iPad not showing up in Sidecar? How to fix it

Is your iPad not showing up in Sidecar? The issue has been reported with both wireless and wired connections.While I have not encountered similar issues on my Mac, I can identify the culprit behind this issue primarily based on previous experience. So, if you are looking to fix a broken stroller, you are in the right troubleshooting guide.

Let’s get rid of this snag right away!

8 Ways to Fix iPad Not Showing up in Stroller Problem

  1. Make sure your devices are compatible
  2. Do not disable two-factor authentication
  3. Turn off / on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Handoff
  4. Make sure your iPad and Mac are not using the Internet
  5. Make sure your iPad is set to trust your Mac
  6. Disable blocking of all incoming connections
  7. Sign out of Apple ID and sign in again
  8. Update your iPad and Mac

1. Make sure your devices are compatible

While not a solution in and of itself, it’s worth reiterating that not all Macs and iPads work with Sidecar, even if they support macOS Catalina and iPadOS respectively. So, make sure your devices are fully integrated before trying out this feature.

iPad with Sidecar support

  • IPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad (6th generation or newer)
  • IPad mini 5th generation

Mac with Sidecar support

  • MacBook Pro 2016 or newer
  • MacBook Air 2018 or newer
  • MacBook 2016 or newer
  • Mac Pro 2019 or newer
  • iMac Pro 2017 or newer
  • iMac 2015 or newer
  • Mac mini 2018 or newer

Note: While there is a tricky workaround for using Sidecar even on an unsupported Mac, I don’t recommend it to regular users as it doesn’t work in most cases. So there is no point in bringing this up for discussion.

2. Do not disable two-factor authentication.

Apple has made two-factor authentication mandatory for most new features such as Messages to iCloud and Approved. The stroller is no exception to this rule. So, if you have disabled 2FA, be sure to enable it so you can use Sidecar.

On iPad: Go to Settings → Profile Photo (Avatar) → Password & Security → Two-Factor Authentication. Now make sure it is turned on.

On your Mac: Launch System Preferences → Apple ID → Password & Security → Two-Factor Authentication. Now make sure the 2FA option is enabled.

3. Turn off / on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Handoff.

For Sidecar to work, both of your devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi connection. It also requires Bluetooth and Handoff to be turned on on your iPad and Mac.

If you run into a problem even after checking these important fields, try turning Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Handoff off / on. Restarting your devices may also be helpful.

Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

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

Also click the Bluetooth icon and select Turn Bluetooth Off.

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

Disable handover

Mac: Click the Apple icon in the toolbar (or use Spotlight search) → System Preferences → General. Uncheck Allow handover between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

On iPad: Go to Settings → General → Transfer, then turn on Transfer.

Now restart both of your devices. After reboot, enable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Handoff on Mac and iPad.

Then try using Sidecar as usual. Just click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar on your Mac, then choose the iPad connection option. If it works, you’re done.

Note: To use Sidecar wirelessly, keep the devices within 10 meters (30 feet) of each other.

4. Make sure your iPad and Mac do not have Internet access.

Sidecar will not work if your iPad and Mac are set up to share the Internet. You may have turned on Internet sharing on your device and forgot to turn it off. Check it out as it may very well be the cause of this problem.

On iPad, go to Settings → Personal Hotspot and turn it off.

On your Mac, open System Preferences → Sharing. Now uncheck “Internet Sharing”.

5. Make sure your iPad is set to trust your Mac.

Especially when using Sidecar over USB, make sure your iPad is set to trust your Mac. When you connect your iPad to a macOS device using a cable, a pop-up window appears on the tablet asking you to trust the computer. Tap Trust.

Just in case the “Trust this computer” pop-up doesn’t appear, please reset location and privacy. On iPad, launch Settings → General → Reset. Now click on “Reset Location & Privacy” and confirm.

Connect your tablet to your computer. The Trust popup will appear.

6. Disable blocking of all incoming connections.

Have you turned on firewall on your Mac? Hidden in the firewall settings is the ability to block all incoming connections, except for those required for basic Internet services such as IPSec, DHCP, Bonjour, etc.

Since it is known to cause connection problems, you may find it helpful to disable it.

It’s worth mentioning that you don’t need to disable your firewall to disable this feature.

Open System Preferences → Security & Privacy → Firewall tab. Now click on the lock and enter the password as username.

Then click on Firewall Options and uncheck the box to the left of Block all incoming connections. Finally, click OK to finish.

7. Sign out of Apple ID and sign in again.

Another requirement for Sidecar is that your devices must be iCloud authorized with the same Apple ID. So, make sure you check this requirement.

If you run into a problem even after meeting this requirement, sign out of Apple ID on your iPad and Mac. Then login again.

On iPad: Go to Settings → Profile Photo → Sign Out.

On a Mac: Go to System Preferences → Apple ID → Sign Out.

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

8. Update your iPad and Mac.

If none of the tricks worked to fix your iPad not showing up in Sidecar, it could be due to a software bug. If your devices are not up to date, now is the time. You will most likely be able to fix the problem permanently with a software update.

On iPad: Go to Settings → General → Software Update.

On a Mac: Click the Apple icon → System Preferences → Software Update.

Hopefully you have dealt with the problem and also learned how to deal with common obstacles that sometimes arise.

As far as I know, Sidecar is a step in the right direction in terms of performance. It takes full advantage of the seamless integration between macOS and iPadOS. While it’s not flawless, it works great at turning iPad into a handy secondary screen for your Mac.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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