3 Ways to Share an iPad Screen on a Mac [2024]

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Edited by Ben Jacklin
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Wondering how to mirror your iPad to a MacBook? In this article, we will show you three different ways to share an iPad screen on a Mac, from free to paid methods.

If you're looking for a reliable and easy-to-use screen recorder for your Mac, we recommend Movavi Screen Recorder. Not only does Movavi Screen Recorder let you capture your screen in HD quality, but you can also choose to record audio from your computer or microphone. This is great for adding narration to your screencasts, tutorials, or other projects. Plus, Movavi Screen Recorder comes with a wide range of output formats so that you can save your recordings in the format that best suits your needs.

Key features:

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Use AirPlay for an iPad-to-Mac screen share

Apple's AirPlay wireless standard allows devices like Apple TV and HomePod to transmit audio and video to one another. Now that macOS Monterey is out, users can simply convert their MacBook Pro or Air into an AirPlay server, allowing you to seamlessly screen-mirror an iPad to a Mac. Keep in mind that not all Macs and iPads support this feature. Check the list below to see the compatible devices:

Mac

  • 2018 MacBook Air/Pro or later

  • 2019 Mac Pro

  • 2020 Mac mini

iPad

  • iPad Air (3rd generation) or later

  • iPad Pro (2nd generation) or later

  • iPad (6th generation) or later

  • iPad mini (5th generation) or later

The first way to screen-share an iPad to a Mac is to use Apple's AirPlay feature. With this method, you'll need an iPad and a Mac that are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network. This method allows Apple users to wirelessly share the screen on iPad as well as audio, video, and photos between devices. Think of AirPlay as the Apple counterpart to Google's Chromecast.

While AirPlay is a quick and easy way to display iPad screens on a Mac, it has some limitations. The mirrored screen can be a bit laggy and choppy through AirPlay, as it isn’t set up to stream iPad screens in high quality.

To use AirPlay for an iPad-to-MacBook screen share, follow these simple steps:

  1. On your iPad, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center

  2. Tap the AirPlay button – it looks like a small TV screen. 

  3. Select your Mac from the list of devices. 

  4. The iPad screen will now be mirrored on your Mac.

To stop the AirPlay iPad-to-Mac screen share, simply tap the AirPlay button once again and select Disconnect. The cast will stop, and you will no longer be able to view the iPad screen on your Mac.

How to display a video via AirPlay

  1. Turn on the video you want to share.

  2. Locate the sharing icon on the screen (the placement differs depending on the app you’re using) and tap it. Select the AirPlay option.

  3. Finally, choose the Mac device you want to use.

  4. To turn the sharing off, tap the Share icon on your iPad and select Turn off AirPlay.

How to show a photo with AirPlay

  1. Open the Photos app and find the image you’re going to showcase.

  2. Tap the Share icon.

  3. Swipe up and choose the AirPlay option from the list.

  4. Select the Mac device in your network to share the image.

  5. To stop the sharing, touch the Share icon and choose Turn off AirPlay.

How to play audio through AirPlay

  1. Launch Music, Podcast, or another audio playing app on your iPad.

  2. Tap the AirPlay icon and choose the right playback device.

  3. When you’re done sharing, tap the same icon and touch Turn off AirPlay.

How to screen-mirror your iPad to a Mac with Reflector

Reflector is a screen-mirroring and file-sharing program. In order to screen-mirror and broadcast without the use of extra hardware, Reflector connects to your devices via the Google Cast, Miracast, and AirPlay protocols. By following these steps, you can use Reflector to mirror an iPad to a Mac.

  1. First, download and install Reflector from the Squirrels website.
    Go to the Squirrels website

  2. Next, open Reflector and click on the + sign in the bottom left corner of the window.

  3. Under Device Type, select Apple.

  4. Under Model, select your iPad.

  5. Make sure that your iPad and Mac are on the same network.

  6. Select your iPad from the list and click the Connect button.

Finally, click the blue Mirror button in the bottom-right corner of the window.

In order to stop screen-mirroring your iPad to a MacBook, you can either disconnect the devices or click on the Stop Mirroring button in the bottom-right corner of the program window.

How to screen-share an iPad to a Mac using QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player is a built-in program on Macs that allows users to share an iPad screen to a Mac. To use it, follow these steps: 

1. Connect your iPad to your Mac using a USB cable. 

2. Open QuickTime on your Mac. 

3. Click the File menu and select New Screen Recording

4. Select your iPad from the list of devices. 

5. Click the Record button and start screen sharing your iPad on a Mac.

6. To stop sharing, click the Stop button in the QuickTime toolbar.

Program

Best for

Type of program

Best for quick screen sharing

Built-in feature, a wireless method

Best to screen-mirror an iPad to a Mac

Third-party paid app, a wireless method

Workaround for older Macs

Built-in feature, a wired method

Best ways to share an iPad screen on a Mac

  1. AirPlay – quick screen sharing
  2. Reflector – mirroring multiple devices
  3. QuickTime Player – best for users who want an all-in-one recorder and player

Summary

Sharing your iPad to a Mac was once a complicated and frustrating task – but thankfully, technology has come a long way since then. There are plenty of simple methods you can use to view your iPad screen on a Mac.

The easiest way is to use AirPlay; Apple has created a seamless method that takes only a few moments to set up. It has its limitations, however. If you want a more robust solution, you can use Reflector or QuickTime Player. 

Here are the take-home points to keep in mind:

  • Usability: Ensure that a method you choose is easy to use. For example, when using some apps, the mirrored screen can be a bit laggy and choppy.

  • Features: Make sure that a method you select has all necessary features. For example, Reflector allows you to mirror an iPad to a Mac without the use of extra hardware or software.

  • Price: You can choose a free solution, like AirPlay or QuickTime Player, or choose a paid option, like Reflector.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use my iMac as a screen for my iPad?

Why can't I mirror my iPad to my MacBook Pro?

Can I share the screen on an iPad to devices except MacBook?

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