Modern iPad models have become more powerful than ever, unlocking advanced features that essentially make it an ideal laptop replacement.

Other than gaming, social media, or watching videos, iPads can now also be used for work, school, and other heavy tasks. However, such multitasking prowess will be wasted when you settle for the tablet’s relatively small display. So, to make the most of it, it’s best to use a bigger external display or monitor.

Compared to laptops with full-size HDMI ports, connecting your iPad to an external screen might look complicated. Well, that used to be the case. But thanks to the features on newer iPad models, it’s easier than ever. Let us show you how.


Table of Contents

Can I connect my iPad model to an external monitor?

You can connect your iPad to an external monitor if it has a USB Type-C port, Thunderbolt/USB 4 port, or if it’s any of the select models with the Lightning port. You can check the full list below.

iPad with USB-C port

  • iPad mini 6th gen
  • iPad 10th gen
  • iPad Air 4th gen
  • iPad Pro 11-inch 1st and 2nd gen
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch 3rd and 4th gen

iPad with Thunderbolt/USB 4 port

  • iPad Pro 11-inch 3rd gen and later
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch 5th gen and later

iPad with Lightning port

  • iPad mini 5th gen
  • iPad 5th and 9th gen
  • iPad Air 3rd gen
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch 1st and 2nd gen

What do I need to connect my iPad to an external display?

There are two types of external monitors or displays that can work with your iPad. One with HDMI ports while the other has a direct USB-C port.

via HDMI

  • iPadOS 16 or later
  • USB hub with HDMI port

To connect a full-size HDMI to your iPad, you’d need an adapter or USB hub that will fit on your tablet’s USB port. To check what adapter you’d need, see if your iPad has a Lightning, USB-C, or Thunderbolt/USB 4 port at the bottom of the device or by checking the compatible list above.


Once you do, you can start looking for Lightning to HDMI, USB-C to HDMI, or Thunderbolt to HDMI adapters online or in physical stores. It is also best to get the USB hub version that not only has an HDMI port, but also USB ports so you can plug in accessories like a mouse, keyboard, or external drive for a better multitasking experience.

Some well-known and reliable USB hub brands are Anker and Satechi. Even Apple have them, although quite pricey. Our personal favorite is uGreen.

via USB-C

  • iPadOS 16 or later
  • iPad with USB-C or Thunderbolt/USB 4 port

To connect your iPad directly to your monitor’s USB-C port, you’d need a high-bandwidth USB-C cable. Why? Because most of these displays require high data transfers due to their high resolutions. Plus, they can also charge your device while plugged in.

Apple suggests using Thunderbolt 3 cables like the one they’re selling or something from Belkin and other trusted brands.

How to connect my iPad to an external monitor?

Step 1: Connect your iPad to the external display or monitor

  • via HDMI: Connect the HDMI cable to your display’s HDMI port > Plug the other end of the HDMI cable to the USB-C/Lightning hub or adapter > Plug the USB-C/Lightning hub or adapter to the iPad.
  • via USB-C: Plug the iPad into the monitor’s USB-C port using the Thunderbolt 3 cable.

Step 2: You should already see your iPad screen mirrored to the display. But if you want to use the second screen as an extended display, open the Control Center then tap the Stage Manager icon.


Step 3: That’s it. You can now do presentations or have a film viewing using your iPad. You can also mount your iPad, plug in a mouse and keyboard, and use it like a desktop computer.

What is Stage Manager?


Stage Manager is a new feature introduced on iPadOS 16 that lets users have a better multitasking experience. It enables easy window resizing, access to favorite apps, drag and drop windows, and more.

These are the things you need and do when connecting your iPad to an external monitor or display. In the future, we expect this process to be completely wireless and without any hitch.

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