Connect iPad to monitor: This is how it works

Connect iPad to monitor: This is how it works

Connecting the iPad or iPad Pro to a monitor is not difficult, but quite special. With these tips it's quick and easy.

By Sven Wernicke

Displaying content from an iPad on an external monitor or even television – that can be practical. But for a wired connection you need an adapter. This is different depending on your iPad model and your monitor. That makes it a little more complicated, but laypeople can also get along quickly. If you want to use a television as a monitor for a different purpose, you can even use it wirelessly via AirPlay.

Connect iPad Pro to Apple Pro Display XDR


The connection with Apple's professional monitor is particularly easy. Image: © Apple 2020

If you see yourself as a demanding user, you probably own an iPad Pro 12.9 "(5th generation) or an iPad Pro 11" (3rd generation). You connect the powerful tablets to an Apple Pro Display XDR as follows:

  1. Use the Thunderbolt cable that came with the Apple Pro Display XDR.
  2. Connect the Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable to the Thunderbolt 3 port on the display.
  3. Connect one end of the cable to the charging port on the iPad Pro.

If the Apple Pro Display XDR is switched on, the monitor automatically shows the contents of the iPad Pro. Incidentally, the iPad is charged automatically. Other devices can also be connected in series via Thunderbolt, which can also be used in this way.

Connect iPad to monitor with USB-C or Thunderbolt

If you don't have the change for an Apple Pro Display XDR, which costs 6,000 euros, you can of course also connect your iPad to a regular monitor or television. If you have a more recent Apple tablet, it has USB-C or Thunderbolt (USB 4).

iPad (Pro) with USB-C connection:

  • iPad mini (6th generation)
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11 "(1st and 2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 "(3rd and 4th generation)

iPad Pro with Thunderbolt (USB 4):

  • iPad Pro 11 "(3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 "(5th generation)

If your monitor has a USB-C port or a Thunderbolt connection, a corresponding USB-C or Thunderbolt connection cable is sufficient to bring the iPad and display together.

If the monitor "only" has a VGA or HDMI input, you need a corresponding adapter. Apple offers suitable solutions, more precisely:

  • USB-C Display AV Adapter (HDMI)
  • USB-C to VGA multiport adapter

APPLE MJ1L2ZM / A adapter cable Buy now at

And this is how you establish the connection between the iPad and the external monitor:

  1. Plug the adapter (AV or VGA multiport adapter) into the iPad.
  2. Connect the HDMI or VGA cable to the adapter.
  3. At the other end, connect the HDMI or VGA cable to the monitor, TV or projector.
  4. If necessary, select the correct video source on the monitor.

Connect (older) iPads with a Lightning port to the monitor

If your iPad is already a bit older and it doesn't have USB-C or Thunderbolt yet, that's not a problem either. Suitable adapters are also available for the Lightning port, more precisely these are called:

  • Lightning digital AV adapter (HDMI)
  • Lightning to VGA adapter

APPLE Lightning Digital AV Adapter Buy now at

They are compatible with the following iPads:

  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation and newer models)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 9.7 "
  • iPad Pro 10.5 "
  • iPad Pro 12.9 "(1st and 2nd generation)

You have to adhere to the following procedure:

  1. Plug the adapter suitable for your configuration into the charging port of the iPad.
  2. Connect the HDMI or VGA cable to the adapter.
  3. Connect the other end of the HDMI or VGA cable to the monitor.
  4. If necessary, select the correct video source on the monitor.

Connect the iPad to the screen wirelessly via AirPlay

Apple Airplay

In terms of quality, this is not the best solution, but the wireless connection of an iPad to a large screen – a television, for example – is often completely sufficient. If it supports the Apple AirPlay standard or if you use the Apple TV streaming player, the function for transferring content from the iPad to the display is already integrated.

That's how it's done:

  1. Go to Control Center on the iPad by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the symbol with the two displays located one behind the other and select your Apple TV or your Smart TV with AirPlay.
  3. Enter the code shown on the television on your iPad.

From now on you will see the entire surface of the iPad on the TV.

Change screen settings on the iPad

Especially if you have connected the iPad to a monitor with a cable, it is worth taking a look at the screen settings:

  1. Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen and select Control Center.
  2. Tap Settings> Display & Brightness.
  3. Make the desired setting, for example "Allow changing the display mode" for automatic changeover when the cable is connected.


  • If you want to connect an iPad to a monitor, you usually need the right cable.
  • Depending on the iPad model, you need the Lightning-Digital-AV-Adapter (HDMI), the Lightning-to-VGA-Adapter, the USB-C-Display-AV-Adapter (HDMI), the USB-C-VGA-Multiport Adapter or a Thunderbolt cable.
  • It's also wireless if the display supports AirPlay (2). These are mostly Smart TVs and the Apple TV.
  • You can make the settings for individualization in the control center of the iPad.

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