Now you can use your iPad as a secondary Mac display With Apple’s Sidecar feature. Unfortunately, it is only available on newer post-2016 MacBooks and iPads only. However, you can get the same functionality with the third-party app, Duet and use your iPad as a secondary Mac Display Without Sidecar.
Duet ($9.99) has been around now for years and has steadily gained new functionality. After installing it, just plug your iPad or iPhone into your Mac and start using it as a secondary display.
In case you want more features then you can subscribe to Duet Air at $1.99 per month. Which lets you use your iPad as a wireless display. The Duet Pro subscription at $3.99 per month enables Apple Pencil support so you can use your iPad as a drawing tablet this is one of Sidecar’s best features.
Unlike Sidecar, not only does the Duet support older Macs, but you also do not have to run macOS Catalina or iPadOS 13 to use this feature. However, in case you just want to use your iPad as a second display then the basic Duet app is all you need.
How to Install and Set Up Duet on a Mac
Duet running an iPad connected to a MacBook as a second display. Just download the free Duet app for Mac and follow these simple steps:
Step 1: First click “Download” on the Duet website.
Step 2: When the download is complete then double-click the file to unzip and reveal the Duet application file. Then drag it from the “Downloads” folder or wherever you saved it to the “Applications” folder.
Step 3: Just double-click on the Duet zip file.
Step 4: Now double-click on the Duet icon to launch the app.
Step 5: After that double-click the Duet icon.
Step 6: Now you will need to grant the permissions the app requests from you. First, add the Helper tool and to do so, type your device password, and then click “Add Helper.”
Step 7: Now type your password, and then tap on “Add Helper.”
After that use, the Spotlight Search to open “System Preferences.” Alternatively, you can also tap on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen, and then tap “System Preferences.” After that go to the “Security & Privacy” section to manage the permissions.
Step 1: First of all click “Security & Privacy” in the “System Preferences” menu.
Step 2: Then tap on the Lock icon and type your device passcode to make changes. Click the Lock icon.
Step 3: Now tap on “Accessibility,” and then check the box next to “Duet.”
Step 4: Tap on “Accessibility,” and then click the box next to “Duet.” If your Mac runs macOS Catalina, Duet needs a new Screen Recording permission. Tap on “Screen Recording,” and then click the box next to “Duet.”
Step 5: Tap on “Screen Recording,” and then click to checkmark the box next to “Duet.” After you grant the permissions, click the Duet icon in the menu bar. This is where you can control the app and set your preferences.
Step 6: Tap on the Duet icon in the menu bar.
How to Use Duet Display with Your Mac
Now that the Duet app is all set up on your Mac, you have to purchase, download, and open the Duet app on your iPad.
After that connect your iPad to your Mac with a USB to Lightning or USB-C cable. Instantly soon your Mac’s display should appear on your iPad. Now you can use your iPad as a secondary display.
In case you do not like the default setup, you can customize some settings. First of all, let’s arrange the displays. Duet might make the iPad the primary display.
Tap on the Duet icon in the menu bar, and then click the Gear icon.
Then tap on “Display Arrangement.” If you’ve used another display with your Mac before, you’ll be familiar with this interface. After that “Display Arrangement.”
If you want to make your Mac the primary display, tap and hold the white rectangle, and then drag it to the Mac display.
Depending on where you usually want to put your iPad, you can move the iPad display to either side of your Mac. You can also dock it at the top or bottom of the Mac display if that is helpful for your workflow.
Moreover, you can select the checkbox next to “Mirror Displays” to mirror your Mac’s display to your iPad. Here’s how to do it
Step 1: First of all click and hold the white rectangle to drag it to the Mac display. Then check the box next to “Mirror Displays” to mirror your Mac’s display to your iPad.
Step 2: Here you can use your iPad as a secondary display. Now you can also move the cursor from Mac’s display to the iPad with the trackpad on your Mac.
Step 3: Duet shows a software Touch Bar at the bottom of the iPad display by default. In case you want to disable it, tap on the Duet icon in the menu bar, and then tap on “Disabled” in the “iPad Touch Bar” section.
Step 4: Click “Disabled.”
You do not have to worry about lags or jitters on your iPad when you use it as a secondary display. In case you do run into any issues, simply force quit and restart the Duet app. After that, the secondary display should reappear just as it was.