Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor for Free

Using your iPad as a second monitor for your PC can greatly enhance your productivity and multitasking capabilities. While Apple provides a native feature called Sidecar for using the iPad as a secondary display for macOS, Windows users can also accomplish this with the help of third-party apps. In this article, we will explore two free methods to use your iPad as a second monitor for your Windows PC.

Method 1: Use a Cable to Connect your iPad to your PC

One of the best apps for using your iPad as a second monitor is Splashtop Wired XDisplay. As the name suggests, this app requires a lightning cable to connect your PC and iPad. It is compatible with all iPad models, including older ones, and even works with Windows 7. To use this app, follow these steps:

  1. Install the Splashtop Wired XDisplay desktop app and iPad app. You can download them from the official website.
  2. Make sure iTunes is installed on your PC for optimal performance.
  3. Open the Splashtop apps on your PC and iPad. Connect the devices using the lightning cable.
  4. If you encounter an “Unable to connect” error on the PC app, open iTunes and keep it open. Wait for the “Connecting” message to appear on the iPad app.
  5. If your iPad doesn't start working as a second monitor within a minute, unplug the lightning cable and plug it back in. Ensure that iTunes is open. You will receive a pop-up on your iPad asking if you trust the device. Tap “Trust this device” to proceed.
  6. Open the Splashtop PC app to adjust the screen's framerate, quality, and resolution.

Method 2: Use Wi-Fi to Connect your iPad to your PC

Another option for using your iPad as a second monitor is the Spacedesk app. This app allows wireless connectivity between your iPad and PC, eliminating the need for a cable. Follow these steps to set it up:

  1. Install the Spacedesk software on your iPad and Windows PC. You can download it from the official website.
  2. Ensure that both your PC and iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Open the Spacedesk app on your PC. Make sure the Spacedesk status is set to “On.”
  4. Open the Spacedesk app on your iPad. Tap “OK” to allow the app to find and connect to devices on the local network.
  5. Select your PC's name in the iPad app and tap “Connection” to establish the connection.

Tips for Using your iPad as a Second Monitor

Regardless of the method you choose, here are some tips to optimize your experience:

  • Select “Extend” mode in the Windows Settings > Display to use the iPad as an extended display.
  • Use the Windows key + P shortcut to quickly switch between project modes.
  • Arrange the position of the iPad in a multi-monitor setup according to your preference in the Windows Settings > Display.
  • Explore paid apps like Duet Display and iDisplay if you require additional features or functionality.
  • Consider using the Chrome Remote Desktop extension to mirror your PC's screen to your iPad.

With these methods and tips, you can easily transform your iPad into a second monitor for your PC and enjoy the benefits of a dual monitor setup. Stay productive and make the most out of your devices!