Guide to connecting an iPad to an external monitor

Working with the iPad connected to an external monitor has been possible for years. However, with the latest versions of iPadOS the user experience has improved, so if you connect the Apple tablet to a monitor, it will seem that you are working with an entire desktop computer. Of course, you should take into account some tips and settings so that the experience is optimal and get the most out of the iPad.

If you want to know which are the best accessories to be able to work with the iPad connected to an external monitor; If you want to know what the limitations of this configuration are; or know what the recommendations for use are, follow this small guide that you will find in the following lines.

What is needed to connect iPad to an external monitor

iPad with accessories

Before starting to know the accessories you will need, you should know that not all iPads on the market will allow you to work with a monitor effectively; Only those that have a USB-C port as the main socket for charging and video/audio output. All models with a Lightning connection must use an external adapter to achieve this purpose, while the iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad 10 generation will only need a USB-C cable to the input provided by your monitor (DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-C, etc.)

Well, now knowing this information, it is time to get the best accessories that you can add to your iPad to connect to an external monitor and function as a complete desktop computer. To begin, you will have to get a cable with which you can connect the iPad to the monitor. Now, if what you intend is to spend long periods of time using this configuration, the best recommendation is to get a multiport hub. Because? Because this method makes the iPad battery drain faster. And with a hub – or concentrator – with a USB-C port you can connect the iPad charger while using it connected to the external monitor.

On the other hand, it is preferable to get an external keyboard and a mouse or trackpad. And if it is through a Bluetooth connection, the better. Although if you have already purchased a multiport Hub, you probably have a USB-A port available – the normal format ones – where you can connect the USB receiver of a keyboard, as well as an external hard drive on which you can store all types of documents. and preserve the internal memory of the iPad.

Likewise, if the monitor you have does not have integrated speakers, you could also get ones with a Bluetooth connection. Both the sound and the image that come out of the iPad are really good.

Two ways to connect iPad with external monitor

Once you have all the accessories connected and your workspace ready to work, you will now have another dilemma: working in mirroring mode or with an expanded desktop. In the first of them, you will literally duplicate the iPad screen and all the elements you have on it.

But if what you really want is an entire work center to have two independent screens, you will have the option of working in extended mode. To achieve this, follow the steps below:

Work iPad with external monitor

-Enter 'Settings' on the iPad and look for the 'Display and Brightness' option

-Now, in the 'Displays' section, both the iPad screen and 'Integrated Retina Display' should appear, as well as the monitor model you are using. However, the option that interests you is the one that indicates 'Disposition'. Get into it

Extended desktop settings on iPad with monitor

-It is time to deactivate the 'Duplicate Screen' option and the monitor screen will automatically erase all content, showing you only the same iPad dock and its applications

-Now you can configure where you want to place the iPad, with the external monitor being the central screen

How to work with up to 8 applications open on the screen

iPad screen on external monitor

Since iPadOS 17, the iPad user experience has reached another level. Additionally, you will now be able to move the screens on both the Apple tablet and the external monitor. And this is thanks to the new 'Split View' and 'Slide Over' functions or the visual organizer. All of them will allow you to play with the size of the different applications and place them wherever you want. And best of all: it has support for 4 applications per screen; that is, a total of 8 applications on both the iPad screen and the external monitor.

Things to keep in mind when working with an external monitor

You already know that, from now on, you will be able to work with the iPad as if it were a desktop computer or as a laptop connected to an external screen. Furthermore, if you have any of the iPad Pro models, you will already know that they have one of the latest generations of Apple Silicon M2 processors, which you can also find in the MacBook Air range, for example.

However, it is understood that when you are going to use the iPad connected to an external monitor, you are not only going to use it for work, but leisure time is also important. And you're going to have to know some things.

Play Netflix iPad on external monitor

For example, if you are going to use the external monitor to watch a streaming service (this option supports Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max and SkyShowTime, among others), the usual thing is to be able to see all the content on the full screen. To do this, you will only have to deactivate the extended desktop and mirror screen.

From then on, when you want to watch the series or movie on the entire screen of the external monitor, you only have to click on the 'View in full screen' option. At that precise moment, the iPad screen will indicate that the content is playing on an external screen. And the tablet will work as a remote control, whether to control brightness, volume or playback.

Gaming on iPad and external monitor

The same thing happens if you are one of those who want to connect a game controller – yes, the iPad also recognizes external controllers such as those from PlayStation or XBOX. Playing in full screen will also be possible this way. To find out if a game is compatible with game controllers, you must look in the 'Compatibility' section of the game in question in the App Store.

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