How To Activate Sidecar On Unsupported Macs

Activate Sidecar: In the WWDC 2019 Apple presented its version of the macOS 10.15 Catalina operating system in which it showed several novelties that it would have and that really were a surprise.

How to Activate Sidecar on Unsupported Macs
How to Activate Sidecar on Unsupported Macs

One of these developments is the evolution of the relationship between two of the systems of their devices, iPadOS and macOS.

With Catalina the interaction between these systems and their devices has grown. Apple offers users a new feature called Sidecar, which is basically using the iPad as a secondary screen, which could show a preview, tools, etc. In short, a screen adapted to each of the Mac’s applications.

Activate Sidecar

Unfortunately, Apple decided that only the Mac from 2016 onwards can make use of it and even if the device is updated to macOs Catalina, this function will not be available.

Therefore, iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina should be installed, have a MacBook from 2016 onwards, Mac mini from 2018 onwards, iMac from 2016 onwards or an iMac Pro from 2017 onwards.

If these requirements are met , just go to “system preferences”, find the tab corresponding to Sidecar and select the device to which you want to send the video signal. Remember that you have to be logged in on both devices with the same iCloud account, otherwise it will not work.

Why can’t I use Sidecar

Apple computers prior to 2016 do not support Sidecar because in those terminals the HEVC codec is not supported . By not having the necessary hardware to start the function and coding, the entire procedure is performed via software accumulating various processes that decrease the user experience.

That is, the performance of the equipment at the software level would decline, the application would deteriorate and the use would not be as expected, something that is not to the liking of Cupertino.

Activate Sidecar on a Mac

To activate Sidecar on officially unsupported devices it is necessary to follow a series of steps that can be complex if you are not used to getting into your Mac’s terminal. Remember, all under your responsibility.

So it is recommended that you make a complete copy of your Mac to save the data and be sure that if something fails you can recover your system without any problem.

Ready? Having already decided to continue, first, you must go to this link and download SidecarCorePatch. It is a ZIP, unzip and keep it handy, for example, on your desktop and then do the following process.


  • Make a backup copy of the file located in the following path (in case something goes wrong)

/System / Library / PrivateFrameworks / SidecarCore.framework / Versions / A / SidecarCore

  • Disable the SIP control. To do this, restart your Mac, press command + R and start the macOS recovery mode. Now, load the Terminal and execute the desirable csrutil command . If you want to check if it is active or not, from the Terminal execute the csrutil status command .
  • The folder you downloaded has the file patch.swift copy it and paste it into the terminal.
  • Run the root mode, hereApple explains how to do it.
  • And finally Restart your Mac.

Now that you have completed the process you can go to “System Preferences” and you can see the Sidecar option. Now you will have the possibility to use your iPad screen as a second monitor.

You should keep in mind that the experience may not be as you expected , because depending on the model of your Mac the fluidity and use can be variable. So it is a very important consideration.

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