Sidecar doesn’t work with iPad

Sidecar describes technology that allows Mac owners to use an iPad as a second display. If the term is new to you, the article explaining how Apple Sidecar works has everything you need to know.

In this post, we’ll list 11 troubleshooting steps to do if Sidecar isn’t working on your Mac.

1. Check your cable connection

If your devices are connected via USB cable, you need to make sure your iPad is configured to trust your Mac. When you plug your iPad into your Mac for the first time, you’ll see a prompt asking you to confirm whether you trust your Mac. If you don’t get a prompt, unplug your iPad from your Mac, plug it back in, and follow the steps below.

  1. Launch seekerselect your iPad in Location and choose Trust button.
Trust button
  1. Then tap Trust on the confirmation prompt displayed on your iPad screen.
Trust confirmation window
  1. Enter your iPad passcode to continue. Then try to start the Sidecar session again and check if it works or not.

We also recommend that you try a different USB cable. Sidecar supports both Lightning and USB-C cables, but you need to make sure your cable is genuine and in good condition. Damaged, broken or frayed cables can damage the Sidecar connection. If your iPad still won’t show up on your Mac when connected via USB, use a different cable and try again.

2. Move the device closer and activate the Handoff feature

If you’re using the Sidecar wirelessly over Bluetooth, Apple recommends keeping your Mac and iPad within 10 meters (~30 feet). So if your devices are far apart, try moving them closer together and check if you can start a Sidecar session.

One more thing: your device needs to have Handoff on your device. Launch Setting apps on your iPad, go to Shared > AirPlay & Handoff and turn on Hand right to buy.

Convert Handoff

On your Mac, go to Setting > Shared and select “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices”.

“Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices" check box

3. Check your Wi-Fi connection

Sidecar does not require internet access. This feature connects your devices only through a direct peer-to-peer connection hosted on your wireless network. Check your device’s Wi-Fi menu and make sure they’re on the same network. Restarting your router may also solve the problem.

4. Turn off Personal Hotspot and Internet Sharing

You need to make sure your iPad and Mac are not sharing the Internet connection. Otherwise, you may have difficulty using the Sidecar function. If your iPad is a portable model, go to Setting > Mobile > Personal hotspot and turn off “Allow others to join”. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Share and uncheck Internet Sharing right to buy.

Unchecked the Internet Sharing checkbox

5. Update your device

Apple Sidecar requires an iPad running iPadOS 13 or later and a Mac running macOS Catalina or later. You will not be able to start a Sidebar session if any of your devices do not meet the software requirements. Go to the software updates section of your Mac and iPad and make sure they are up to date.

To update your iPad, go to Setting > Shared > Software updates and press Download and install. You’ll need a fast and strong Wi-Fi connection to install the iPadOS update.

Download and install button

Then connect your Mac to a Wi-Fi network and go System Preferences > Software updates. Your Mac will automatically check for new macOS updates and display Update now button. Click the button to update your Mac to the latest version of macOS.

Update now button

6. Check Hardware Compatibility

Sidecar also comes with strict hardware requirements. Features that work with iPad Air (3rd generation or later), Small iPad (5th generation or later) and all models of iPad Pro.

Go Setting > Shared > About and check Model Name row to see your iPad model.

Model number in About window

If your Mac is old, you’ll need to change your device to any of the following compatible models:

  1. MacBooks and MacBook Pros: Released in 2016 or later.
  2. MacBook Air: Released in 2018 or later.
  3. iMacs: Released in 2017 or later.
  4. Mac mini: Released in 2018 or later.
  5. Mac Pro: Launched in 2019.

To check your Mac model, click Apple logo on the menu bar and go to overview navigation. On this page, you’ll find your Mac’s release year, as well as basic hardware and software configurations.

About This Mac overview tab

Again, keep in mind that your Mac and iPad must be running at least macOS 10.15 Catalina (or later) and iPad OS 13 (or later) for Sidecar to work.

7. Turn Bluetooth back on

If your iPad and Mac are connected via Bluetooth, disabling and re-enabling Bluetooth on both devices may fix the problem. Start your iPad and Mac’s Control Center and turn off Bluetooth. Then wait about a minute and turn your device Bluetooth back on.

Bluetooth icon in Control Center

8. Check your Apple ID account

To use Sidecar, you must sign in to your Mac and iPad with the same Apple ID account. Open your Mac System Preferencesoption Apple IDGo to the “Name, Phone, Email” tab and check the Apple ID address.

Name, Phone, Email tab in Apple ID

On your iPhone, open Settingyour touch Apple ID name, and check the Apple ID address on the page.

Settings > Apple ID” class=”wp-image-13631″  /></figure>
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<p>If the addresses don’t match, sign out of your Apple ID on your Mac or iPad and connect both devices to the same account.</p>
<h2><span class=9. Restart your device

If Sidecar still doesn’t work after trying these troubleshooting solutions, turn off your device and turn them back on. For Mac, click the Apple icon in the menu bar and select Restart.

To turn off your iPad, press and hold the top button and one of the volume buttons. Also, go to Setting > Shared > Turn offDrag the slider and wait 30 seconds for iPadOS to turn off completely.

Restart your iPad, connect it to your Mac via USB or Bluetooth, connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi network, and start a Sidecar session.

10. Reset Your iPad’s Network Settings

Several iPad users in this Apple discussion thread have asked Sidecar to work again by resetting their device’s network settings. Open your iPad Setting app, go to Shared > Reset > Reset Network Settingsenter your device’s passcode and press Reset on the confirmation prompt.

General > Reset > Reset network settings” class=”wp-image-13632″  /></figure>
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<p>Connect your iPad to the same network as your Mac and check if it appears on your Mac’s Sidecar menu.</p>
<h2><span class=11. Check Firewall Configuration

You may not be able to use Sidecar if your Mac’s firewall configuration is blocking incoming connections. Follow the steps below to reconfigure your Mac’s firewall to allow screen sharing and file sharing connections.

  1. Open System Preferencesoption Security & Privacygo Firewall and click lock icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Lock icon in the Firewall tab
  1. Enter your Mac’s password or authenticate with Touch ID.
Touch ID screen
  1. Click Firewall Options button.
Firewall Options Button
  1. Uncheck the option “Block all incoming connections” and click ALRIGHT.
Uncheck the box to block all incoming connections and the OK button

Let us know which of these troubleshooting steps solved the problem on your device. Leave a comment below if you have any questions.

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