Sidecar: Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor

Posted on by Larry

An intriguing new feature in macOS Catalina (10.15) is Sidecar. This allows you to either extend or mirror your Mac desktop on a recent-model iPad. This can be especially helpful for laptop editors to display video on the iPad, allowing you more room on your computer to display the editing interface.

Because this is built into the operating system, this feature can be used with any software that supports multiple monitors; Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro CC both come instantly to mind.

(Image courtesy of Apple.)

The connection can be wired, via USB, or wireless. If you are wireless, the iPad can roam up to 30 feet from the Mac feeding a signal.

NOTE: Apple cautions that Sidecar can take a fair amount of power. If you plan to use this for a long period of time, be sure your iPad is fully-charged or connected to your computer via USB so it has access to enough power.

(Image courtesy of Apple.)

Here’s how this works.


(Image courtesy of Apple.)

Here are other tips to make using Sidecar more useful:

Here’s a link with more information from Apple about Sidecar, along with a list of compatible computers and iPads.

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3 Responses to Sidecar: Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor

  1. Constance says:

    You’ve provided lots of good information, thank you

  2. Victor says:

    Hi Larry, new member! Do you think it’s safe to upgrade to Catalina? I originally upgraded and Pro Tools wasn’t supported yet and I had to restore everything….

    • Larry says:



      Is it save to upgrade? Maybe – Avid Media Composer still doesn’t support Catalina, and other apps are coming on line.

      I upgraded and haven’t had any problems – once you figure out that you need to grant applications access to folders on your hard drive for security reasons.


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