Use iPad as Second Monitor
Use iPad as Second Monitor

You’re seated at your desk, your computer screen cluttered with numerous windows, wishing for some additional screen real estate. Enter the iPad. Did you know that your trusty tablet can double up as a secondary monitor? Let’s explore this multi-tasking dream!

Why Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor?

In our digitally-driven world, efficiency and flexibility are key. Using your iPad as a second monitor can provide both.

Benefits of an Extended Display

  • Enhanced productivity: Easily drag and drop files or reference materials between screens.
  • Versatility: Use dedicated apps or tools on one screen while working on another.
  • Portable workspace: Carry your second monitor (iPad) anywhere!

iPad Features that Enhance the Experience

  • Retina display: Crisp visuals for clearer content.
  • Touchscreen capabilities: Use touch gestures or the Apple Pencil for a unique interactive experience.

What You’ll Need

Before diving into the setup, gather your tools.

Essential Tools and Software

  • An iPad with a recent iOS version.
  • A Mac or PC.
  • Stable Wi-Fi connection or USB cable.
  • Appropriate software (Sidecar or third-party apps).

Setting Up Using Sidecar (for MacOS)

Apple’s Sidecar is a seamless way to connect your iPad to a Mac.


  • MacOS Catalina or later.
  • iPad running iOS 13 or later.
  • Both devices logged into the same Apple ID.

Step-by-Step Setup with Sidecar

  1. Ensure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on both devices.
  2. Go to the Apple menu on your Mac > System Preferences > Sidecar.
  3. Choose your iPad from the list.
  4. Your iPad should now display an extension of your Mac desktop.

Alternatives to Sidecar: Third-Party Apps

If you’re not using a Mac or want different features, several third-party apps can serve your needs.

Duet Display

  • Works with Mac and PC.
  • Offers touch support and additional features for a fee.

Air Display 3

  • Compatible with both Mac and PC.
  • Provides wireless connection and supports up to 4 iPads.

Splashtop Wired XDisplay

  • A wired solution for minimal latency.
  • Compatible with both Mac and PC.

Tips to Maximize Productivity with Dual Displays

  • Organize your screens: Keep tools on the iPad and main tasks on the computer.
  • Use the iPad’s touch capabilities to speed up tasks.
  • Regularly update apps and software for optimal performance.

Potential Issues and Troubleshooting

  • Lagging issues: Ensure a stable connection or try using a wired connection.
  • Compatibility: Always check software and OS versions.
  • Interference: Keep other Bluetooth devices away to minimize interference.

Conclusion: Harness the Power of Dual Screens

Unlock the power of dual screens and redefine your multitasking capabilities. Whether you’re using Sidecar or a third-party app, turning your iPad into a second monitor is a game-changer. So, ready to amp up your productivity?


  1. Is there a noticeable lag when using the iPad as a monitor?
    • It depends on the connection. Wired connections generally offer minimal lag.
  2. Can I use my older iPad for this purpose?
    • As long as it’s compatible with the software in use, absolutely!
  3. Do I need to purchase additional software?
    • Sidecar is free for Mac users. Some third-party apps might have a fee.
  4. Can I use the iPad’s touchscreen when connected?
    • With certain apps, like Duet Display, you can!
  5. Will using my iPad as a monitor drain its battery quickly?
    • If it’s continuously used, it might consume more battery. It’s a good idea to keep it charged.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  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 if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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