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How To Connect An External Monitor To iPad

All you need to know about connecting your iPad with an external monitor using different methods.

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How To Connect An External Monitor To iPad

The iPad is a powerful device capable of handling a wide range of tasks, spanning from productivity to entertainment. However, there are instances where a larger screen is required to fully unlock its potential. Fortunately, Apple has provided a seamless solution for connecting your iPad to external displays, be it a computer monitor, television, or projector. In this guide, we’ll explore how to connect an external monitor to iPad and troubleshoot any issues you might stumble on while trying.

How To Connect An External Monitor To iPad

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to note that the method you use to connect your iPad to an external display depends on your iPad model and the type of display you have. Here are the general steps to follow:

Step 1: Find Your iPad’s Connector Type

Apple has transitioned from Lightning connectors to USB-C and Thunderbolt/USB 4 connectors in its iPad lineup. You’ll need to know which type your iPad uses to select the appropriate adapter.

iPad vs Galaxy Tab A 2019 USB C port

Step 2: Get the Right Cable or Adapter

Depending on your iPad’s connector type and the display’s input ports (HDMI or VGA), you may need to purchase a compatible adapter or cable. Apple offers Lightning Digital AV Adapters, Lightning to VGA Adapters, USB-C Display AV Adapters, and USB-C VGA Multiport Adapters to cover various connection scenarios.

Step 3: Connect the iPad to the Display

  • For USB-C/Thunderbolt iPads: Connect one end of the cable or adapter to the iPad’s charging port and the other end to the display’s appropriate port (USB, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, or VGA).
  • For Lightning iPads: Connect the adapter to the iPad’s charging port and attach an HDMI or VGA cable to the adapter. Connect the other end of the HDMI or VGA cable to the display.
lightning to HDMI

Step 4: Configure the Display

Switch to the correct video source on the external display. Consult your monitor’s manual if you’re unsure how to do this. Once done, you have to choose how you want your iPad to display the setup on the external monitor.

When you connect your monitor to your iPad, it will display everything exactly as it appears on your iPad screen. If you use apps like YouTube, the video will automatically play on the connected monitor through AirPlay. If you use productivity apps like Keynote, your monitor will be recognized as a second display and will work accordingly.

You can also use Stage Manager if you have an iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd gen or later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th gen or later) or iPad Air (5th gen) to have different content displayed on both the iPad and the monitor, you need to access the Display & Brightness settings in the iPad Settings app. Once there, you will see the name of the connected monitor listed under the Displays heading. Tap on Arrangement from this screen to proceed.

Apple iPad Pro M2 with 4K monitor

Also Read: How to Connect Keyboard to Your iPad

Connecting to Apple Studio Display or Pro Display XDR

If you own an Apple Studio Display or Pro Display XDR, connecting it to your iPad is even more easy. These displays automatically turn on when plugged into power and connected to supported iPad models using the Thunderbolt cable included with the display. Plus, your iPad charges while connected, making it an elegant and convenient solution for a secondary display.

Using iPad’s Stage Manager for External Display

If you have an iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd gen or later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th gen or later) or iPad Air (5th gen) you have an important feature that you can use to your advantage. Apple Stage Manager is a feature that allows you to connect supported iPad Pro and iPad Air models to an external display with up to 6K resolution. Here’s how to use it:

1. Set Up Your iPad: Place your iPad in landscape orientation and connect it to the external display.

2. Access Control Center: Swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPad’s screen to open the Control Center.

3. Activate Stage Manager: In the Control Center, tap the Stage Manager button.

4. Optimize Your Workflow:

  • Resizable Windows: You can resize your app windows to fit your task perfectly.
  • Window Movement: Move your windows around on the center canvas to organize your workspace.
  • Quick App Access: Access your favorite apps from the Dock, along with recent ones.
  • App Library: Use the App Library to quickly find the app you need.
  • Create App Sets: Drag and drop windows from the side or open apps from the Dock to create app sets for efficient multitasking.

What to do After Connecting External Monitor to iPad

Once you’ve set up your iPad with an external display, you can take advantage of several productivity features:

  • Move Files: Easily copy and paste content between apps on your iPad’s built-in screen and those on the external display.
  • Change App Window Size: Resize app windows on the external display by dragging their edges.
  • Enter Full Screen: To enter full-screen mode, either drag a corner of the app window to hide the Stage Manager sidebar and Dock, or click the three dots icon at the top center of the window and choose “Enter Full Screen.”
  • Create and Use App Sets: While using your iPad with an external display, you can create app sets to have multiple app windows open simultaneously. This enables efficient multitasking and allows for dragging and dropping files between apps.
  • Move Apps Between Screens: You can move apps between your iPad’s screen and the external display by tapping the three dots icon for an app window and selecting “Move to Display” or “Move to iPad,” depending on your current screen.
  • Hide Stage Manager Sidebar and Dock: If you prefer a cleaner workspace on the external display, you can hide the Stage Manager sidebar and Dock by adjusting settings in the iPad’s Settings app under “Home Screen & Multitasking” > “Stage Manager” > “External Display.”

How to AirPlay Your iPad Display to Your Mac or Apple TV

With AirPlay, you can mirror your iPad’s screen on a larger display, such as your Mac or Apple TV, making it a great tool for presentations, sharing content with friends and family, or even enjoying your favorite videos on a bigger screen. Before diving into the details, it’s essential to understand the basics of AirPlay mirroring. AirPlay is a proprietary technology developed by Apple, primarily used for wirelessly streaming audio and video between devices. 

Step-by-Step Guide to AirPlay Your iPad Display to External Monitor

To mirror your iPad’s display without any additional setup, you can easily choose to project it onto your Apple TV, Mac, or any other AirPlay-enabled display. To get started with AirPlay mirroring from your iPad to your Mac or Apple TV, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the iPad Control Center: Swipe down from the top right corner of your iPad’s screen to access the Control Center. This is where you’ll find essential settings and shortcuts.
  2. Tap the Screen Mirroring Icon: In the Control Center, you’ll see a list of options, including brightness control, volume control, and more. Look for the “Screen Mirroring” icon, which resembles a rectangle with a triangle at the bottom. Tap this icon.
  3. Select Your Target Display: A list of available devices for screen mirroring will appear. This list includes your Mac, Apple TV, and other AirPlay-supported displays, such as those from Samsung or LG. Tap on the device you want to mirror your iPad’s screen to.

Troubleshooting iPad AirPlay Connection Issues

While the process is usually straightforward, you may encounter some issues when attempting to AirPlay your iPad display to your Mac or Apple TV. Here are some troubleshooting steps to resolve common problems:

Ensure Both Devices Are on the Same Wi-Fi Network

For AirPlay to work, both your iPad and the receiving device (Mac, Apple TV, or AirPlay-supported display) must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Turn on AirPlay on the Receiver Display

  • For Mac: Go to “System Settings,” then navigate to “General” and select “AirDrop & Handoff.” Here, enable “AirPlay Receiver” and set “Allow AirPlay for” to “Everyone.” This should make your Mac visible as an AirPlay option on your iPad.
  • For Apple TV: In your Apple TV settings, go to “Settings,” then “AirPlay and HomeKit.” Turn on “AirPlay” and configure “Allow Access” settings as needed.
  • For Third-party AirPlay TVs: Depending on your TV model, you may need to enable AirPlay from the TV settings or open an AirPlay receiver app on the smart TV.

Restart Devices

If you’ve followed the above steps and still encounter issues, try restarting your iPad, Mac, or Apple TV and attempt the AirPlay connection again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use iPad as monitor screen?

Yes, you can use an iPad as a monitor screen. To connect your iPad to an external monitor, you can use an adapter. There are two types available: the Lightning Digital AV Adapter and the USB-C Display AV Adapter.

The specific adapter you need will depend on the type of connector your iPad has. After connecting your iPad to an external monitor, you can easily mirror your iPad screen onto it. To do this, simply open the Control Center on your iPad and tap on the Display button. Then, tap on Mirror Display. This will seamlessly replicate your iPad’s screen onto the monitor, providing you with a convenient and enhanced viewing experience.

Can you connect an iPad to an external hard drive?

Yes, you can connect an iPad to an external hard drive. To connect your iPad to an external hard drive, you have two options: use a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter or a USB-C to USB Adapter. Once the connection is established, you’ll be able to access the files stored on the external hard drive directly from your iPad.

How do I display my iPad on my TV?

You have the option to mirror your iPad content on your TV either by using an HDMI cable or through AirPlay. To use the HDMI option, you will require a Lightning Digital AV Adapter or a USB-C Display AV Adapter. Simply connect the adapter to your iPad, and subsequently, connect the HDMI cable to the adapter. This will enable you to enjoy your iPad’s content on the big screen of your TV.

Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to your TV.

To use AirPlay, ensure that both your TV and iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Next, open the video on your iPad that you wish to watch and tap on the AirPlay icon. From the list of available devices, select your TV.

Why is my HDMI cable not working from iPad to TV?

There are many possible reasons why your HDMI cable may not be functioning properly when connecting your iPad to your TV. To troubleshoot the issue, first you need to ensure that the HDMI cable is securely connected to both your iPad and TV. If the cable is secure, you then need to verify that your TV is set to the correct input source for the HDMI connection. If the HDMI input is correct, then you can try using a different HDMI cable as a troubleshooting measure. If you are using an adapter, confirm that it is compatible with both your iPad and TV.

By following these steps, you can address any potential issues and improve the connection between your iPad and TV via the HDMI cable.

Does iPad accept HDMI?

Yes, iPads with a Lightning connector can connect to HDMI using a Lightning Digital AV Adapter, while iPads with a USB-C connector can connect to HDMI using a USB-C Display AV Adapter.

Can you display iPad on TV with HDMI?

Yes, you have the option to mirror your iPad screen on your TV using HDMI. This can be achieved by connecting your iPad to your TV via an HDMI cable or utilizing AirPlay functionality.


We hope this guide helps you understand how to connect an external monitor to iPad. Whether you have a USB-C, Lightning, or Thunderbolt iPad, Apple provides the necessary adapters and cables to facilitate these connections. Plus, Stage Manager takes your multitasking game to the next level, offering seamless control over your extended workspace.

So, if you want to maximize the potential of your iPad and enjoy a larger screen experience, follow these simple steps to connect it to an external display and boost your productivity.

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