Sidecar Not Working on Mac

With the introduction of macOS Catalina and iPadOS 13, Apple users gained access to a new feature called Sidecar. It essentially allows users to turn their iPad devices into screen extensions of their Macs, opening a myriad of exciting new possibilities. Unfortunately, under certain circumstances Sidecar might encounter problems resulting in it the feature being unable to work properly. To quickly troubleshoot several potential solutions to this problem, check the suggestions outlined below. 

Make sure the devices meet the required specs

Older devices or ones running un-updated macOS may not be able to launch Sidecar successfully. According to Apple itself, the devices that support the feature are:

Mac devices - MacBook (2016 or newer), MacBook Air (2018 or newer), MacBook Pro (2016 or newer), Mac mini (2018 or newer), iMac (2015 or newer), iMac Pro (2017 or newer), Mac Pro (2019 or newer).

iPad devices must run iPadOS 13 - 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 11-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad (6th gen or newer), iPad mini (5th gen or newer), iPad Air (3rd gen or newer).

If you a device that doesn't exactly meet the criteria, there is a technique that might work so it is worth giving it a shot:

  1. Plug the iPad into your Mac.
  2. Open your Applications folder, go to Utilities, and launch Terminal.
  3. Type the defaults write com.apple.sidecar.display AllowAllDevices -bool true; defaults write com.apple.sidecar.display hasShownPref -bool true; open /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Sidecar.prefPane command into the Terminal window.
  4. Press Enter on your keyboard.
  5. Enter your password if required. 

Check the Apple ID

For Sidecar to work as intended, both devices must be signed in with the same Apple ID. To check if this is the case do the following:

  1. Open 'System Preferences.'
  2. Go to 'Apple ID.'
  3. See if the iCloud account on the Mac matches the one on the iPad.

Authorize the Mac

Sometimes Sidecar may encounter incompatibility issues if the iPad doesn't have trust verification with the Mac device. To fix it follow the steps:

  1. Get your iPad and go to 'Settings,' followed by 'General,' and then 'Reset.'
  2. Tap on 'Reset Location & Privacy.'
  3. Now connect the iPad to the Mac.
  4. You should see a prompt asking you to trust your Mac.

Start Sidecar properly

Make sure that you are launching Sidecar the correct way as the feature will not start automatically. 

  1. Turn on both devices.
  2. On the Mac, open 'System Preferences' and go to 'Sidecar.'
  3. Select the iPad from the 'Connect to' dropdown menu. 

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