How to use the iPad as an external monitor for the Mac

Does your iPad meet Sidecar requirements?

Sidecar is a new functionality that was included in macOS Catalina that allows you to transform the iPad into a second screen of the Mac. In addition, in certain programs it allows, use Apple Pencil to perform an action, although in most cases it is still a second screen as if you were using any monitor.

In order to apply the Sidecar function, it is necessary to have an operating system that can upgrade to macOS 10.15 (and later) and iPadOS 13 (and later). The way of connection between the iPad and the Mac can be done wirelessly, but it can also be done through the USB-C connection that incorporates the iPad.

How to connect Mac to iPad?

The process for Connecting an iPad to a Mac is really easy. However, it is important to remember that both devices have to have the same session with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication.

Once iPad and Mac are connected, you can use your Mac. To do this, you need to move cursor over full screen button from a window on your Mac and choose the option to move it to iPad.

You can repeat the process with other windows on the Mac, or just drag it over from the iPad. To move a window back to Mac, you can also move your cursor over the full screen button and choose Move Window Back to Mac.

If you want the iPad mirror Mac screen instead of extending the desktop:

  1. In macOS Monterey or later, choose a mirroring option from the Mirror Screen menu in the menu bar.
  2. In macOS Big Sur, choose a mirroring option from the Display menu, in Control Center, or in the menu bar.
  3. In macOS Catalina, choose a mirroring option from the AirPlay menu ( or ) in the menu bar.

Use the iPad sidebar

The iPad and the Mac sync perfectly, allowing the side of the iPad to Mac controls appear which are most frequently used in this one and in addition, you can also select the essential commands with your finger or with the Apple Pencil instead of using a keyboard.

The most common controls that are included in the iPad and that are part of macOS are the following: show and hide the Dock, show full screen on iPad, option, control, shift, and the option to disconnect iPad from Mac.

iPad and Mac

Is Sidecar the same as Universal Control?

To prevent many users from confusing Sidecar with Universal Control, we are going to determine the differences below:

UniversalControl allows you to use both devices with the same keyboard and mouse, being in this case the Mac. That is, you can move the pointer from the Mac screen to the iPad and perform all kinds of actions and even drag an image from a device to another and all this without iPadOS disappearing, while, Sidecar It allows you to mirror the Mac screen on the iPad, but it does not include the Universal Control functions.

mac keyboard for ipad