Use your iPad as a second display for your Mac with Sidecar

With Sidecar, you can use your iPad as a display that extends or mirrors your Mac desktop.

iPad next to Macbook using Sidecar

Extend or mirror your Mac desktop with Sidecar

Make sure that your Mac and iPad meet the Sidecar system requirements, then follow these steps:

  1. You can use Sidecar wirelessly, but to keep your iPad charged during use, connect it directly to your Mac with the charge cable that came with your iPad. 
  2. Click the AirPlay icon  in the menu bar on your Mac, then choose the option to connect to your iPad. Or use Sidecar preferences to connect.
  3. Your iPad should now show an extension of your Mac desktop. You can move windows to it and use it like any other display.
  4. To mirror your Mac display so that both screens show the same content, return to the AirPlay menu, which is a blue rectangle  while using Sidecar. Choose the option to mirror your display. This is a great way to share your Mac screen with others.
  5. To end your Sidecar session, return to the AirPlay menu and choose the option to disconnect. Or click the Disconnect button in the sidebar on your iPad.

Learn more about using external displays. For example, you can use Displays preferences to arrange displays so that your iPad extends the left, right, top, or bottom of your desktop.


Move a window to your iPad display

If you hover your pointer over the full-screen button   of a window, you can choose to move that window to or from your iPad display. It's faster than dragging the window, and the window is perfectly resized for your display.

Menu that appears when hoving pointer over green button


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. It works just like the Touch Bar on Mac, and you can tap its controls with either your finger or Apple Pencil. 

Use Sidecar preferences to turn off the Touch Bar or change its position.


Use gestures for scrolling and other actions

Multi-Touch gestures on iPad remain available when using Sidecar. These gestures are particularly useful with Sidecar:

  • 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 your mouse or trackpad. 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 Sidecar preferences. Double-tap enables apps that support this feature to perform custom actions when you double-tap on the side of your Apple Pencil (2nd generation).


Use iPad apps

While using Sidecar, you can switch to an iPad app, then interact with that app on your iPad as you normally would. This suspends your Sidecar session until you switch back to the Sidecar app or disconnect Sidecar. The Sidecar app appears on your home screen only while using Sidecar.


  


Use Sidecar preferences

Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Sidecar. These preferences are available only on computers that support Sidecar.

Sidecar preferences

  • 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).
  • Connect to: Choose an iPad to connect to, or click Disconnect to stop using Sidecar.


Sidecar system requirements

Sidecar requires a compatible Mac using macOS Catalina and a compatible iPad using iPadOS 13:

Mac using macOS Catalina

  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2016 or later
  • MacBook introduced in 2016 or later
  • MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later
  • iMac introduced in 2016 or later, plus iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac mini introduced in 2018 or later
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2019
      

iPad using iPadOS 13

Additional requirements

You must be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on both devices. And if using Sidecar wirelessly, these additional requirements apply:


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