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How to Fix macOS Catalina and iPadOS Sidecar not Working? Common Issues Troubleshooting


Apple macOS Catalina and iPadOS come out with a new feature called Sidecar, designed to let you use your iPad as a display that extends or mirrors your Mac desktop. But some users find it's hard to using Sidecar. Some errors come up when trying to get Mac and iPad connected such as "unable to connect," "device timed out," or "it is not available to you at this time". Here are some common issues troubleshooting and how to fix it.

Sidecar common issues troubleshooting

1. Check for device system 

Sidecar requires a compatible Mac using macOS Catalina and a compatible iPad using iPadOS 13. Make sure that your Mac and iPad meet the Sidecar system requirements.


Mac using macOS Catalina

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, plus iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)

iMac Pro

Mac mini introduced in 2018 or later

Mac Pro introduced in 2019


iPad using iPadOS 13

iPad Pro: all models

iPad (6th generation) or later

iPad mini (5th generation)

iPad Air (3rd generation)

2. Check for Apple ID

Both devices must be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication.

▪ iPad: Settings > tap Sign in to your device and enter your Apple ID and password

▪ Mac: Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Sign in and then use the same Apple ID and sign in.


3. Check for settings

Sidecar can be used with wired or wireless, to use Sidecar wirelessly, both devices must be within 10 meters (30 feet) of each other and have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff turned on. Also make sure that the iPad is not sharing its cellular connection and the Mac is not sharing its Internet connection.



▪ iPad: Settings > Bluetooth

▪ Mac: Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar



▪ iPad: Settings > Wi-Fi

▪ Mac: Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar



▪ iPad: Go to Settings > General > Handoff

▪ Mac: Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > General and check the "Allow  Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices." option.


* To use Sidecar over USB, make sure that your iPad is set to trust your Mac.

Ways to connect iPad to Mac to use Sidecar

1. Use system preference

▪ Turn your iPad and Mac on.

▪ Go to the "System Preferences" on your macOS Catalina.

▪ Select "Sidecar".

▪ Under Connect to the menu, choose your iPad.


2. Use Airplay

▪ Click AirPlay on Mac's menu bar. (if the Airplay mirror option is not showing on Mac Manu Bar, Then first Enable Airplay shortcut under the Mac preferences.)

▪ Go to the Apple logo on Mac > System Preferences > Display > Arrangement.

▪ Checkmark mirror display option.

▪ iPad will appear under the list of Connect to or AirPlay to list.


How to make the most use of Sidecar

The development of new sidecar features is a boon for Mac users, especially designers and photographers. Make it easy for them to create and modify works on two screens.

However, too many photos and files can slow down your Mac and influence your use. For your better use and experience with Mac Sidecar, we recommend you use MacBooster. MacBooster specializes in cleaning up junk files for your Mac safely, securing your Mac from any threats and boosting Mac to the peak performance. Let you make the most of Sidecar in a fluent and efficient way.


1. Download MacBooster.(free download from the official site)

2. Scan the whole Mac.

3. Clean the Mac and Speed up Mac immediately.


That's all for how to fix macOS Catalina and iPadOS Sidecar not working. Thanks for reading this passage and hope you can enjoy the macOS new feature.

Check out more useful tips:



How to Clean Up Junk Files on Mac

How to Fix Mac Running Slow? Five Simple Ways to Fix It

Apple macOS 10.15 Catalina New Features----All You Should Know

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