How to Use iPad as Second Screen: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Using your iPad as a second screen can be a game-changer for productivity and multitasking. It’s a simple process that involves a feature called Sidecar if you have an Apple device, or third-party apps if you use other systems. Essentially, you’ll connect your iPad to your main computer, and voila, you have more screen space!

How to Use iPad as Second Screen

In this section, you’ll learn how to extend your desktop to an iPad, effectively turning it into a second monitor. This can help you manage multiple applications at once, improving workflow and efficiency.

Step 1: Ensure Compatibility

First, make sure both your devices are compatible.

Your Mac should be running macOS Catalina or later, and your iPad should be on iPadOS 13 or later. Compatibility is crucial for a seamless experience.

Step 2: Connect Your Devices

Next, connect your devices via USB-C or wirelessly.

For a wired connection, use a USB-C or Lightning cable. For wireless, ensure both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network.

Step 3: Enable Sidecar

On your Mac, go to System Preferences and select Display, followed by Sidecar.

This setting allows you to manage your iPad as an additional display.

Step 4: Choose Your Display Settings

In the Sidecar menu, configure display settings like ‘Use as a separate display’ or ‘Mirror display’.

These options let you choose how you want your screen to appear on your iPad.

Step 5: Drag and Drop

Drag windows or apps to your iPad screen to start using it as a second monitor.

You can now enjoy the extra screen real estate for multitasking and better productivity.

After completing these steps, your iPad will function as an extended screen. You can drag your mouse across both screens, open applications, and even use the touchscreen features on your iPad for a more interactive experience.

Tips for Using iPad as Second Screen

  • Check for Updates: Always ensure your devices are running the latest software for compatibility and security.
  • Battery Life: If you’re using a wireless connection, keep an eye on your iPad’s battery life to avoid interruptions.
  • Optimize Display Settings: Customize the display settings to fit your workflow for maximum efficiency.
  • Use Touch Features: Take advantage of your iPad’s touch capabilities for a more interactive experience.
  • Third-Party Apps: If Sidecar isn’t available, apps like Duet Display or Luna Display can also turn your iPad into a second screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my iPad as a second screen with a Windows PC?

Yes, with third-party apps like Duet Display, you can extend your screen to an iPad even if you’re using a Windows PC.

Is there a lag when using the iPad as a second screen wirelessly?

There might be a slight lag depending on your Wi-Fi network’s strength and speed, but it’s generally minimal.

Do I need an Apple Pencil to use Sidecar?

No, an Apple Pencil is not required, but it can enhance your experience, especially for drawing or design work.

Can I use my iPad as a second screen while charging it?

Absolutely! You can use a USB-C or Lightning cable to connect your iPad to your computer, which will also charge it.

What resolution will my iPad display when used as a second screen?

The resolution will depend on your iPad model and settings, but generally, it will be high enough for most tasks.


  1. Ensure compatibility.
  2. Connect your devices.
  3. Enable Sidecar.
  4. Choose your display settings.
  5. Drag and drop windows.


Using your iPad as a second screen is a fantastic way to boost your productivity and get more done. Whether you’re working on a big project, managing multiple applications, or just need some extra screen space, this setup can make your life a lot easier.

If you’re new to this, start with Sidecar if you have Apple devices. It’s built-in and straightforward to use. If you’re on a different system, don’t worry, there are plenty of apps out there that can help you achieve the same result.

For further reading, you might want to check out Apple’s official documentation on Sidecar or explore third-party options like Duet Display. Don’t hesitate to experiment with the settings to find what works best for you.

So, go ahead, give it a try, and watch your productivity soar!

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