How to Connect iPad Pro to an External Monitor

Did you know that you can connect your iPad Pro to an external monitor? An iPadPro/external monitor combination can help you see your work on a bigger scale, and with some apps, like iMovie, you can even see your project displayed on the external monitor while you edit it on your iPad Pro. Let's dig into how to connect your iPad Pro to an external monitor.

Related: What iPad Do I Have? How to Identify Apple's Different iPad Models & Generations

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Connect iPad Pro to Apple Pro Display XDR

This method requires a 5th-Generation iPad Pro 12.9-inch or a 3rd-Generation iPad Pro 11-inch. If you have an Apple Pro Display XDR, you should be able to connect either of these iPad Pro models to the monitor with the monitor's included Thunderbolt cable. For more on new ways to use your iPad Pro, check out our free Tip of the Day newsletter.

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  1. Make sure your Apple Display XDR is plugged into a power source.
  2. Plug your Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable into the display.
  3. Plug the other end of the cable into your iPad Pro's charging port.

That's it! Your Apple Display XDR should now mirror your iPad Pro's screen.

Connect iPad Pro to External Monitor

If you don't have an Apple Pro Display XDR, you can still connect your iPad Pro to an external monitor if you have a model with a USB-C or Thunderbolt/USB 4 connector. If you're not sure which connector your iPad Pro has, here are the models with a USB-C connector:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd and 4th generation)

  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st and 2nd generation)

And here are the models with a Thunderbolt/USB 4 connector:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)

  • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)

Even if your iPad Pro's charging cable is not compatible with the ports on your external monitor, don't worry. You may still be able to connect your iPad Pro and monitor using an adapter. You'll need one of these adapters, depending on whether your external monitor has a VGA or HDMI port:

  • USB-C HDMI adapter
  • USB-C VGA adapter

Many adapters you can buy, like this one from CDW, have both HDMI and VGA ports.

Now that you've got your adapter, here's how you connect your iPad Pro to your external monitor:

  1. Plug your USB-C HDMI and/or VGA adapter into your iPad Pro's charging port.
  2. Plug the appropriate end of your HDMI or VGA cable into the port on the adapter.
  3. Plug the other end of the cable into the HDMI or VGA port on your powered-on external monitor.
  4. If necessary, select the correct input source on your external monitor. If you need help doing this, you'll need to consult the manual for your particular monitor.

There you have it! Now you should be able to connect your iPad Pro to a monitor with ease. You can also learn more about handy external keyboard shortcuts on your iPad

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Author Details

Elisabeth Garry's picture

Author Details

Elisabeth Garry

Elisabeth Garry is an Associate Editor for iPhone Life. Formerly of Gartner and Software Advice, they have six years of experience writing about technology for everyday users, specializing in iPhones, HomePods, and Apple TV. As a former college writing instructor, they are passionate about effective, accessible communication, which is perhaps why they love helping readers master the strongest communication tools they have available: their iPhones. They have a degree in Russian Literature and Language from Reed College.

When they’re not writing for iPhone Life, they’re reading about maritime disasters, writing fiction, rock climbing, or walking their adorable dog, Moosh.