How to Fix “Device Timed Out” Error in Sidecar

Getting the ‘Device Timed Out’ error in Sidecar?

Using your iPad as an additional monitor through Sidecar for your Mac is an elegant feature that Apple added for its users. Using a dual monitor set-up can be amazing for productivity, having your second monitor portable, like an iPad, is just icing on the cake.

fix device timed out error in sidecar

However, issues like ‘Device Timed Out’ or ‘Unable to Connect’ are such deal-breakers when trying to set this up. In this article, we’ll be going over the common causes of Sidecar errors, and teach you how to fix them.

We’ve compiled a long list of methods that you can do to help resolve your problem. Hopefully, one of these methods will alleviate your issue.

Let’s get started!


1. Hardware Compatibility.

Let’s start by checking if your hardware is compatible with the feature in the first place. If you’ve already used Sidecar before, you can skip this step since that would mean that your devices are already compatible.

However, for new users, you may not be immediately informed regarding the hardware compatibility of your devices. Furthermore, both your Mac and iPad need to be both compatible with the Sidecar software for it to work.

You’ll need to have a Mac running macOS Catalina or later. To check the Mac model of your device, follow these steps:

  1. Start by opening up the Apple menu and go to About This Mac.
  2. Now, click on the Overview tab, your Mac model should be displayed there.

fix device timed out error in sidecar

These are the following Mac models that are compatible with Sidecar:

  • Mac Pro – in 2019 or newer
  • Mac mini – 2018 or newer
  • MacBook Air – 2018 or newer
  • iMac Pro
  • iMac- in 2016 or newer
  • MacBook Pro – 2016 or newer
  • MacBook – 2016 or newer

Now, these are the iPad models that are compatible with Sidecar:

  • iPad Pro: all models
  • iPad (6th generation) or newer
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)

If both your devices are compatible with Sidecar, let’s work on resolving that issue through a couple of technical methods. Hopefully, we’ll get your dual-monitor setup running in no time.


2. General Troubleshoot.

Looking over common issues can save you a lot of time before diving into more technical ones. These methods below are separated in general troubleshoots as these are simple steps that you may have overlooked while setting up Sidecar.

Check Your Apple ID.

One of the requirements for using Sidecar on your Mac and iPad is having both devices logged into your Apple ID. If your devices aren’t running the same account, you may have some trouble with connecting them to each other.

This factor was added in so that you couldn’t just connect via Sidecar to any random iPad that’s close to your Mac, and vice versa.

Here’s how you can check which Apple ID is signed in on your iPad:

  1. First, open up your Settings app.
  2. Next, scroll down and go to Apple ID and check if it is indeed your account.

fix device timed out error in sidecar

Alternatively, here’s how you can check your Apple ID on your Mac:

  1. Go to your Apple menu and navigate to System Preferences.
  2. Look and click on Apple ID to check if you’re signed in to the same account.

Make sure your Apple ID is consistent on both your iPad and Mac or else Sidecar will not work.

Log Out and In Your Apple ID Account.

Similarly, even if your Apple ID remains consistent on both devices, sometimes the communication between both can bug out. This software problem will hinder the communication between both devices. Logging out and into your account will restart the communication problem between your devices.

Enable and Disable Airplane Mode For Both Devices.

Airplane mode is a great way to reset all wireless network connections made from and to your device. This was introduced as a way of cutting all cellular and wireless reception from your mobile phones when boarding an airplane.

fix device timed out error in sidecar

Enabling and disabling airplane mode on your iPad and Mac will reset the Wi-Fi connection that’s necessary to connect both your devices together. Once you’ve done this, reconnect to the Wi-Fi network and try to connect your devices through Sidecar.

Both Devices Are Connected To The Same Wi-Fi Network.

Another additional requirement for using wireless Sidecar is connecting to the same Wi-Fi network. This can be compromised if your mobile hotspot is turned on or if you’re connected to the wrong network. Turn off your Mac’s ‘Internet Sharing’ feature as well, to ensure that both your devices are ready to connect to each other.


3. Turn On or Off Handoff

Continuity when switching between devices was revolutionized for Apple users when the ‘Handoff’ feature came out. Although it’s not for everyone, the feature is extremely useful when you’re focusing on one task across multiple devices.

‘Handoff’ allows Safari on your iPhone to open up whatever was open in Safari on your Mac. This way, when switching from device to device, you’ll still be able to keep the same set of websites and tabs.

Turning this feature on or off has fixed the problem of other Apple users. However, we could not determine whether having it enabled or disabled fixed the problem. Regardless, set both your devices to the same orientation, or to the opposite of what it is currently set as.

Here’s how you can turn on/off Handoff on your iPad:

  1. Go ahead and open up your Settings and go to General.

fix device timed out error in sidecar

  1. Now, look for and enable or disable the Handoff feature.

Furthermore, here’s how you can turn on/off Handoff on your Mac:

  1. First, open up the Apple Menu and navigate to System Preference.
  2. Next, locate and go to General and check or uncheck Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

4. Restart Your Devices.

This step is an age-old method but is an incredibly effective way of ironing out software issues across your devices. Software problems can happen because of faulty code or corrupted files.

Whatever the case may be, turning off your device will terminate this bug from your iPad or Mac’s memory. When your devices reboot, the operating system and third-party software should start up like normal.

Here’s how you can restart your iPad:

  1. Press and hold on the power button for around five seconds. This should be located at either the side or top part of your iPad, depending on the model.
  2. Now, a slider that says ‘Slide to power off’ should appear on your screen. Drag this to the right to power off your device.

fix device timed out error in sidecar

  1. Finally, wait for about ten seconds after your iPad has shut down before holding down the power button again to power it back on.

Alternatively, here’s how you can restart your Mac:

  1. Quickly open up the Apple menu and select Restart.

Contrary to a lot of popular articles, force restarting your iPad is completely unnecessary. In fact, doing so may be potentially hazardous to your device. If you want a quick analogy, force restarting your device is like unplugging your PC to turn it off. You can read more about it here.


5. Disable Any Running VPNs.

Being secure is an underrated privilege that not a lot of people get to have. Furthermore, with the rise of digital technology, online security has been a steadily rising concern. VPNs are a great way to secure your online presence by hiding your IP address.

This way, whenever you open or visit a website, your personal IP is hidden. VPNs will protect your personal information and location this way. However, this can also stop you from connecting both your devices on the same Wi-Fi network.

Here’s how you can disable your iPad’s VPN:

  1. First, open up your Settings app and look for VPN.

turn off VPN settings

  1. Once you’re there, simply disable the VPN setting for your iPad.

Now, here’s how you can disable your Mac’s default VPN:

  1. Start by opening up the Apple menu and navigating to System Preferences.

System preferences apple

  1. Now, go to the Network tab and select any active VPNs that are currently running. This should be on the left-side panel of your window.
  2. Lastly, just click on the Disconnect to disable the VPN.

Go ahead and try to connect both your devices through Sidecar to see if the issue still persists.


6. Reset Network Settings.

If you’ve reached this step then you’ve probably exhausted all settings-related tweaks you could do for your iPad and Mac. If none of these worked, you may have to reset your Network Settings. Resetting your Network Settings will delete all the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks on your iPad.

For your Mac, you’ll have to just simply forget your Wi-Fi network and reconnect to it. After resetting your Network Settings, hopefully, any bugs messing with your connection will be flushed out.

Here’s how you can reset your Network Settings on your iPad:

  1. Open up the Settings app and navigate to General.
  2. When you’re there, scroll down until you can find and tap on Reset.
  3. A list of all the things you can restart on your iPad should be displayed. For this method, we’ll only be selecting Reset Network Settings.

reset network settings

  1. Enter your PIN or Passcode to proceed. Feel free to restart your device after this step.

Alternatively, here’s how you reset your Network Settings for your Mac:

  1. First, bring out the Apple menu and go to System Preferences.
  2. Now, click on Network and select Wi-Fi from the left side pane.
  3. Then, locate and click on the Minus sign () to delete all existing network connections.
  4. Wait for a couple of seconds, then finally click on the Plus sign (+). Select Wi-Fi from the drop-down menu and set up your previous Wi-Fi connection.

Voila! Both your devices should have their network settings completely reset. Connect both your iPad and your Mac to the same Wi-Fi connection and open up Sidecar to test the dual display. Hopefully, this fixed your “Device Timed Out” error in Sidecar.


7. Update To The Latest iPadOS and macOS.

When’s the last time you updated the operating system of both your devices? Keeping your operating systems up to date is a great way of making sure that your iPad and Mac are compatible with all software features.

Similarly, your iPad needs to be sporting iOS 13 or higher to use the dual monitor functionality. Your Mac is not exempted from this as well and will need to have macOS Catalina or later.

Here’s how you can check for software updates on your iPad:

  1. Go ahead and open up the Settings app and go to General.
  2. After that, simply tap on Software Update to proceed.

software update ios

  1. Finally, there should be a clear indication if you have an update pending for your iPad. Just tap on Install Now to install the update. Your device may restart.

Now, here’s how you can update your macOS:

  1. Begin by opening up the Apple menu and navigating to System Preferences.
  2. Now, locate and select Software Update.
  3. Similarly, there should be an obvious notification for an update, if one is available. Just follow the prompts and install the latest macOS on your device.

Now that both your devices are up-to-date, connected to the same Wi-Fi, and are signed in with the same Apple ID, everything should work like normal.

Any issues further on may be the result of software issues and problems that need to be addressed by Apple. We urge you to check online for recent problems similar to what you are facing. If you find a lot of related cases, rest assured as this should hopefully be resolved by Apple in the future.

That wraps up this article! Hopefully, we’ve helped your fix your ‘Device timed out’ error in Sidecar. If you have any questions or clarifications, please feel free to leave a comment down below.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Mako Young

    Mako is a staff writer at Saint. He's been writing about tech for more than a decade. When he isn't reading about the latest news on Apple, he's busy studying cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, cloud computing, and other IT-related sectors. His exceptional work graces technology and Apple-related blogs like How-To Geek,, Macgasm, onMac, PhotoWorkout, GameRant, and many more. He also has a Bachelors in Computer Science and has been writing since 2018, with over 400 posts published. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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