How to Use Your iPad as a Second Display for Your iMac

With macOS Catalina, Apple’s sixteenth major release of its desktop operating system, came an exciting new feature - Apple Sidecar. Sidecar allows you to use your iPad as an additional screen to either extend or mirror your Mac desktop - perfect for the coffee shop worker in need of convenience and portability, or for the artistic Adobe user wanting to create on the go.

True to Apple fashion, Sidecar is straightforward and easy to set up. Read on to learn how:

System requirements

You will need a Mac with macOS Catalina or later, and an iPad with iOS 13 or later.

Here are the iPads that you can use with Sidecar:

  • iPad pro: all models
  • iPad: 6th generation and later
  • iPad mini: 5th generation
  • iPad Air: 3rd generation

Here are the Macs that support Sidecar:

  • Macbook (2016 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2018 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
  • Mac mini (2018 or later)
  • iMac (late 2015 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or later)
  • Mac Pro (2019 or later)

Refer to Apple’s Sidecar system requirements for more details.

Additional requirements:

  • Make sure you are signed in to both devices with the same Apple ID.
  • Both devices must have Wi-Fi and Handoff turned on. Ensure that both devices are signed into the same Wi-Fi network. (If your MacBook or iMac have challenges with connecting with Wi-FI, please visit our MacBook repair Burnaby, MacBook repair Surrey, or MacBook repair Calgary services and we'll be happy to assist.)
  • For wireless connection, both devices need to be within 10 metres of each other and have Bluetooth turned on. It is also possible to connect the devices using a charging cable. A wired connection allows your iPad to charge while preventing any potential wireless issues such as latency.

Setting up Sidecar

Sidecar comes with macOS Catalina. There are no additional software or apps to download.

  • On your Mac menu bar, click the Apple logo
  • Select “System Preferences”
  • Select “Sidecar”
  • Select your iPad device

And that’s it! Once you are done with Sidecar, simply click the disconnect button on either device.

Both the Apple Pencil and the iPad keyboards are fully functional and automatically integrated when you connect via Sidecar, meaning you can easily switch between writing and typing to drawing and sketching.

Sidecar introduces new possibilities for productivity and creativity on the go. The ease of use means that there are no barriers for creation. Get the most out of your devices by taking advantage of this new feature.

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