Apple's built-in Sidecar function acts as an extension of your Mac's screen through your iPad. It gives Apple device users more bang for their buck by acquiring additional screen real estate using their own devices. Extending or mirroring your Mac screen is ideal for sharing files, presenting or entertaining, etc.
This article covers the steps to mirror your Mac to your iPad using Sidecar and other options, including apps to mirror your Mac to multiple devices. We will also see how to mirror your iPad or iPhone screen to your Mac.
How to Mirror Mac to iPad with Sidecar
For your Mac to connect to your iPad, both devices must use the same Wi-Fi and the same Apple ID.
If you're using macOS Big Sur, here's how to start a Sidecar session:
- At the top right of your Mac, access the "Display" options from the "Control Center" or the options bar.
- Select your iPad under "Connect to".
If you're using macOS Catalina:
- In the options bar, select the “AirPlay” symbol.
- Select your iPad via the menu.
If the "AirPlay" symbol is not available, follow these steps:
- At the top left, click the Apple icon.
- Choose "System Preferences".
- Select “Sidecar”.
- In the Sidecar pop-up window, choose your iPad via the "Connect to" drop-down menu.
To copy the contents of your Mac screen to your iPad:
- Access the "Display" options from the "Control Center" or the "AirPlay" menu.
- The Airplay menu should show a blue iPad symbol when using Sidecar.
- Select the choice to reflect your display.
You can disconnect your Sidecar session in different ways:
- If you're using macOS Big Sur, go to "Display" options through "Control Center," then select your iPad to stop the connection.
- For macOS Catalina, go to AirPlay options and select the "Disconnect" option.
- In the side menu via your iPad, press the “Disconnect” button. Or in "Sidecar Preferences" on your Mac.
How to Mirror Mac to iPad without Sidecar
Sidecar functionality is only supported on recent models of Mac, iMac and iPad:
- MacBook and MacBook Pro from 2016 or later.
- MacBook Air from 2022 or newer.
- iMac from 2015, iMac Pro and Mac mini from 2022.
- 9,7-inch, 10,5-inch, 11-inch, or 12,9-inch iPad Pro. Or iPad 6th generation or later, iPad Air 3rd generation or later, or iPad Mini 5th generation.
If your device doesn't support Sidecar, don't worry, you can still enjoy the benefits of Sidecar by installing a third-party app on a second screen. Here are some suggestions:
This popular second screen app, Overhead View, 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. While streaming between devices, users can still access and use other apps. It also provides virtual keyboard, mouse input and adapts to different configuration combinations.
With iDisplay, you can connect 36 remarkable devices to one computer, perfect if you need to take a class or handy for sharing documents and files. Its "Smart Screen Resolution" function adjusts your additional screen to use every 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 PC) to facilitate
users wirelessly mirror or stream different content 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.
Can I mirror a Mac to multiple iPads?
Yes you can. Sidecar only supports one iPad connection 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 of up to 36 devices.
How do I mirror my iPad screen to my Mac?
If you want to mirror your iPhone, iPad or iPod to your Mac screen, Quick Time Player is the way to go. It is an inbuilt tool to support iOS streaming on Mac. Developed by Apple, this multimedia tool is ideal 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, see the 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 appear. Select "File" from the menu.
3. Select "New Movie Recording".
4. Select "iPad" as the default device.
The mirroring session between your iPad screen and Mac will now begin.
To start a wireless mirroring session, you just need to make sure that both devices are using the same Wi-Fi network.
Two screens are better than one
Apple's Sidecar feature lets device owners get more out of their devices by extending their Mac's screen onto their iPad. And extra screen space is always welcome. This is ideal for increasing productivity or seeing what your audience sees during a presentation, for example.
Starting a mirroring or screen extending session using Sidecar is relatively simple, but Sidecar has limitations, such as only being able to use one device at a time. However, many third-party apps are available for simultaneous connection to multiple devices. So, don't let this small limitation slow down your viewing experience.
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