How to Use a Mac Mini and iPad Together for Seamless Workflow

Using a Mac Mini and iPad together is a game-changer for productivity and versatility. Thanks to Apple’s ecosystem, the two devices can work seamlessly, allowing you to extend your workspace, control your Mac Mini remotely, or even use your iPad as a drawing tablet. In just a few steps, you can unlock a whole new level of functionality between your devices.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Use a Mac Mini and iPad Together

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to know that this tutorial will help you set up your iPad as a second screen for your Mac Mini. This is super useful for multitasking or just giving yourself more screen real estate.

Step 1: Check Compatibility

Make sure your Mac Mini and iPad are compatible with the Sidecar feature.

Both devices need to be updated to the latest operating systems, with the Mac Mini on macOS Catalina or later, and the iPad on iPadOS 13 or later. Additionally, the iPad should be a model that supports the Apple Pencil, as Sidecar leverages this technology.

Step 2: Connect to the Same Wi-Fi Network

Ensure both your Mac Mini and iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

This step is crucial because Sidecar works over Wi-Fi. A stable and strong connection ensures that your experience is smooth and without interruptions.

Step 3: Sign in to iCloud

Log into the same iCloud account on both your Mac Mini and iPad.

By signing into iCloud, your devices can recognize each other and communicate more efficiently. Ensure that your devices have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled and that Handoff is turned on in the General section of your Apple ID settings.

Step 4: Start Sidecar from the AirPlay Menu

On your Mac Mini, click on the AirPlay icon in the menu bar and select your iPad from the list.

Once you select your iPad, it should instantly turn into a second display for your Mac Mini. You can now drag windows and apps onto your iPad’s screen as if it were a regular monitor.

Step 5: Customize Your Settings

Adjust your display settings for Sidecar in the System Preferences menu.

You can decide if you want your Sidebar and Touch Bar to show on your iPad screen, which side you want your iPad to be on, and more. These settings help personalize the experience to better suit your workflow.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a powerful dual-screen setup that can help you be more productive or creative. Whether you’re editing video, writing code, or sketching out your next masterpiece, having the extra space and versatility of an iPad as a second screen is incredibly useful.

Tips on Using a Mac Mini and iPad Together

  • Keep your devices charged, or even better, plugged in while using them together to avoid any power-related interruptions.
  • Use a stand or case to prop up your iPad at a comfortable viewing angle.
  • Explore the use of Apple Pencil with Sidecar for tasks like drawing, note-taking, or even more precise clicks.
  • Remember that you can still use other iPad apps while using Sidecar—just swipe up to access your Dock and multitask as usual.
  • For the best performance, consider connecting your Mac Mini and iPad with a cable rather than using Wi-Fi.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any iPad with my Mac Mini?

Your iPad needs to support the Apple Pencil and be running iPadOS 13 or later to work with Sidecar.

Is Sidecar the only way to use my iPad with my Mac Mini?

While Sidecar is the built-in option, there are third-party apps like Duet Display that can also turn your iPad into a second screen for your Mac Mini.

Can I still use my iPad independently while it’s acting as a second screen?

Absolutely! You can swipe up to access the Dock and open other apps as usual.

What should I do if my iPad isn’t showing up in the AirPlay menu?

Make sure both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, signed into the same iCloud account, and have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled.

Will using Sidecar drain my iPad’s battery quickly?

Using Sidecar can use more battery than usual, so it’s a good idea to keep your iPad charged or plugged in while using it as a second screen.


  1. Ensure compatibility with Sidecar feature.
  2. Connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Sign in to iCloud on both devices.
  4. Start Sidecar from the Mac Mini’s AirPlay menu.
  5. Customize your settings in System Preferences.


Combining a Mac Mini and iPad can significantly enhance your computing experience. Whether for professional or personal use, this dynamic duo offers an unparalleled level of efficiency and flexibility. Sidecar, in particular, transforms your iPad into a fully functional second screen, providing extra workspace for whichever task is at hand.

Remember, though, this setup isn’t just about increasing screen size—it’s about making the most out of your devices. With the Apple Pencil, your iPad becomes a powerful tool for artists, designers, or anyone who can benefit from a touch interface. It’s about the synergy between macOS and iPadOS, and how they can complement each other to make your digital life more enjoyable and productive.

But why stop here? The possibilities are truly endless when you start exploring other functionalities like Universal Clipboard, where you can copy and paste between devices seamlessly, or using your iPad to remotely control your Mac Mini through apps like Screens.

So, don’t hesitate to dive in and see how using a Mac Mini and iPad together can revolutionize your workflow or simply make your tech life a bit more fun and convenient.

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