How to Connect an iPad to a Projector

Use your iPad as a projector for presentations and movies

Photo of an iPad, with a Lightning-to-HDMI adapter, and an HDMI cable and Lightning power cable about to connect

When you connect an iPad to a projector, you can show slides, share videos, and mirror your screen. A projected screen makes it easier for other people to see without having to crowd around your device or pass it from person to person. In most cases, you can connect your iPad not only to a projector but also to a television or computer monitor.

The following methods let you connect an iPad to a projector with wires, or wirelessly with an Apple TV. The main difference between the two is that with a wired connection, what you see on your iPad appears on the screen. With a wireless AirPlay connection, you can either mirror your screen or share specific content from within an app that supports it.

These instructions apply to iPads running iOS 12 or later.

How to Connect an iPad to a Projector With a Cable

How to connect an iPad to a projector

The projector, TV, or monitor needs to allow input from either an HDMI or VGA connection. Because the iPad only has a Lightning port, you’ll need an adapter to plug into your iPad and either an HDMI or VGA cable that connects to the display device. In most cases, the HDMI connection is what you should use since it transmits both video and audio with a single cable. If you’re a frequent presenter, though, you may encounter older systems that only allow a VGA connection, so you may want to carry both kinds of adapters and cables.

  1. Get the correct adapter. If you have an iPad Pro released in late 2018 or later and your device has a standard USB-C port, you’ll need either a USB-C to HDMI adapter or a USB-C to VGA adapter depending on the display device. You may already have one of these connectors if you’ve connected a macOS laptop with a USB-C connection to a projector. You can use that same USB-C adapter with either your Mac or iPad.

    Otherwise, your iPad likely has a Lightning cable connector. For those devices, you’ll need a Lightning to HDMI adapter or a Lightning to VGA adapter.

  2. Get the correct cable. In most cases, you’ll already have either an HDMI or VGA cable with your projector, TV, or monitor. If not, you can purchase a Belkin HDMI cable from the Apple store or buy an HDMI or VGA cable from a third-party vendor, such as Monoprice.

  3. After you have the right adapter and cable, connect everything. Plug the adapter into your iPad, plug the cable (HDMI or VGA) into the other end of the adapter, and then plug the cable into the projector. If your adapter also includes a port for power, you may need to connect a power cable, too. Some systems and setups won’t work without a power source.

  4. Turn on the projector and your iPad. The projector or display will detect that you’ve connected your iPad and automatically show your screen.

  5. If your screen doesn’t appear after the projector has been on for a minute or two, you may need to change a setting on the projector, TV, or monitor. Look for buttons or menu items that control the source.

How to Share Your iPad Display Wirelessly

You can also connect an iPad to a projector wirelessly. You'll need a projector with an HDMI connection, an Apple TV, and an HDMI cable. You’ll also need both your Apple TV and iPad to be on the same Wi-Fi network.

You can mirror your iPad in both portrait and landscape orientations.

  1. Connect the Apple TV to the projector. Use an HDMI cable to connect your Apple TV to your projector. You’re using your projector as the display instead of your TV. Turn on your projector and make sure your Apple TV is powered and working.

  2. On your iPad, access the Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner of the Home screen.

    Screenshot of iPad control center, with Screen Mirroring option visible
  3. Tap Screen Mirroring.

    Connect iPad to projector
  4. Tap the name of your Apple TV.

    Connect iPad to projector
  5. To stop sharing your display with your Apple TV, pull up the Control Center again, tap the Screen Mirroring button (which will now show the name of your Apple TV), and then tap Stop Mirroring.

    Stop Mirroring command on an iPad
  6. Your Apple TV screen will return, and you can disconnect your iPad.

How to Use AirPlay from an App

Many apps allow you to display a specific photo, video, or file via AirPlay from within the app. Using AirPlay gives you a way to share content without revealing everything on your screen.

Not all apps support AirPlay. Check for compatibility before following these steps.

  1. Open an app that supports AirPlay, like YouTube.

  2. Find the video you want to share, and then tap the AirPlay icon.

    The AirPlay icon on iPhone.
     Star Wars/YouTube
  3. Tap AirPlay & Bluetooth devices.

    AirPlay and Bluetooth Devices on iPhone
     Star Wars/YouTube
  4. Tap the name of your Apple TV to connect to it.

    Available devices for AirPlay on iPhone
  5. To stop sharing, tap the AirPlay icon again, and then tap the name of your device to switch back from the Apple TV.