Extend or mirror your Mac desktop with Sidecar
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- Make sure that your Mac and iPad meet the Sidecar system requirements.
- 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.
- 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.
If you don't see the AirPlay icon, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Displays, then make sure that ”Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available” is selected.
- Your iPad should now show an extension of your Mac desktop. You can move windows to it and use it like any other display.
- 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.
- 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.
The sidebar puts commonly used 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.
Use Sidecar preferences to turn off the sidebar or change its position.
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Tap to show or hide the menu bar when viewing a window in full screen on 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.
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.
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 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 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 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 a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad
During your Sidecar session, you can type using a keyboard connected to either your Mac or iPad, including 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 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.
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Use Sidecar preferences
Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sidecar. These preferences are available only on computers that support Sidecar.
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- 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
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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 2017 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
- iPad Pro: all models
- iPad (6th generation) or later
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- 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.
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- Resolve Wi-Fi and Bluetooth issues caused by wireless interference, which can affect Sidecar performance when using Sidecar wirelessly.