iPad Not Showing up in Sidecar? How to Fix it


How To Fix iPad Not Showing Up In Sidecar


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For some users, the iPad is not visible in sidecar. According to reports, the problem occurs during both wireless and wired connections. Although, I have not encountered any such issues on my Mac, I can spot the criminals hiding behind this issue - mainly based on my experience. So, if you are looking to fix an issue that is not working, sidecar is on the right troubleshooting guide. Let's get rid of lava properly!


How to Fix iPad Not Showing up in Sidecar Issue 

Make sure your devices are compatible

While this is not a solution per se, it is worth reiterating that not all Macs and iPads work with sidecar - even if they have MacOS Catalina and iPadOS support respectively. Therefore, make sure that your devices are fully onboard before trying this feature.


Ipad Those Support Sideca

  • 12.9 inch iPad Pro
  • 11 inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7 inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air (3-gen)
  • iPad (6-gen or later)
  • 5th-gen iPad Mini

Macs Those Support sidecar

  • MacBook Pro 2016 or later
  • Macbook air 2018 or later
  • MacBook 2016 or later
  • Mac Pro 2019 or later
  • iMac Pro 2017 or later
  • iMac 2015 or later
  • Mac mini 2018 or later

Side note: Although there is a complex solution to using sidecar even on an unsupported Mac, I do not want to recommend it for the general user as it does not work most of the time. Therefore, there is no point in bringing it into the discussion.


Enable Two-factor Authentication

Apple has done two-factor authentication for messaging in most new features such as iCloud and Accepted. Hopefully, the story is no different for sidecar. So, if you have turned off 2FA, be sure to enable it to use sidecar.

On your iPad: Open SettingsProfile Photo aka Avatar → Password and SecurityTwo-Factor Authentication. Now, make sure it is enabled.

On your Mac: Launch System PreferencesApple IDPassword and SecurityTwo-Factor Authentication. Now, make sure that the 2FA option is ON.

Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020




Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020

Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020


Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Handoff on / off

For sidecar to work, both of your devices must be on the same Wi-Fi connection. In addition, it also requires Bluetooth and handoff to be enabled on iPad and Mac. If you're still experiencing problems after checking these required boxes, try turning off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and handoff. And also restart your devices.


Disable wi-fi and Bluetooth

On your Mac, click on the Wi-Fi icon in the status bar and choose Wi-Fi Off.


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Also, click on the Bluetooth icon and choose Turn off Bluetooth.


Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020

On your iPad, go to the Settings app → Wi-Fi / Bluetooth. Now, turn them off.

Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020


Disable Handoff

On your Mac: Apple  Click on MenuSystem PreferencesGeneral. 
Uncheck the box to "Allow Handoff" between this Mac and the iCloud devices. "







On your iPad: Go to SettingsGeneralHandoff, then turn on Handoff.

Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020

Now, restart both of your devices. After rebooting, turn on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and handoff on Mac and iPad. Next, try to use Sidecar as usual. Just click on the AirPlay icon in the menu bar on your Mac and then select the option to connect to your iPad. If it has started working, then you are good to go.

Sticky Note: To use sidecar wirelessly, place your devices within 10 meters (30 ft) of each other.


Make Sure Both Your iPad And Mac Are Not Sharing The Internet


If your iPad and Mac are set to share an internet connection, the Sidecar will not work. You may have enabled Internet sharing on your device and forgot to turn it off. Check it out as this may be the reason behind this issue.

On your iPad, go to SettingsPersonal Hotspot and then turn the toggle off.

On your Mac: open System Preferences → Sharing. Now, uncheck the box for Internet sharing.


Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020

Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020


Make Sure Your iPad Is Set To Rely On Your Mac

Especially when using a sidecar over USB, make sure your iPad is set to rely on your Mac. When you connect your iPad to a MacOS device using a cable, a popup will appear on the tablet asking you to trust the computer. Tap on Trust.

Just in case, the popup does not appear to trust the computer, reset location and privacy. Launch the Settings app on your iPad → GeneralReset. Now, tap on the Reset Location & Privacy and click on confirm.

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Try connecting your tablet to a computer. Now the trust popup will appear.


Disable All Incoming Connections

Have you enabled the firewall on your Mac? There is an option to block all incoming connections slightly buried inside the firewall settings, which include basic Internet services such as IPSec, DHCP, Bonjour, etc. As it is known to create connection problems, it would be better to turn it off.

One thing to note is that you do not need to turn off the firewall to disable this feature.

Open System PreferencesSecurity and PrivacyFirewall tab. Now, click on lock and enter username password.

Wallpaper for iPhone 11, wallpaper for iphone 11 2020

Next, click on the firewall options and then uncheck the box on the left side of the block to block all incoming connections. Finally, click OK to finish.


Sign Out From Your Apple Id And Sign Back In Again


Another requirement for Sidecar is that your devices must be signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID. So, make sure that you have this requirement closed as well. If you are still experiencing problems after meeting this requirement, sign out of the Apple ID on your iPad and Mac. Then, sign back in.

On iPad: Open the Settings appProfile photo → Sign out.



On Mac: Open System Preferences then Apple ID then Sign out.

Now, sign in using the same Apple ID on both devices.


Update Both Your iPad And Mac


If any of the tricks did not resolve the sidarker issue, there could be a software bug behind it. If your devices are not up to date, update them without fail. Most probably, you will eventually be able to solve the problem with software updates.

On iPad: Open the Settings application → GeneralSoftware Update.

On the Mac: Click Apple menu → System PreferencesSoftware Update.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which Macs Will Support Sidecar?
Answer - 
  • iMac 27-inch (Late 2015 or newer) 
  • MacPro (2016 or newer) 
  • Mac mini (2018) 
  • Mac Pro (2019) 
  • MacBook Air (2018) 
  • MacBook (Early 2016 or newer)
Q2. Will Sidecar Work With Older iPads?
Answer - Sidecar in iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina is Working Perfectly.

Q3. What iPads Supports Sidecar?

Answer - 

Apple Pencil: 
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation) 
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation) 
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation) 
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch 
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch 

Apple Pencil (2nd generation):
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) 
  • iPad Pro 11-inch

Signing Off

Hopefully, you have found a better solution to the problem and have also learned how to deal with such common snakes that crop up many times.

From what I have experienced, sidecar is a step in the right direction from a productivity perspective. It takes full advantage of seamless integration between macOS and iPadOS. While it's not flawless, it works very well in turning the iPad into a handy secondary screen on a Mac.

So, which of the above solutions fix the Sidecar on your device? Share your feedback and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and also on Facebook.

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