How To Mirror a Mac to an iPad

Apple’s Sidecar built-in feature acts as an extension to your Mac screen via your iPad. It gives Apple device users more bang for their buck by acquiring extra screen space using their own devices. Extending or mirroring your Mac screen is ideal for sharing files, presenting, or entertainment, etc.

How To Mirror a Mac to an iPad

This article covers the steps for mirroring your Mac to your iPad using Sidecar and other options, including apps for mirroring your Mac to several devices. We’ll also go over how to mirror your iPad or an iPhone screen to your Mac.

How to Mirror a Mac to an iPad With Sidecar

For your Mac to connect to your iPad, both devices must be using the same Wi-Fi and Apple ID.

If you’re running macOS Big Sur, this is how to begin a Sidecar session:

  1. From the top right of your Mac, access the “Display” options from “Control Center” or the options bar.
  2. Select your iPad under “Connect To.”

If you’re running macOS Catalina:

  1. From the options bar, select the “AirPlay” symbol.
  2. Select your iPad via the menu.

If the “AirPlay” symbol isn’t available, do this instead:

  1. From the top left, click on the Apple icon.
  2. Choose “System Preferences.”
  3. Select “Sidecar.”
  4. In the Sidecar popup window, choose your iPad via the “Connect To” drop-down menu.

To copy your Mac display’s content on your iPad:

  1. Access the “Display” options from “Control Center” or the “AirPlay” menu.
  2. The Airplay menu should display a blue iPad symbol while using Sidecar.
  3. Select the choice to mirror your display.

You can disconnect your Sidecar session in a variety of ways:

  • If you’re running macOS Big Sur, access the “Display” options via “Control Center,” then select your iPad to stop the connection.
  • For macOS Catalina, go to the AirPlay options and select the “Disconnect” option.
  • In the side menu via your iPad, tap the “Disconnect” button.” Or in “Sidecar preferences” on your Mac.

How to Mirror Mac to iPad Without Sidecar

The Sidecar feature is only supported on recent Mac, iMac, and iPad models:

  • MacBook and MacBook Pro from 2016 or later.
  • MacBook Air from 2018 or newer.
  • iMac starting with 2015 models, iMac Pro, and Mac mini from 2018 onwards.
  • iPad Pro 9.7 inches, 10.5 inches, 11 inches, or 12.9 inches. Or iPad 6th Gen or later, 3rd Gen iPad Air or later, or an iPad Mini 5th Gen.

If your device doesn’t support Sidecar, don’t worry, you can still reap the Sidecar benefits by installing a third-party second screen app. Here are some suggestions:

Air Display

This popular second screen app, Air Display, uses a Wi-Fi connection to turn your iPad into a second screen. It can also connect to your iPhone and iPod; plus, you can extend or mirror up to four screens at once. When streaming between devices, users can still access and use other apps. It also provides a virtual keyboard, mouse input and caters to different setup combinations.


With iDisplay, you can connect a remarkable 36 devices to one computer, perfect if you need to take a class or practical for sharing documents and files. Its “Smart screen resolution” feature adjusts your extra screen to use each pixel in high resolution. Using Wi-Fi and USB connection, iDisplay supports macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android devices.


X-Mirage is an AirPlay server (advanced screen mirroring receiver for Mac and PCs) to facilitate

users mirroring or streaming different content wirelessly from their Apple devices to Mac and Windows PCs. It uses full HD 1080p high definition, and you can set up password protection to prevent unauthorized access to your software.

Additional FAQs

Can I Mirror a Mac to Multiple iPads?

Yes, you can. Sidecar only supports a connection to one iPad at a time, but several apps are available that allow you to mirror your Mac to multiple iPads and devices simultaneously. These include AirServer, AirDisplay, and iDisplay. The latter supports connections up to 36 devices.

How Do I Show My iPad Screen on My Mac?

If you want to mirror your iPhone, iPad, or iPod device to your Mac screen, QuickTime Player is the way to go. It’s a built-in tool to support iOS streaming to Mac. Developed by Apple, this multimedia tool is great for enjoying your audio, videos, and images. It works using a USB cable or Wi-Fi connection.

To start a mirroring session from your iPad to Mac using a USB cable, check out steps:

1. Connect your Mac and iPad with your USB cable, using lightning cables if possible.

2. Once your devices are connected, a file selection menu will pop up. Select “File” from the menu.

3. Select “New Movie Recording.”

4. Select “iPad” as the default device.

The mirroring session between your iPad and Mac screen will now start.

To start a wireless mirroring session, you just need to ensure both devices use the same Wi-Fi network.

Two Screens Are Better Than One

Apple’s Sidecar feature allows device owners to get more use out of their devices by extending their Mac screen onto their iPad. And extra screen space is always welcome. It’s great for boosting productivity or seeing what your audience sees when presenting – for example.

Starting a mirror or screen extending session using Sidecar is relatively simple, but Sidecar does have limitations like only being able to one device at a time. However, there are plenty of third-party apps available for connection to multiple devices simultaneously. So, don’t let that little limitation slow your viewing experience down.

What do you like most about Apple products? Tell us in the comments section.

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