- Before you begin, make sure that your Mac and iPad meet the Sidecar system requirements, including that they are both signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication.
- 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.
Show your Mac desktop on your iPad
- If using macOS Big Sur or later, click the Display menu in Control Center or the menu bar, then choose your iPad from the menu.
- If using macOS Catalina, click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar, then choose your iPad from the menu. If you don't see the AirPlay icon, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Displays, and select “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available”.
- Or move your pointer over the full-screen button of a window, then choose the option to move that window to your iPad display. It's faster than dragging the window, and the window is perfectly resized for your display.
By default, your iPad shows an extension of your Mac desktop. To mirror your Mac desktop, return to the Display menu or AirPlay menu, which shows a blue iPad icon while connected to your iPad. Then choose the option to mirror your display.
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 System Preferences. 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, 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.
If using macOS Monterey, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Displays. Click Display Settings, then select your iPad in the sidebar.
If using macOS Big Sur or macOS Catalina, 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
- Both devices must be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication.
- 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. Also make sure that the iPad is not sharing its cellular connection and the Mac is not sharing its internet connection.
- To use Sidecar over USB, make sure that your iPad is set to trust your Mac.
Resolve Wi-Fi and Bluetooth issues caused by wireless interference, which can affect Sidecar performance when using Sidecar wirelessly.