- Before continuing, make sure that your Mac and iPad meet the Sidecar system requirements, including that each is signed with the same Apple ID.
- You can use Sidecar wirelessly, but to keep your iPad charged during use, connect it directly to your Mac with the USB charge cable that came with your iPad.
If you want your keyboard, mouse, or trackpad to control your Mac and iPad, with the iPad showing its own Home Screen and apps rather than the desktop and apps of your Mac, use Universal Control instead.
Move a Mac window to your iPad
Move your pointer over the full-screen button of a window on your Mac, then choose the option to move that window to your iPad.
You can repeat this step for other Mac windows, or simply drag other Mac windows to and from your iPad. To move a window back to your Mac, you can also move your pointer over the full-screen button and choose Move Window Back to Mac.
If you want your iPad to mirror your Mac screen instead of extending its desktop:
- In macOS Monterey or later, choose a mirroring option from the Screen Mirroring menu in the menu bar.1
- In macOS Big Sur, choose a mirroring option from the Display menu in Control Center or the menu bar.
- In macOS Catalina, choose a mirroring option from the AirPlay menu ( or ) in the menu bar.2
Use the sidebar on your iPad
The sidebar puts commonly used Mac controls on the side of your iPad screen. It includes Command, Shift, and other modifier keys, so you can choose essential commands with your finger or Apple Pencil instead of a keyboard.
Tap to show or hide the menu bar when viewing a window in full screen on iPad.
Show or hide your computer's Dock on your iPad.
Command. Touch and hold to set the Command key. Double-tap to lock the key.
Option. Touch and hold to set the Option key. Double-tap to lock the key.
Control. Touch and hold to set the Control key. Double-tap to lock the key.
Shift. Touch and hold to set the Shift key. Double-tap to lock the key.
Undo the last action. Some apps support multiple undos.
Show or hide the onscreen keyboard.
Disconnect your iPad from your Mac.
Use gestures for scrolling and other actions
These Multi-Touch gestures are particularly useful when using your iPad as a display.
- Scroll: Swipe with two fingers.
- Copy: Pinch in with three fingers.
- Cut: Pinch in with three fingers twice.
- Paste: Pinch out with three fingers.
- Undo: Swipe left with three fingers, or double-tap with three fingers.
- Redo: Swipe right with three fingers.
Use Apple Pencil
To point, click, select, and perform tasks such as drawing, editing photos, and manipulating objects on your iPad while it's extending or mirroring your Mac display, you can use your Apple Pencil instead of the mouse or trackpad connected to your Mac. You can also use it to write, sketch, and mark up documents while seeing the updates live on your Mac.
Sidecar also supports double-tap, which you can turn on in settings. Double-tap enables apps that support this feature to perform custom actions when you double-tap the side of your Apple Pencil (2nd generation).
Use the Touch Bar
Many apps on Mac have Touch Bar controls that make common actions even easier. With Sidecar, you get a Touch Bar on your iPad screen even if your Mac doesn’t have a Touch Bar. Tap its controls with either your finger or Apple Pencil. If the Touch Bar doesn't appear when using an app that offers Touch Bar controls:
- macOS Ventura or later: Choose Apple menu > System Settings, click Desktop & Dock in the sidebar, then scroll down on the right and turn on “Displays have separate Spaces”.
- Earlier versions of macOS: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Mission Control, then make sure that “Displays have separate Spaces” is selected.
Use a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad
During your session, you can type using the keyboard connected to your Mac, or you can use a keyboard connected to your iPad, such as the Smart Keyboard or Magic Keyboard for iPad. To point, click, or select with a mouse or trackpad, use the mouse or trackpad connected to your Mac, or use an Apple Pencil on your iPad.
Use iPad apps
While using your iPad as a display, you can switch to an iPad app, then interact with that app on your iPad as you normally would. This suspends your session until you switch back to the Sidecar app, which appears on your iPad home screen only while using Sidecar.
To find Sidecar settings:
- macOS Ventura or later: Choose Apple menu > System Settings, click Displays in the sidebar, then click your iPad at the top of the window.
- macOS Monterey: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Displays. Click Display Settings, then click your iPad in the sidebar.
- Earlier versions of macOS: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sidecar.
These settings are available only on computers that support Sidecar:
- Show Sidebar: Show the sidebar on the left or right side of your iPad screen, or turn it off.
- Show Touch Bar: Show the Touch Bar on the bottom or top of your iPad screen, or turn it off.
- Enable double tap on Apple Pencil: Allow apps that support this feature to perform custom actions when you double-tap on the side of your Apple Pencil (2nd generation).
Sidecar system requirements
Sidecar works with these devices and operating systems.
macOS Catalina or later
iPadOS 13 or later
- Both devices must be signed in with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication. Sidecar does not support Managed Apple IDs.
- To use Sidecar wirelessly, both devices must be within 10 meters (30 feet) of each other and have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff turned on. Your iPad must not be sharing its cellular connection and your Mac must not be sharing its internet connection.
- To use Sidecar over USB, your iPad must be set to trust your Mac.
- Learn how to resolve Wi-Fi and Bluetooth issues caused by wireless interference, which can affect Sidecar performance when using Sidecar wirelessly.
- Use Reference Mode on your iPad Pro
1. If you don't see this menu: In macOS Ventura or later, choose Apple menu > System Settings, click Control Center in the sidebar, then choose an option from the Screen Mirroring menu on the right. In earlier macOS versions, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Dock & Menu Bar, then click Screen Mirroring in the sidebar. Select the Show in Menu Bar checkbox, then choose Always from the adjacent pop-up menu.
2. If you don't see this menu, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Displays, then select “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available”.