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macOS Catalina has a feature where you can use your iPad as a secondary display for your Mac. I have a Macbook Pro 2016 and a 10.5 inch iPad Pro 2017. Both are officially supported for the latest versions of macOS and iPadOS and support Sidecar.

I installed the latest version of iPadOS and macOS and tried using Sidecar and it kinda works but it's extremely laggy and blurry and almost unusable and if I turn wifi off in my mac it disconnects and complains about wifi being turned off.

As far as I know this feature can work with wired connections as well and I tried connecting iPad to Macbook using a (Lightning -> USB A) to USB C adapter and also also tried using a USB 3 hub connected directly to the laptop using USB C and it still does not work.

Is there any way I could force Sidecar to work over a wired connection?

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  • 1
    Did you try a direct Mac-iPad connection (without any adapters or hubs)?
    – nohillside
    Aug 1 '19 at 9:31
  • @nohillside I don't have a Lightning to USB C cable. My USB C hub is actually part of the monitor stand and connects to the laptop with a DisplayPort over TB3 connection. Aug 1 '19 at 9:35
33

I struggled with the same problem and just now finally solved it. The issue was for me that I didn't earlier "Trusted my iPad" on my mac, and "Trusted my Mac" on my iPad. Here's a how to: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202778

After doing this, it finally connects via cable and is hopyfully less buggy. x'3

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  • 1
    Support article on trust is lacking important details for my setup. Using Finder to establish Trust (Sebastien's answer) worked for me.
    – Leopd
    May 12 '20 at 16:22
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For anyone stuck with the same problem, I figured out that I needed to Trust the ipad on my Mac by opening a Finder window, click the ipad on the left bar and finally "Trust" with the appropriate button on the right.

1
  • I was actually trying that normally but I noticed that my iPad is not shown on Finder's left bar, so there's nothing to click. Any ideas? Jun 3 at 17:27
4

You can use a direct USB-C to Lightning cable (I used an MFi cable by Aukey). Turn off the iPad's wifi, make sure you are signed in to the same apple ID, have iOS13 and Catalina installed. It is much faster than the wifi connection for me (and I also have less lag on my mac this way).

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    My iPad 12.9 connected via USB-C would not connect unless I gave it the Wi-Fi connection. By turning off Wi-Fi on the iPad itself, then using sidecar, I could finally connect over USB-C. Thanks!
    – Cerniuk
    Nov 20 '19 at 12:40
  • I tried this with an iPad Mini (2019) and MacBook Pro (2018) – didn't work.
    – adib
    Dec 1 '19 at 3:24
3

For me, it wasn't a cable issue and the "Trust this Computer" fix didn't work either. I finally found an answer on the Apple Support Communities that fixed the issue for me. Here's an excerpt of the relevant section:

Following the instructions, I noticed there were two .plist files in particular that looked suspicious:

/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration

preferences.plist contained a reference to "iPad USB" (even though I didn't see iPad USB in my "Network" settings).

NetworkInterfaces.plist contained multiple references to "iPad".

I made a backup of the two .plist files, deleted them from the SystemConfiguration folder, and rebooted. Voila! Now Sidecar works over USB.

Note: Both my Mac and iPad have WiFi completely turned off. Both have Bluetooth turned on. Mac is on Ethernet. iPad is connected to Mac using USB cable. That's it.

I am not a Mac expert, so I can't advise on the two .plist files I deleted. It worked for me, but your mileage may vary, and I am not sure if there is any danger related to deleting these files. Another thing I am not sure of, is whether it was necessary to uninstall ExpressVPN AND delete the .plist files. I wonder if doing the latter is sufficient to get USB Sidecar to work.

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  • Doesn't help at all.
    – KSPR
    May 4 '20 at 10:33
  • It worked for me. Check the device trust first, and if that doesn't get Sidecar USB to work, fix the .plist files as mentioned above. Also make sure no VPN connection is active when connecting Sidecar USB.
    – YYL
    Jun 19 '20 at 3:45
3

Using Catalina 10.15.6 and iPadOS 14.4.2, I've found that simply turning WiFi off from the control panel on the iPad (or toggling the slider in Settings) is not sufficient to force USB connection, you need to put the iPad into airplane mode — Mac was still able to connect to iPad with iPad's WiFi "turned off". It was only unable to connect in Airplane mode, and then plugging in directly restored connection. Testing in that way was the only way to ensure that it was using the wired connection.

1

I turned on Airplane Mode on my iPad to use Sidecar and it works great!

  1. Connect iPad to iMac via USB-C (iPad Charge Cable)
  2. Trust Device by going to finder and then your iPad
  3. Turn on Airplane Mode on iPad
  4. System Preferences on iMac and activate Sidecar
0

I know you mention your model is 2016 Pro, but I wanted to post this here for anyone that ran into this article thinking these solutions may work for the 2015 Pro model.... they do not. Sidecar DOES NOT work with the mid-2015 models (or earlier).

I chased my tail on this for an hour when I realized it didn't matter that I bought my mid2015 model in 2016 [facepalm]. In my mind I made some assumption that it would work because a spotlight search in Catalina tells shows Sidecar is there installed/available... And I also went through the "Trust" hoops, which furthered my assumption that it would connect. But I was unable to do so. My best option will be to buy a Luna Display.

From Apple Support:

Sidecar system requirements

MacBook Pro introduced in 2016 or later.
MacBook introduced in 2016 or later.
MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later.
iMac introduced in 2017 or later, or iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
iMac Pro.
Mac mini introduced in 2018 or later.
Mac Pro introduced in 2019.

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