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Best Ways to Use iPad as Second Monitor on Windows and Mac

Do you want to extend your screen but don’t have the budget to buy another monitor? Well, if you have an iPad lying around, we have good news! You can easily use iPad as second monitor on both Windows and Mac.

Wondering how? Read this article till the end to learn how you can view your desktop on the iPad screen using various third-party apps.

Is it Possible to Use iPad as Second Monitor on Windows?

Yes, it is possible to use iPad as second monitor on Windows. While there is no official Windows or iOS tool that can help you do that, there are still some reliable third-party apps that can help you mirror your Windows on your iPad.

Even though there is no official Windows or iOS software that can turn your iPad into a Windows screen, there are still some excellent third-party apps that can help you do so at a reasonable price. Let’s see how you can use such apps to connect your iPad and Windows.

How to Use iPad as Second Monitor on Windows?

To use iPad as second monitor on Windows, you need to download a third-party app like Splashtop, Duet Display, or Spacedesk on both devices. Then, connect the iPad and computer through a USB cable or Wi-Fi, and launch the app on both devices to complete the process.

The market is full of third-party apps that let you convert your iPad display into a second screen for your Windows. However, each app offers slightly different features and varies in price. So, in the end, it all comes down to personal choice and budget.

1. Best Apps To Use iPad as Second Monitor on Windows (Wired)

Splashtop and Duet display are one of the best apps to convert your iPad into a second monitor for your Windows through a wired connection. However, if you prefer wireless connectivity, you should go for Spacedesk.

So, here are the steps to convert your iPad into a second screen for your Windows using two of the best third-party software.

1.1 Splashtop

how to use ipad as second monitor on windows with splashtop

Splashtop gives you remote access to Windows through your iPad for a rather minimal subscription fee. It also offers you a 7-day free trial that doesn’t even require your credit card, so you can try it before you buy it. Follow these steps to convert your iPad into a second screen for your Windows desktop using Splashtop:

  1. Make sure you have iTunes on your iPad and PC.
  2. Install the Splashtop application on your iPad and Splashtop XDisplay app for PC. 
  3. Connect your iPad to a Windows computer using the iPad charging cable.
  4. Launch the SplashDisplay software on both your PC and iPad. In a few seconds, your desktop will appear on the iPad screen. (In some cases, there might be a slight lag in the screen display, but otherwise, it would pretty much work like a normal monitor.)
use ipad as second monitor with splashtop xdisplay
  1. If you want, you can also customize the resolution, frame rate, and screen quality to your preference from the desktop app of Splashtop. 

1.2 Duet Display

use ipad as second monitor with duet display

Duet Display works similarly to Splashtop, as it also requires you to download the app on both PC and iPad and have a wired connection between them. However, they differ slightly when it comes to pricing.

While the desktop app for Duet is free, you have to pay for the iOS and Android versions of the app. Besides this, it offers a few other features as well, such as touch control for apps on Windows and Macbooks. Moreover, if you use the Duet Air app, you can create a remote desktop system by connecting your iPad to Windows wirelessly, and also get better graphics. 

Here are the steps to use iPad as second monitor on your Windows using Duet Display: 

  1. Install the Duet Display App on both Windows and iPad.
  2. Run the Duet Display desktop app in the background of your PC.
duet display desktop app
  1. Connect your iPad to PC via USB cable and open the Duet Display app on your iPad.
  2. Your iPad will then connect to your Windows PC, and the desktop will appear on it.
  3. Launch the Duet Display app on your PC to adjust the frame rate and resolution.

2. How To Use iPad as Second Monitor on Windows Wirelessly

Install the Spacedesk app on your iPad and PC > Connect your PC and iPad to the same WiFi source > Launch the App on both devices > Select your computer’s name appearing on the iPad app > Press Connect.

2.1 Spacedesk

use ipad as second monitor with spacedesk

If you’re not a fan of wired connections or want a free and effective solution, you can use the Spacedesk app, which allows you to connect your iPad to Windows over WiFi. It supports HD resolution so you get improved graphics, and provides customizable screening features such as Disconnect Delay and Videowall Disconnect Delay.

Follow these steps to use your iPad a second display on windows wirelessly:

  1. Install Spacedesk on your iPad and Windows PC.
  2. Ensure your computer and iPad are connected to the same WiFi network.
spacedesk console
  1. Open Spacedesk software on Windows and iPad.
  2. You will see an approval prompt, select OK and enable Spacedesk so it can start pairing the devices over WiFi.
  3. Once your computer’s name appears on the iPad app, select Connect. You would now be able to see your Windows screen on your iPad.

3. How To Use iPad as Second Monitor on Windows For Free

Install iTunes on your PC and iPad and log in > On your PC, install Splashtop XDisplay Agent and Splashtop on your iPad > Connect both devices with a USB cable > Launch the Splashtop app on both devices.

If you want to view your Windows on the iPad screen without straining your pocket, you can go for the free version of Splashtop. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Firstly, ensure that you have iTunes installed on your iPad and Windows computer.
  2. After this, install Splashtop XDisplay Agent on your PC and Splashtop on your iPad.
  3. Connect your Apple device to your Windows computer using a USB cable.
  4. Launch the SplashDisplay software on both devices. You should be able to see your desktop on the iPad screen after a few seconds.

How to Use iPad as Second Monitor on Mac (Using Sidecar)

You can use your iPad as a second monitor for your Mac through Apple’s Sidecar feature. Connect both devices to the same WiFi network and simply drag windows on your Mac to your connected iPad using Sidecar.

Sidecar is an excellent feature by Apple that allows you to turn your iPad into an extended monitor for your Mac. This way, you can easily perform tasks on your computer remotely through your iPad. And the best part is you don’t need to use a third-party app for it.

support sidecar

1. Sidecar System Requirements

To turn your iPad into an extended monitor for your Mac, you first need to ensure that your devices fulfill certain requirements. Sidecar works with these devices and operating systems.

1.1 macOS Catalina or later

mac screen mac window mac display
  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2016 or later
  • MacBook introduced in 2016 or later
  • MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later
  • iMac introduced in 2017 or later, or iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac mini introduced in 2018 or later
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2019
  • Mac Studio  

1.2 iPadOS 13 or later

Apple pencil use your ipad
  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad (6th generation) or later
  • iPad mini (5th generation) or later
  • iPad Air (3rd generation) or later

1.3 Additional requirements

  • Your Mac and your iPad should be connected to the same Apple ID through two-factor authentication.
  • Both devices Must be in a range of 10 meters or 30 feet to use Sidecar wirelessly. You also need to enable Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff in both devices. 
  • During the Sidecar connection, neither your Mac or your iPad should be sharing its cellular connection.
  • Lastly, to use Sidecar over USB, your iPad must be set to trust your Mac.

2. How to Set up Sidecar to Use iPad as Second Monitor

To run your iPad as an extended monitor for your MacBook, follow these steps:

  1. On your Mac, navigate to Apple Menu > System Settings and click Displays.
  2. Tap the + icon on the right and select your iPad.
  3. Select the Airplay icon and then select the iPad you want to use as a secondary screen
  4. Once connected, the airplay icon will turn blue.
  5. Now go back to the airplay menu settings and select Use As Separate Display.
  6. After doing this, your MacBook screen would be mirrored on the iPad within a few seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get Splashtop off of mirror mode?

To disable Mirror Mode on Splashtop, follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Launch the Splashtop app on your computer.
2. Select Advanced.
3. Remove the checkmark from Enable Mirror Mode to disable it.

And now, the Splashtop app on your device will exit the mirror mode.

What is the difference between AirPlay and Sidecar?

AirPlay is a feature that allows you to share photos and videos with other apple devices. On the other hand, Sidecar is a feature that helps you in screen mirroring your display on other Apple devices.

Can I use Sidecar with my iPhone?

No, you can’t use your Sidecar with your iPhone. Currently, this feature is only available for iPad models that support Apple Pencil and Mac with Skylake processors and newer models. However, Apple might extend this feature to iPhones in the future.

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