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

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

Extend or mirror your Mac desk with Sidecar

Follow these steps on a Mac and iPad that meet the system requirements for Sidecar. You can use Sidecar over WiFi. To keep your iPad charged while in use, connect it directly to the Mac using the supplied charging cable.

Start a sidecar session

  • If you're using macOS Big Sur, click the View menu in Control Center or in the menu bar, then choose your iPad from the menu.
  • If you're 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, then choose Show Sync Options In Menu Bar When Available.)
  • Or just move a window to your iPad, as described in the next section.
  • Alternatively, you can connect via the menu in the sidecar settings.

Switch to screen synchronization

  • By default, your iPad shows an extension of your Mac desktop. You can move windows there and use it like any other display.
  • You can also mirror the Mac display so that both screens show the same content. To do this, go back to the Display or AirPlay menu with the Sidecar activated, in which a blue iPad symbol is displayed. Select the option to mirror the display.

End the sidecar session

  • If you're using macOS Big Sur, return to the View menu in Control Center or the menu bar and select your iPad again to disconnect.
  • If you're using macOS Catalina, return to the AirPlay menu and select the option to disconnect.
  • Or use the "Disconnect" button in the sidebar of your iPad or in the sidecar settings on your Mac.

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

Move a window to the iPad display

When you hover over the full screen button If you move a window, you can choose to move the window to or from your iPad display. This is faster than dragging the window, and the size of the window is optimally adapted to the display.

Use the sidebar

Commonly used controls are displayed in the sidebar of the iPad screen. They contain the Command, Shift and other modifier keys so that you can select important commands with your finger or Apple Pencil instead of the keyboard.

You can switch off the sidebar or change its position using the sidecar settings.


Tap this button to show or hide the menu bar of a window in full screen mode on your iPad.

This allows you to show or hide your computer's dock on your iPad.

Command key. Place your finger on this icon to set the command key. You can lock the button by double-tapping.

Option key. Place your finger on this icon to set the option key. You can lock the button by double-tapping.

Ctrl key. Place your finger on this icon to set the Control key. You can lock the button by double-tapping.

Shift key. Place your finger on this icon to set the Shift key. You can lock the button by double-tapping.

Undoes the last action. Some apps support multiple setbacks.

This allows you to show and hide the on-screen keyboard.

This will disconnect your iPad from your computer and end the sidecar session.

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 the iPad screen, even if your Mac doesn't have a Touch Bar. Tap the controls with your finger or Apple Pencil.

You can turn off the Touch Bar or change its position using the sidecar settings.

If you don't see the Touch Bar when using an app with Touch Bar controls, choose the Apple menu ()> System Preferences, click Mission Control, and make sure that Monitors Use Different Spaces is selected .

Gestures for scrolling and other actions

Multi-touch gestures on iPad remain available when you use Sidecar. These gestures are especially useful for sidecar:

  • Scroll: swipe with two fingers.
  • Copy: Pinch three fingers together.
  • Cut out: Pinch three fingers twice.
  • Insert: Spread three fingers apart.
  • Undo: swipe left with three fingers or double-tap with three fingers.
  • Repeat: swipe right with three fingers.

Use Apple Pencil

As iPad expands or mirrors the Mac display, you can point, click, select, and perform tasks such as: For example, if you are drawing or editing photos and objects, use your Apple Pencil instead of the mouse or trackpad connected to your Mac. You can also use it to write, sketch, and markup documents - all of which is then displayed live on your Mac.

Sidecar also supports double tapping, which you can activate in the sidecar settings. Double-tapping allows apps that support this feature to perform custom actions. Simply double-tap on the side of your Apple Pencil (2nd generation).

Use a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad

During your sidecar session, you can type with a keyboard connected to either your Mac or iPad, including the Smart Keyboard or the Magic Keyboard for iPad.

Use the mouse or trackpad connected to your Mac to point, click, or select with a mouse or trackpad, or use an Apple Pencil on the iPad.

Use iPad apps

While using Sidecar, you can switch to an iPad app and then interact with this app on your iPad as usual. This will interrupt your sidecar session until you switch back to the sidecar app or disconnect from the sidecar. The Sidecar app only appears on your home screen while you are using Sidecar.


Sidecar settings

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

  • Show sidebar: Show or turn off the sidebar on the left or right of the iPad screen.
  • Show Touch Bar: Display the Touch Bar at the bottom or top of your iPad screen, or turn it off.
  • Activate double tap on Apple Pencil: Apps that support this feature can perform custom actions when you double-tap the side of your Apple Pencil (2nd generation).
  • Connect to: Select an iPad you want to connect to, or click Disconnect to exit Sidecar.
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