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How to Use an iPad as a Second Monitor

If you have a MacBook and want a bit more screen real estate, here’s how you can use your iPad as a second monitor.

In the past, there were a few solutions where you could use your iPad as a second screen over a WiFi connection. It wasn’t a terrible experience, but the inevitable lag made it difficult to truly use Apple’s slate as a second monitor to a computer. However, this has changed.

But now, you can plug in your iPad directly to your MacBook and use it as a second monitor over the wired connection, which gets rid of the lag and provides you with better performance, making it much better than it used to be.

One of the best pieces of software to use for this is Air Display 3, which has worked the best for us, even with Duet Display being a close contender.

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Here’s how to set up Air Display 3 and begin using your iPad as a second screen.

How to Use an iPad as a Second Monitor

The process for using your iPad as a second screen to your MacBook isn’t entirely difficult, but there are a few steps that you’ll need to go through before you can finally get on your way.

First off, you’ll need to download the Air Display 3 iPad app, which is priced at $14.99. This might be a hard pill to swallow, but if it’s something you’ll use constantly, the cost is well worth it.

Secondly, you’ll need to download Air Display on your Mac. You’ll want to go to this website and download the free Air Display host software. To do this, scroll all the way to the bottom and click Download Air Display Host. You’ll need to enter in your email address and some other information, and then the download link will be emailed to you.

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The installation process requires a restart, but once you have the host software downloaded and installed, you can simply plug in a Lightning cable to your MacBook from your iPad and off you go.

With Air Display 3, you can still use a wireless connection over WiFi, which is also really easy to get going. Simply just click the Air Display 3 icon in the menu bar on your MacBook and click on your iPad in the list, although you have to have the Air Display 3 app running on your iPad, as well as if you use a wired connection.

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Be aware that when you use Air Display 3 and enable your iPad as a second monitor, it might change the resolution of your MacBook’s display, but you’ll simply go into System Preferences > Display to change the resolution back to normal.

At that point, you’re good to go and can begin using your iPad as a second display. I found it to be pretty much lagless, although I had a tough time trying to come up with a setup that worked for me, where I could prop up my iPad without it looking goofy or weird. This is something that you may have to do as well, but it might be a bit more difficult if you’re traveling or don’t have a lot of desk space.

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One Comment

  1. Mohammed

    04/03/2015 at 9:37 am

    Is AirDisplay for Windows operating system? There are people who don’t have macs.

    Reply

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