List of Macs & iPads with Sidecar Compatibility

Oct 11, 2019 - 10 Comments

Sidecar compatible Mac and iPad models

Wondering which Mac and iPad models support Sidecar? If you’re curious as to whether or not a Mac and iPad is compatible with Sidecar, you’ll find the list of supported devices below to be helpful. Not all Mac and iPad models support the feature, but most new models do.

Sidecar is the helpful new feature introduced in MacOS Catalina 10.15 and iPadOS 13 that allows an iPad to function as an external display for a Mac, with full touch screen support on the iPad as well as the ability you use Apple Pencil. Some MacOS Catalina users have attempted to use Sidecar but found it’s not working on their Mac and iPad combination, perhaps thinking it’s a problem with MacOS Catalina when in fact it’s just a matter of system compatibility. So let’s review which devices Sidecar works for.

Sidecar System Requirements for Mac & iPad

Sidecar is only compatible with some of the latest models of iPad and Mac hardware.

iPad Models with Sidecar Support

iPad must be running iPadOS 13 or later, and must be one of the following devices:

  • iPad Pro (all models, including 9.7″ iPad Pro, 10.5″ iPad Pro, 11″ iPad Pro, 12.9″ iPad Pro, all generations)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and newer)
  • iPad (7th generation and newer)
  • iPad (6th generation and newer)
  • iPad mini 5 (and newer)

You might notice that only the iPad models with Apple Pencil support will also support Sidecar (and yes, you can use Sidecar without having an Apple Pencil, just use touch interaction instead).

Macs with Sidecar Compatibility

The Mac must be running MacOS Catalina 10.15 or later, and must be one of the following computers:

  • MacBook Pro (2016) or newer
  • MacBook Air (2018) or newer
  • MacBook (Early 2016) or newer
  • Mac Mini (2018) or newer
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • iMac Pro (2017) or newer
  • iMac (Late 2015) or newer

For Mac, you can confirm that Sidecar is enabled and available on the Mac by going to the System Preferences and checking the Sidecar preferences.

Assuming you meet the system requirements for using Sidecar on Mac and iPad, you must have the two devices with Handoff enabled and within range of one another, and the feature should work and be available.

As you can see, there are various other iPad and Mac models that do not support Sidecar, even if they otherwise compatible with MacOS Catalina and compatible with iPadOS 13. So if you have recently updated your devices to the latest operating systems but find the feature is not available or is not working, perhaps it’s because of a compatibility issue with the hardware not being supported, rather than a problem with the Sidecar feature itself.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

10 Comments

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  1. JohnIL says:

    I think Mac’s require a SkyLake or newer CPU for Side Car, and possibly a newer release of Bluetooth for wireless connection. Seems like this could be a useful feature for bigger iPad Pro users, not so much for a smaller iPad. Maybe this is why Apple ticked up the size of the iPad slightly as well? Too bad Mac’s don’t have touch screens as this would really make the Side Car experience more solidified. I can’t see myself using the feature very much, but I can envision many scenarios a person would want it.

  2. GK says:

    Is your supported hardware list incomplete? It doesn’t seem logical that ONLY 27″ iMacs would be compatible with Sidecar.

    Here is the compatibility list from the Apple Sidecar Tech Brief from Oct.2019:

    Supported hardware

    Sidecar requires Mac with Skylake processors and later models, and iPad models that support Apple Pencil.

    Sidecar-supported Mac models:
    • MacBook introduced in 2016 or later
    • MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later • MacBook Pro introduced in 2016 or later • Mac mini introduced in 2018 or later
    • iMac introduced in late 2015 or later
    • iMac Pro introduced in 2017 or later
    • Mac Pro introduced in 2019

    Sidecar-supported iPad models: • 12.9-inch iPad Pro
    • 11-inch iPad Pro
    • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
    • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
    • iPad (6th generation or later) • iPad mini (5th generation)
    • iPad Air (3rd generation)

    Continuity Sketch and Markup will work with all Mac systems running macOS Catalina, iPad devices running iPadOS, and iPhone devices running iOS 13.

    • Paul says:

      You’re right, thanks for pointing out the typo. Both the iMac 21″ and 27″ will support sidecar if they’re from 2015 or later. Apologies, this has been corrected in the article!

  3. Alan Robertson says:

    How the f* does Apple not make Sidecar compatible with the Mac Pro that was available at the time of the announcement?

    I have a fully specced Mac Pro that I purchased new in May 2019 and it incompatible. I just think that is BS.

  4. Tom Swift says:

    In the App store ‘Duet’ fails with a score of 1 out of 5. Comments are: “Total Crap”, “Doesn’t work at all”, etc.

    • Tom Swift says:

      MY APOLOGY!

      I had put ‘Duet’ into the App Store search. It came up with “Results for Duet” and I didn’t notice that the actual app was something called ‘iDisplayMate’.

      THAT one got a horrible grade from everyone.

  5. Ian Wilkinson says:

    I run Duet in a MacBook Pro (early 2015) and an iPad mini 4 without any problems

  6. Bill G says:

    Note, people with older Macs can use other options to do the same thing, such as Duet.

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