macOS Catalina Errors With Sidecar And How To Fix It

One of the most significant features that Apple has to offer is being able to use your Apple iPad as a secondary display. Sidecar is designed for iPads and Macs only and only supports iPadOS and macOS Catalina. It is a useful tool for multitasking as it adds an additional screen display. 

Basically, the Sidecar feature does not provide new apps to be used on your iPad, but to give your Mac device additional screen display. It technically becomes an additional part of your Mac monitor. You will be able to control your Mac windows on the iPad the same way you control your Mac Display as it somehow has the mirror effect. 

Apple users now on macOS Catalina with their Mac are having some issues regarding the new macOS Catalina feature, Sidecar. Some are getting prompt macOS errors with Sidecar such as “unable to connect”, iPad is showing black screen when using Sidecar, “device timed out” when you’re trying to connect or maintain the connection to your iPad, poor connection errors and others also reports not seeing Sidecar on System Preferences. These are among the few macOS Catalina errors with Sidecar. Each of the errors and potential solutions will be further discussed below.

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Error 1: “Device timed out”: Apple users on their Mac with macOS Catalina are getting “device timed out” errors when they’re trying to connect to or maintain their connection on their iPad. 

Potential solutions

Restart your iPadOS or in some cases you can do a force restart

The method below to force restart your iPad applies to both newer iPad Pro models with Face ID that also includes the 11″ screen size and 12.9″ screen size, where there is no Home button available. Which means that instead of pressing the Home and Power Button for do a force restart on iPads, you will press down the other buttons in a sequence by simply following these simple steps:

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button
  2. Press and release the Volume Down button
  3. Press and hold the Power button, hold until you see the  Apple logo appear on screen
  4. Release once Apple Logo appears.

Check if the iPad is a trusted device: In order to do this, connect your iPad to your Mac using a cable. Search and select for your iPad in Finder. Then establish the “Trust Relationship” to trust the ipad. Once you’ve already trusted your iPad to your Mac, Restart the iPad to apply changes. 

Log Out Apple ID: You can also try to log out your Apple ID from your Mac and iPad. Then after a few minutes, try to log back again once after the other starting with the iPad first then on your Mac.

Error 2: Unable to Connect

Potential solutions:

Log in using the same Apple ID on both devices: For Sidecar to work, make sure that both your devices (Mac and iPad) ag logged in using the same Apple ID. Sidecar will not work and will not connect to each of the devices if they do not use the same Apple ID. 

Enable Two-factor authentication: The two-factor authentication is designed to ensure that you are the only person who can access your account. It requires two different authentications such as your password, fingerprint or a secondary trusted device. 

Turn Bluetooth On: : Bluetooth should be active on both the Mac and iPad OS.  To turn ON Bluetooth on Mac, Go to System Preferences then click on Bluetooth from the option. Once on the Bluetooth section, click turn Bluetooth On. 

WiFi Connection on Both Devices: Make sure that both your Mac and iPadOS devices are connected to the same WiFi network.

Error: iPadOS is showing black screen when using Sidecar

Potential solution:  Open System Preferences on your Mac device, Click on display and then toggle the Mirror Display to ON and OFF.       

Error: Poor Connection:  A prompt will appear “ Poor Connection” “The session will resume automatically when the connection improves”

Potential solutions:

Wake up your Mac: Make sure to check if your Mac is not on a sleeping or napping mode, or turns the display off automatically. These can cause poor connection signals causing error on your iPad when using the Sidecar feature on macOS Catalina. You can manage and change settings by simply:

  1. Go to System Preferences on your Mac
  2. Click on Energy Saver tab, an icon that looks like a lighting bulb.
  3. Click on Battery. You can choose when to turn the display off. Can either be between 1 to 3 hours or never turn display off. 

Managing your display settings help you be aware at what time you’re set the display to turn off so that when that happens and your using Sidecar, you will not wonder why error connection prompt occurs. 

Use cable to connect: for you to have a stable connection, it is recommended to connect your iPad and Mac on macOS Catalina directly through a cable via an adapter. That way the connection is stronger and more reliable than when you connect to WiFi. 

Restart network connection: when connecting via a cable still doesn’t work and error in connection still persist, you may restart your network connection by turning your router Off and then restart it again after a few minutes. 

Error: Sidecar not found in System Preferences. If Sidecar cannot be seen in System Preferences options, check again your Mac and iPad model’s compatibility. 

 For a list of compatible Mac, refer to the list below:

  • MacBook Pro (mid 2012 onward)
  • MacBook Air (mid 2012 onward)
  • 12-inch MacBook (early 2015 onward)
  • iMac Pro (2017 onward)
  • iMac (late 2012 onward)
  • Mac Mini (late 2012 onward)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 onward)

Moreover, here is a list of iPads that supports Sidecar feature on macOS Catalina:

  • 12.9 inch iPad Pro
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

Potential Solutions: if upon checking that your Mac and iPad supports Sidecar, below are the list of potential solutions to the error Sidecar not found on System Preferences:

Turn Bluetooth: Check if Bluetooth is turned ON on both your Mac and iPad. If not, you turn ON Bluetooth on both your devices to be able to connect them and use Sidecar.

WiFi Connection: Make sure both devices are connected to the same network connection to be able to have a connection. 

Keep Mac and iPad close to each other: Move your Mac close to your iPad when connecting wireless. Bluetooth has a maximum range of 30 feet. Be sure both devices are within that specified range. 

Tap on Airplay Icon: Airplay Icon is located on the upper right corner of your Mac. Tap it to connect to your iPad. It may take a while for Airplay to detect your iPad. 

Still having problems after macOS Catalina Errors with Sidebar, connect with us:

If you have any questions & concerns regarding your macOS or iPhone , feel free to connect with us using this form. We will be of help and will provide you with a free technical support. Just make sure to provide us with the details as possible for us to make an accurate assessment and provide you appropriate intervention. Also, do let us know your experience along the way. I look forward to hearing from you.