With these Macs and iPads, Sidecar works under macOS Catalina

After upgrading to the Apple operating system macOS 10.15 Catalina, you can use the iPad as a second screen on some Mac, iMac and MacBook models. But not every iPad is compatible with the feature called sidecar. In this little guide I have listed for you which Macs and iPads can be used with the new sidecar function. I will also show you below how - at your own risk - you can also activate older Mac models under Catalina for the coupling feature.

Which Macs and iPads does Sidecar work with under macOS Catalina? Here you can find the list of sidecar-compatible Apple devices.
Which Macs and iPads does Sidecar work with under macOS Catalina? Here you can find the list of sidecar-compatible Apple devices.

Apple Sidecar: Compatible Mac and iPad models

Apple informs in its support document HT210380 in detail about the use of the new function with which the tablet becomes a second screen for the computer. Among other things, it also contains the system requirements for Sidecar. Both devices must be registered with the same Apple ID, WLAN and Bluetooth must be activated, the devices must not share their cellular or Internet connection and they must not be more than 10 meters away from each other (Bluetooth range) . In addition, the following models must be used for official compatibility:

Mac with macOS Catalina iPad with iPadOS 13
  • MacBook Pro from 2016 or newer
  • MacBook from 2016 or newer
  • MacBook Air from 2018 or later
  • iMac from 2016 or newer and iMac (Retina 5K, 27 ″, late 2015)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac mini from 2018 or later
  • Mac Pro from 2019
  • iPad Pro: all models
  • iPad (6th generation) or newer
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)

Use Sidecar on old Macs with a terminal command

As in the Problems and solutions collective contribution shown for macOS 10.15 Catalina, you can also activate Sidecar using terminal code on older computers that are not actually supported. At the risk of it not working or getting the function to work with bugs, just type in the following code Port and confirm it with the Enter key:

defaults write com.apple.sidecar.display allowAllDevices -bool YES

But the command may no longer work at all. I've read in some sources that Apple disabled it so that no one could just bypass the restrictions mentioned above. But if you dare, you can still use the following solutions.

SidecarPatcher and SidecarCorePatcher 

Of course, the model restrictions are not there without reason. Good image quality is only achieved with the devices mentioned above and their coupling via Apple Sidecar. With older devices, the quality of the display should obviously not be of very high quality, which is probably due to the lack of H.265 codec. If you don't mind or just want to try the third-party solutions SidecarPatcher and SidecarCorePatcher (at your own risk), you will find the links here:

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.