Convert iPad Into A Wireless Secondary Monitor For Your PC

The iPad is hands down one of the best tablet devices I have ever used or owned. I used to own a Surface Pro 4, which I sold to get an iPad pro. Was it a good idea? Well, yes and no. I write articles mostly about windows platform; it was convenient for me to have a Surface Pro that also ran windows. I could fire both of them up and be very productive and have a seamless setup when I write articles for this blog. In this article, we will learn how to use iPad as second monitor in windows 10 wirelessly.

After moving to the iPad, I struggled to have a second monitor where I could leave my research articles. iPad’s 120HZ screen was great but was not adding much value when I sat down to write an article or do some research. So, I started looking for ways to use iPad as second monitor in windows 10 wirelessly.

There are hundreds of applications that allow you to connect your iPad to a Windows computer and use it as an external monitor. Still, I needed something seamless, something that could make use of the iPad’s fantastic 120HZ screen.

In this article, I also talk about my experience using Duet Display Air and Duet Display Pro and why I do not use them anymore.

The free best alternative for Duet Air or Duet Pro: spacedesk.  

spacedesk: Use iPad as Second Monitor On Windows 10 Wirelessly

The app that I use to extend my windows 10setup to an iPad and use it as a secondary monitor is called spacedesk.

Let me list some of the features that I love about spacedesk, which will make it easier for you to decide if you would want to use this app.

  • It’s free to download, install and gets the job done
  • Completely wireless, your iPad does not have to be physically connected to the computer anymore to extend the display
  • Supports HD resolution (Perfect if you have an iPad Pro)
  • You can charge and use your iPad at the same time.

I will go into the pros and cons of the app later in the article. For now, let’s see how to download, install, and setup spacedesk to use iPad as second monitor windows 10 wirelessly.

1. spacedesk: Download and Installation

Spacedesk app is free to download from their website if you are on a windows PC and free to download from Apple’s app store.

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1.1 For PC

– Go to https://spacedesk.net/ and click on the “DOWNLOAD NOW” button

Downloading-space-desk

– Under Windows 10, please choose the right version of the app for your operating system and download it

– Once the application is downloaded, install it and, in the final step, allow the exclusion from the firewall (You can do this later too if you miss it or disabled it).

1.2 For iPad

– Go to the apple app store and search for spacedesk and “GET” to download it

spacedesk-ipad-installation

– Once the app is downloaded, you are ready to go

2. Setup: Use iPad as Second Monitor Windows 10 Wirelessly

 Once you have downloaded the application on both of your systems, go back to the windows 10 computer.

1) Connect the Windows 10 to the same Wi-Fi connection as the iPad will be connected to

2) Go to Start and search for “Spacedesk” and click on the spacedesk SERVER.

setup-spacedesk-server-windows-10
checking-spacedesk-server-is-running

3) It will not open anything; it just starts the server so that the iPad can connect to it.

4) Just make sure you can see the spacedesk running in the background from the bottom taskbar, expanding the apps.

5) Open the spacedesk application on the iPad

6) Allow and confirm the connection requests

7) If you have connected both the devices on the same Wi-Fi network, you will see the computer listed on the spacedesk app on the iPad.

8) Tap on the “Connection: *******”

Your display might go completely black a couple of times before they both connect, but once it is done, your iPad will now become a wireless external display for your Windows 10 PC/ Laptop.

3. Useful Tips For Better Experience

I love the spacedesk application and use it almost all the time. There are some settings that I have changed on my setup that might help you to get a better experience, especially if you are connecting the iPad PRO as a secondary wireless monitor on Windows 10 system.

3.1 Configuring the Display Location

You can adjust the display on your computer exactly the way they are physically set up to make sure the mouse movement is smooth, seamless, and accurate.

Also if you are using your iPad as a second screen on Windows 10 for remote desktop connection, you might wanna have the right placement of screens.

  • To do this right-click on the desktop > Display settings
  • Click on “Identify” so that you know which screen is represented by the numbers displayed.
    rearranging-the-display
  • Drag the boxes and place them in the order that you would like your mouse to move as it moves from one screen to the other.

I have my iPad Pro just under the monitor, hence the setup.

optimal-ipad-pro-resolution

3.2 Better Display Resolution

The first time you connected the iPad wirelessly to the spacedesk server, your iPad will be set to 1024×768 pixels.

I like to keep it at 2388×1668 pixels resolution and at 175% Zoom so that the icons and text are not tiny on the iPad PRO.

READ:
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3.2 spacedesk App Settings

The spacedesk iPad application also has some settings that you can play around with. You can control the following settings using the spacedesk iPad app.

Change Resolution: Tap on the settings icon on the bottom left corner. You will see the boxes where you can manually input the resolution that you want. Alternatively you can tap on the “Resolutions” and select a preset resolution in the App.

space-desk-application-settings

Change the Display Quality: You can adjust the FPS settings from the “Quality” section on the spacedesk app. Please remember that increasing the Color Depth or the frame rate might result in a slower transmission resulting in lag while using the screen.

space-desk-application-settings-display-quality

spacedesk: Best Alternative to Duet Air and Duet Pro

Look, I am only comparing these two applications based on using the to use iPad as a second monitor on windows PC. There are other features of the Duet Display that are missing on the spacedesk. However, if you want an app so that you can convert your iPad into a wireless second monitor for your Windows 10 PC, spacedesk is the best alternative.

Why spacedesk is the best free app to use an iPad as a second monitor on windows10 wirelessly?

Price: The first is obviously price. I paid $14.99 for Duet Pro for the iPad. I still need to connect the iPad with a USB-C cable to the computer to be able to use it as an external monitor. That would be fine if I were getting an excellent resolution or was able to charge the iPad at the same time.

But since the laptop is not capable of providing enough power to be able to change the iPad PRO via the USB-C cable. I had to disconnect the iPad and put it on charge after using it as a second monitor for few hours with Duet Pro.

Display Quality: spacedesk supports 2388×1668 resolution while Duet PRO does not; it is closer to unusable at times. Duet Air promises 60 FPS over the Wi-Fi connection, but the quality did not improve much. Especially after paying around $30 for a year (which I canceled after a few days)

Usability: I can use my iPad and minimize the spacedesk app while it is connected as a second display and come back to it. But with Duet Pro or Air, If I minimize the app, it disconnects, and it is very frustrating

Finally,

If you are looking for an app that lets you use iPad as second Monitor windows 10 wirelessly, spacedesk is a no-brainer. For sure, there are hundreds of other apps out there, but spacedesk does the job for me and hopefully for you as well.

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