Enable Sidecar on incompatible Macs in Catalina

Sidecar lets you extend your workspace by using your iPad as a second Mac display. All the ins and outs about SideCar are explained in this Apple document. Unfortunately not all Macs are compatible for this feature, but there is a workaround that might enable Sidecar. With the use of a terminal command you can use all Macs that can install macOS Catalina for side car. But be aware, it doesn’t always work, but it is worth trying.

Enable Sidecar on incompatible Macs

Use the following steps to activate Sidecar on incompatible Macs:

  • Connect iPad to your Mac with the cable
  • Open macOS Terminal and type the command below followed by enter
defaults write com.apple.sidecar.display AllowAllDevices -bool true; defaults write com.apple.sidecar.display hasShownPref -bool true; open /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Sidecar.prefPane

Enter your password if you are prompted and automaticly System Preferences opens. If the workaroud worked, you see a new option called ‘Sidecar’ and you can use this new feature too. If you do not see the option, it is unfortunately not possible to activate Sidecar. Restart your mac and try again. Of course it is important that you have a supporting iPad with iPadOS. Check this Apple document how to use sidecar.

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)
• All new iPads