12 Ways to Fix it When Sidecar Isn't Working on iPad

Settings on both the Mac and iPad need to be in sync

Sidecar, once the settings are enabled, should work without much effort. This article will explain where the settings are and what to do when your Mac and iPad can’t get Sidecar working or stay connected.

Likely Reasons Why Sidecar Isn't Working

Here are the most likely reasons Sidecar isn't working at all with your Mac and your iPad:

  • Inconsistent Apple ID
  • Unsupported devices
  • Out of date system software

How to Fix It When iPad Isn't Showing Up in Sidecar

Try these fixes below in order to get Sidecar working with your Mac and your iPad. Make sure to go in order as the fixes start with easiest and progressively get more involved.

  1. Make sure you are signed into the same Apple ID account.

    Mac: Apple menu > System Preferences and check the account at the top.

    iPad: Settings app and check the account at the top.

  2. Is your device supported? Our article about Sidecar explains which devices are supported to use Sidecar.

  3. Make sure your iPad and Mac are up to date.

    Mac: Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update

    iPad: Settings > General > Software Update

  4. Check to make sure your iPad is unlocked. If your iPad is locked, you can't use Sidecar.

    Mac: Apple Menu > System Preferences > General > Check box (towards the bottom) Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

    iPad: Settings app > General > Airplay & Handoff

  5. Check Handoff is enabled. Handoff is a feature which allows Mac and iOS devices to share certain bits of data seamlessly (in theory). It's enabled by default, but double check it's still enabled in both devices' settings menus. 

  6. There could be a Bluetooth communication issue. Try turning Bluetooth off and back on again on both devices.

  7. Keep your devices close together. While Bluetooth range is quite good, you'll need to keep both your devices close to ensure timing out does not occur.

  8. Try restarting both devices. Sometimes, a quick restart can flush out communication issues or clear corrupted files from memory and get the systems talking to each other again.

  9. On your iPad, try disabling Keep Today on Home Screen. To do so, go to Settings > Home Screen & Dock and toggle the option off.

  10. Try plugging your iPad into the Mac. Use a USB cable to plug your iPad into your Mac to solve any wireless connection issues.

  11. Check your iPad is a trusted device. Connect your iPad to your Mac then find the device in Finder. Click Trust when it appears and restart the device.

  12. Clear a black screen. If you see a black screen, on your Mac, click the Apple logo > System Preferences > Display, then click Arrangement. Toggle Mirror Display on and off to reset it. 

  • Which iPads can use Sidecar?

    Not every iPad supports Sidecar. Compatible devices are all models of iPad Pro, iPad 6 and up, iPad Mini 5 and newer, and iPad Air 3 and later.

  • How do I check Mac and iPad requirements for Sidecar?

    Apple has a list of compatible devices on its support site. Along with the iPad requirements, you also need the right Mac. Generally speaking, if your Mac came out in 2019 or later, you can run Sidecar, but some earlier models can also use the feature.

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