If you have an iPad; What you may not know is that you can use your device as a second monitor for a MacBook, Windows PC, or even Linux. You can turn your iPad into a second display with Sidecar, which allows it to extend the same desktop environment as a Mac running macOS Catalina or later. However, this feature is not limited to Mac users only. Several third-party apps can help bridge the gap on all devices that don’t support Sidecar, including Mac, Ubuntu, and Windows.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to use your iPad as a second screen👇

Using iPad as a Second Monitor for Mac

If you want to use your iPad as an extension of your Mac’s screen, on a Mac just go to your browser window or app window. Hover over the button with the green circle in the upper left corner. From here, select the “Move to iPad” option. More precisely, the option will write the name and model of the iPad.

A few seconds after selecting an option, a browser window or app will appear on your iPad with an options bar on the left. You can use your finger or Apple Pencil to interact with the iPad screen. You can also use Handoff to move your Mac cursor to iPad.

If you want to move a browser window or application back to your Mac, hover over the green circle again and select Move Window Back to Mac. You can get here using your Mac cursor or Apple Pencil.

Apple Sidecar-enabled devices


Unless you’re using a really old iPad and Mac, you probably won’t have compatibility issues with Sidecar. For Sidecar, you need devices that support iPadOS 13 or later on the iPad side. Here are the iPad models that support iPadOS 13 or later:

  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad (6th generation) or later
  • iPad mini (5th generation) or later
  • iPad Air (3rd generation) or later

On the Mac side, you’ll need one of the following Mac devices with macOS Catalina or later:

  • MacBook Pro released in 2016 or later
  • MacBook 2016 or later
  • MacBook Air released in 2018 or later
  • iMac models released in 2017 or later or iMac (Retina 5K 27-inch Late 2015)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac mini released in 2018 or later
  • Mac Pro available in 2019
  • Studio Mac

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What to do if Apple Sidecar is not working?


There are times when the Apple Sidecar does not work properly. Technically, such problems can occur, although rarely. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you fix the problem…

Make sure you’re signed in with the same Apple ID

For two devices to be connected, they must be registered with the same Apple ID.

Most people will probably have one Apple ID for all of their devices. However, if you have more than one account, there’s an easy and quick way to find out which Apple ID you’re signed in with.

  • Go to Settings on iPad and check Account at the top.
  • On a Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences and check Account at the top.

Your device may not support

As we mentioned earlier, in order to use iPad wirelessly as a secondary monitor for your Mac, both devices must support the Apple Sidecar feature. You can access the full list of supported models in two headers.

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Make sure iPad and Mac are up to date

If your devices are running older operating systems, they require a software update. This update is also very important in terms of security.

  • To update your iPad, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • To update your Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update.

Make sure your iPad is unlocked

Sidecar will only work if the iPad is unlocked. If your iPad is connected to your MacBook with a cable, you shouldn’t have any problems with your tablet’s screen on. On the other hand, if your iPad is on a wireless connection, the screen may still go to sleep. To fix it:

  • Go to Settings > Display & Brightness.
  • Select “Never” in the “Auto-Lock” section.

But this shouldn’t be a permanent setting for your iPad. When you have finished using the stroller, you should set the auto-lock again for 10 or 15 minutes. Thus, you can save battery life.

Check if handover is enabled

If you want to use Handoff to use a Mac trackpad or iPad mouse, make sure this feature is enabled. Handoff is enabled by default, but you may have disabled it and forgot about it in the past. That’s why it’s a good idea to double check.

  • On iPad, go to Settings > General > Airplay & Handoff. Make sure Handoff is enabled.
  • On a Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > General > AirDrop and Handoff. At the top, you’ll see Allow transfer between this Mac and your iCloud devices. Make sure it’s enabled.

Try Wired iPad to Mac

You can usually use Sidecar wirelessly, but if you have any connection issues, a wired connection might be a good solution.

Connect iPad to Mac and then unlock the screen. “Trust this computer?” You will see a message. You will most likely see it on your iPad screen, but you may also see it on your Mac screen. If you don’t click the Trust button, iPads and Macs won’t connect.

Can I use my iPad as a second monitor in Windows 11?

You might be surprised to know that iPad can be used as a second monitor on different non-Apple devices. With third-party apps, you can designate your iPad as a secondary display on a Windows PC or even Ubuntu. To make this possible, Splashtop Wired Xdisplay and Duet Display applications are the most preferred applications today.

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Splashtop Wired XDisplay

If none of your Mac or iPad devices support Sidecar, or if you’re a Windows and Android user, Splashtop Wired XDisplay is a third-party app that can turn your tablet into a second monitor.

The app only works when connected via USB. The iPad app is free, the Android app is paid, but there is a trial version that runs for 10 minutes each time.

  • Install the desktop app and mobile app on the devices you want to use together.
  • After launching the desktop app, connect your tablet to your computer with a USB cable, then launch XDisplay on your tablet.
  • It will connect to your computer and a blank desktop will appear on your tablet.

You can rearrange monitors in your computer’s display settings, drag windows onto your tablet, and use them as a second monitor to improve productivity.

Duet Display

Duet Display is a better alternative, but more expensive. But it’s worth it if you regularly use your iPad as a second monitor.

  • Sign up to create an account and then install the PC and tablet apps.
  • Connect your tablet via USB and launch the Duet Display app.
  • You must enable screen sharing in the Duet settings.
  • Select a computer from the Air tab in the app to connect.

Finally, click the Duet Display icon on your computer to access some other settings, such as the frame rate and resolution your tablet uses.

So that’s the end of our guide on how to use iPad as a secondary monitor for any computer. We hope this guide will help you improve your workflow.

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