Choose Your iPad

Select your iPad from the list of available devices.

Your Mac will search for nearby iPads. Once it appears, click on it to start the connection.

Step 7: Adjust Sidecar Settings

Customize the Sidecar settings to your liking.

You can choose where to position the iPad relative to your Mac and whether to use the Apple Pencil for input.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your iPad should now be functioning as a second display. You can drag windows and apps across your screens, making multitasking a breeze.

Tips for Using Sidecar on iPad

  • Keep both devices updated: Ensure that your Mac and iPad are running the latest software for the best performance.
  • Use a wired connection: For a more stable experience, consider connecting your iPad to your Mac using a USB-C or Lightning cable.
  • Optimize screen brightness: Adjust the brightness on both screens to reduce eye strain during long work sessions.
  • Utilize the Apple Pencil: Use your Apple Pencil for precision tasks like drawing or editing, which can make your workflow more efficient.
  • Explore additional features: Sidecar includes extra features like Touch Bar and Sidebar, which can add shortcuts to your workflow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sidecar available on all Macs and iPads?

Not all models support Sidecar. Check Apple’s website for a list of compatible devices.

Can I use Sidecar without Wi-Fi?

While it’s recommended to use Wi-Fi, you can use a USB connection for a more stable link.

Does Sidecar support touch input?

No, the iPad’s touch screen won’t control your Mac, but you can use the Apple Pencil for input.

Can I connect multiple iPads to one Mac using Sidecar?

No, you can only connect one iPad to a Mac at a time using Sidecar.

Is Sidecar available on Windows or Android devices?

No, Sidecar is an Apple-exclusive feature and does not support Windows or Android devices.


  1. Check Compatibility
  2. Connect to the Same Network
  3. Enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  4. Open System Preferences
  5. Select Sidecar
  6. Choose Your iPad
  7. Adjust Sidecar Settings


Using Sidecar to turn your iPad into a second display can revolutionize how you work. It’s like giving your productivity a shot of espresso. By following these steps, you can easily extend your workspace.

Remember to keep both devices updated and explore all the features that Sidecar offers, like the Touch Bar and Sidebar, to make the most out of this feature. Don’t forget to use your Apple Pencil for those intricate tasks.

If you’re looking for more ways to optimize your workflow, you might want to explore Apple’s other continuity features, like Handoff and Universal Clipboard. These tools can further streamline your multitasking, making you a productivity powerhouse.

So go ahead, give Sidecar a try, and see how it can transform your daily tasks!

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