Sidecar on Mac and iPad Pro

With macOS Catalina and iPadOS 13, Sidecar gives everyone the ability to have a second screen without needing a separate monitor. By default, when connecting your Mac to your iPad, the screen positioning places the iPad to the right of your Mac's screen. You can, however, change the positioning and even customize which screen you want to set as the default main screen with the Menu bar and desktop icons.

If you're new to using a second screen with your Mac, or have never needed to position a second screen in a different location than the default, you may not know about display arrangements on Mac. Here's how to find and customize it.

How to change which side your iPad is positioned in Sidecar in iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina

Before you start, make sure your iPad is connected to your Mac using Sidecar or you won't see some of the additional display options available.

  1. Click on the Sidecar icon in the Menu bar (with Sidecar already connected).
  2. Click on Open Display Preferences.

    Click the Sidecar icon, then select Displays Preferences

  3. Click on the Arrangement tab.
  4. Select the iPad screen in the display arrangement window.
  5. Drag it to your desired position.

    Click on Arrangements, then select the iPad display, then drag it to its new position

You can place it to the left or right, above or below, and even slightly angled to one corner. However you're planning on using your iPad as a second screen, you can position the display arrangement.

As soon as you make the changes, the repositioning will take place.

Before you start, make sure your iPad is connected to your Mac using Sidecar or you won't see some of the additional display options available.

  1. Click on the Sidecar icon in the Menu bar (with Sidecar already connected).
  2. Click on Open Display Preferences.

    Click the Sidecar icon, then select Displays Preferences

  3. Click on the Arrangement tab.
  4. Select the white bar at the top of whichever display it is currently designated.
  5. Drag the white bar to the other display.

    Click on Arrangements, then select the white bar, then drag it to the other screen

As soon as you switch the Menu bar, it will appear on the new screen.

How to bring your display preferences together onto one screen for easier access in Sidecar in iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina

If your iPad (or Mac) is too far for you to reach at the moment, but you want to make changes to it, you can bring all of the display windows onto whichever screen you are using and customize your options faster.

Before you start, make sure your iPad is connected to your Mac using Sidecar or you won't see some of the additional display options available.

  1. Click on the Sidecar icon in the Menu bar (with Sidecar already connected).
  2. Click on Open Display Preferences.

    Click the Sidecar icon, then select Displays Preferences

  3. Click on the Arrangement tab.
  4. Click on the Gather Windows button.

    Click on Arrangements, then click on Gather Windows

When you click on Gather Windows, both display windows will combine on the screen you're currently active in.

Some helpful accessories to improve your Sidecar experience

Satechi Mult-Port Adapter ($80 at Amazon)

With this 8 port adapter, you'll be able to carry over files, connect directly between screens, boot up a hard drive, and a whole lot more.

Apple Pencil (From $99 at Apple)

You know what's cool? Using your Apple Pencil with Mac apps. That's right, with Sidecar, you can use your Apple Pencil as a pointer, and with some apps, it's like having a Wacom tablet! (Make sure you pick the right Apple Pencil for your model iPad.)

Logitech Keys-to-Go ($70 at Logitech)

What's the point of making your iPad a second screen if you can't also treaat it like a laptop? The Keys-to-Go is the most portable keyboard you can get without a case. Versatility for the win!

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about using Sidecar in iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina or how to customize your second screen positioning? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

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