How To Fix Sidecar Not Working Problem On iPad & macOS

Capability to use your iPad as a second monitor through Sidecar for Mac is an incredible feature that Apple introduced for its users. Having an additional portable monitor would surely be the icing on the cake for better productivity. But sometimes it can get cumbersome to connect your iPad to your Mac using the Sidecar feature. Your system might display the error messages: “Device timed out”, “Unable to connect”, “You can’t open the Sidecar preferences pane because it is not available to you at this time”. 

If you are witnessing the same error messages, we‘ve curated a list of Top Fixes To Resolve Sidecar Not Working Issue on your Mac and iPad.

Basic Tweaks Needed To Fix The Mac Sidecar Not Responding

Before we navigate to the advanced method to fix the issue, follow these quick steps:

  • Make sure both the iPad and macOS should be updated with the latest version.
  • Ensure both the devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Both the devices should be signed with the same Apple ID/iCloud account.
  • Once you’ve located it, connect your iPad to the Mac via lightning cable and then further activate Sidecar from the System Preferences.
  • If you are unable to establish a successful connection, sign-out from both Mac and iPad and restart the devices.
  • Later, you can sign-in with the same Apple ID and use a cable to connect your iPad and Mac to use Sidecar. (This is essential if you want to avoid Bluetooth and Wi-Fi issues)
  • To use Sidecar: Unlock the iPad > navigate to the Apple logo > go to System Preferences > choose Sidecar option > make sure to select iPad under connect from the dropdown devices list.


Fix Sidecar Not Working Problem On iPad & macOS

If the aforementioned steps didn’t help you to fix the issue, follow the steps below:

ERROR 1: Device Timed Out

If you are receiving the error message ‘Device Timed Out’ while connecting iPad with Mac to use Sidecar, follow the workarounds mentioned below:

Sidecar Not Working

Solution 1- Force Restart iPadOS 

To do so:

  • Press and release the Volume Up button.
  • Press and release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Power button, until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Solution 2- Check Whether iPad Is A Trusted Device 

To do so:


  • Connect the iPad device to Mac using a cable.
  • Locate and select the iPad device from Finder.
  • At this point, you need to establish the ‘Trust Relationship’ to trust the iPad.
  • Restart the device to implement the changes!


Solution 3- Log Out From Your Current Apple ID 

To do so on the iPad:

  • Go to the Settings.
  • Scroll down and choose the option Sign Out.

On macOS:

  • Go to the Apple menu.
  • Navigate to System Preferences.
  • Select Apple ID.
  • Hit the option Sign Out.

ERROR 2: Unable To Connect

If you are receiving the error message ‘Unable To Connect’ while connecting iPad with Mac to use Sidecar, follow the workarounds mentioned below:

Sidecar Not Working

Solution 1- Login Using The Same Apple ID 

To log in, follow the aforementioned steps for both iPad and macOS to sign-in with the same Apple ID, as you did to log out from the devices.

Solution 2- Activate Two-Factor Authentication 

Two-factor authentication ensures that only you have access to your account. To enable the security settings, follow the steps below on the iPad:

  • Go to the Apple menu.
  • Navigate to System Preferences.
  • Click on the Apple ID.
  • Hit the option Password & Security under your name.
  • Turn On Two-Factor Authentication option.

On macOS:

  • Navigate to the Settings.
  • Hit your Name and select Password & Security under the name.
  • Turn on the Two-Factor Authentication option.
  • Hit the Continue button!

Solution 3- Enable Bluetooth On Both The Devices 

Make sure you activate Bluetooth enable on both iPad and macOS:

On iPad:

  • Go to the Settings.
  • Navigate to the Bluetooth section.
  • Enable it!

On macOS:

  • Go to System Preferences.
  • Hit the option Bluetooth.
  • Toggle on the settings!

ERROR 3: You Can’t Open The Sidecar Preferences Pane Because It Is Not Available For You At This Time

If you are receiving the error message ‘Sidecar not found in System Preferences’ while connecting iPad with Mac to use Sidecar, you need to check the device’s compatibility:

Can’t Open The Sidecar Preferences Pane Because It Is Not Available For You At This Time

Solution 1 – Check The Compatibility 

For iPadOS:

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini-4
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

For macOS:

  • MacBook Pro (mid-2012 onward)
  • MacBook Air (mid-2012 onward)
  • 12-inch MacBook (early 2015 onward)
  • iMac Pro (2017 onward)
  • iMac (late 2012 onward)
  • Mac Mini (late 2012 onward)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 onward)

Solution 2- Keep Mac & iPad Close To Each Other 

Put both the devices close to each other within a specified range of 30 feet.

Solution 3- Hit the AirPlay Icon 

You can find the AirPlay icon on the top-right corner of the screen (on your Mac). Tap the feature to connect to your iPad. It might take some time, but keep patience to let your AirPlay detect your iPad.

Get Rid Of Bugs On Your Mac: To Fix Sidecar Not Working 

While implementing all of the solutions mentioned above can resolve Sidecar not working on Mac. You should ensure that your system remains free from bugs and potential issues that might hamper performance or create conflicts while connecting iPad and Mac via Sidecar.


For this purpose, we recommend using an extraordinary software – Disk Clean Pro. It is a top-notch clanging and optimization utility, which can help detect caches, login items, history, logs, junk files, unused disk images, and more. To get rid of all the potential traces, follow the steps below:

  • Download, install & launch Disk Clean Pro.
  • From the main dashboard, click on the Start System Scan button.
  • Once the junk files, caches, login items, and other residues get listed.
  • Hit the button ‘Clean Now’ to get rid of the issues.

Disk Clean Pro

To know more about Disk Clean Pro, check out the detailed review here!



Frequently Asked Questions  

Q1. Where Is iPad’s Sidecar Settings?

There are no dedicated Sidecar settings for iPad, hence you need to find it for Mac: Apple menu > System Preferences > Sidecar and select AirPlay menu.

Q2. How To Use iPad As A Second Display For Your Mac Using A Sidecar?

To connect Sidecar using System Preferences:

  • Switch on your Mac & iPad.
  • Navigate to the System Preferences.
  • Choose Sidecar.
  • From the Connect header, choose your iPad.

Q3. How To Check If Both The Devices Are Successfully Connected Via Sidecar?

From the menu bar, if your AirPlay icon is replaced by the Blue rectangle, stay assured both iPad and Mac are connected via Sidecar.


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