How to enable Sidecar on Older Mac hardware


Apple rolled out the public beta of the long awaited iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. One of the biggest new feature is Sidecar which lets you use your iPad as a second display for your Mac. This feature is only available on some latest models of Mac, This is because Older Macs hardware doesn’t support HEVC encoding due to lack of Intel Core 6th gen processor. This is disappointing to many Mac users since most people own Older Macs because generally apple devices last long and not forgetting that crazy price point of getting a new one.

There is a work around to activate this feature on your old Mac device, Follow the procedure below to activate and try Sidecar on your iPad and MacBook

defaults write AllowAllDevices -bool true; defaults write hasShownPref -bool true; open /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Sidecar.prefPane
    • Connect you iPad to the same WiFi network as your MacBook. Running the above command will activate Sidecar and automatically launch the setup screen.

  • Select iPad on the connect to drop down list.
  • This will extend your Mac display to your iPad, The graphics might appear pixelated but it is due lack of HEVC encoding

Tags: Catalina, HEVC encoding, iOS 13, Macbook, MacOS, Mid 2015

10 Comments. Leave new

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Mid 2014)
    macOS Catalina Version 10:15 (19A582a)
    iPadOS 13.2 Public beta 2

    I have applied the command, however I get a warning you can’t open “sidecar” preferences pane because it is not available to you at this time.

    can these be done on my setup?


  • Benjamin Phillips
    October 14, 2019 9:52 am

    Hi, This didn’t work.

  • they patched it… not workin, just opening preferences and says Sidecar can work atm

  • Can not!

  • This Command “defaults write AllowAllDevices -bool true; defaults write hasShownPref -bool true; open /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Sidecar.prefPane” Is completely useless doesn’t work I connect my iPad Pro 9.7 Inch no difference error message says
    “You can’t open the “Sidecar” preferences pane because it is not available to you at this time.” and below that “To see this preferences pane, you may need to connect a device to your computer.”

  • The file /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Sidecar.prefPane does not exist.
    I use MacOS High Sierra in a MacBook Pro 13 inch-2017, Four Thunderboit 3 Ports.

    • I’d imagine that’s because Sidecar was released in macOS Catalina, two major updates after High Sierra. Features don’t tend to work on releases that don’t include those features.


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