iPad Second Monitor
iPad Second Monitor

Yes, your iPad can indeed function as a second monitor, offering an extended display for your computer. This versatile capability enhances productivity and provides a more dynamic workspace, whether you’re using a Mac or a Windows PC.

Transforming Your iPad into a Second Display with Sidecar

The Magic of Sidecar for Mac Users

For Mac users running macOS Catalina or later, Apple’s Sidecar feature is a game-changer. It allows you to seamlessly extend your desktop environment to your iPad, effectively turning it into a secondary display. This feature is especially handy for those who own both a Mac and an iPad manufactured in the last five or six years​​​​.

Utilizing Your iPad as a Versatile Monitor

A Dual-Role Device

An iPad is more than just a tablet; it can pull double duty as a second monitor. Whether you’re working at your desk or on the go with your laptop, your iPad can serve as an additional screen. This is made even more convenient with accessories like a simple iPad stand or a case with a built-in stand​​.

Third-Party Apps for Non-Sidecar Users

Alternatives for Windows and Older Apple Devices

If your devices don’t support Sidecar or if you’re a Windows user, there are third-party applications like Splashtop Wired XDisplay that can turn your iPad into a second monitor. These apps provide flexibility and compatibility with a wider range of devices and operating systems​​.

Setting Up Your iPad as a Second Screen

Easy Configuration Steps

Setting up your iPad as a second monitor is straightforward. On your computer, right-click on the desktop and select “Display Settings.” You will see two screens: one representing your main computer monitor and the other your iPad. You can click and drag the iPad screen within these settings to match its real-life position relative to your main monitor, ensuring a cohesive dual-monitor setup​​.

Why Use an iPad as a Second Monitor?

Enhancing Productivity and Flexibility

Using your iPad as a second monitor offers several benefits:

  1. Increased Productivity: Having an extra screen can significantly boost your productivity by providing more screen real estate for multitasking.
  2. Portability: The iPad’s lightweight and portable design make it an excellent choice for a secondary display, especially for those who frequently work on the go.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: It’s a cost-effective solution compared to purchasing a dedicated second monitor.

Tips for Optimizing Your Dual-Monitor Setup

Making the Most of Your iPad

  1. Use a Dedicated Stand: A stand for your iPad can provide the ideal viewing angle and stability.
  2. Manage Battery Life: Keep an eye on your iPad’s battery life, as using it as a secondary display can consume more power.
  3. Familiarize with Gestures: If using Sidecar, familiarize yourself with the touch gestures for a smoother experience.
  4. Adjust Display Settings: Tweak the display settings on your computer to optimize the resolution and orientation of your iPad screen.

Conclusion: A Versatile Solution for Enhanced Workspaces

Using your iPad as a second monitor is a smart and versatile solution that leverages existing technology to create a more efficient and flexible workspace. Whether for professional or personal use, this setup maximizes the utility of your iPad, bringing added value to your digital ecosystem.


  1. Do I need any special cables to connect my iPad as a second monitor? For Sidecar, no cables are needed as it works wirelessly. For other solutions like Splashtop Wired XDisplay, a cable may be required depending on the app.
  2. Can I use my iPad as a second monitor with a Windows PC? Yes, through third-party apps like Splashtop Wired XDisplay, you can use your iPad as a second monitor with a Windows PC.
  3. Is the Sidecar feature available on all iPads? Sidecar is available on iPads that support Apple Pencil, typically models manufactured in the last five or six years.
  4. Will using my iPad as a second monitor drain its battery quickly? Using your iPad as a second monitor can consume more battery, so it’s advisable to keep it charged or plugged in during prolonged use.
  5. Can I use my iPad for other tasks while it’s being used as a second monitor? When your iPad is in use as a second monitor, it’s dedicated to that task and can’t be used for other activities simultaneously.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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