Using MacBook or iPad as Second Monitor for Windows PC

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Ever feel like you could use more screen while working on your projects, like coding or designing? Well, you might not need to buy a new monitor after all. Believe it or not, devices like your MacBook, iPad, iMac, or even your smartphone could work as an extra display for your Windows PC. This guide will show you how to turn those devices into a second monitor.

Also see: How to use a Windows laptop as a second monitor for Mac

How to use MacBook or iPad as Second Monitor for Windows

What you need first

Before we get into the steps, let’s see what you’ll need:

  • Windows PC: Your computer should be running on Windows 11 or 10. Make sure your graphics drivers are up to date for a smoother experience.
  • Another device: This could be your MacBook, iMac, iPad, iPhone, Chromebook, another Windows or Linux laptop, or an Android device. Ideally, it should be fairly new for better performance.
  • Stable network connection: Both your Windows PC and your second device need to be connected to the same network. It can be through Wi-Fi or a wired connection, but ensure it’s fast and reliable.
  • Software called “Space Desk”: This software will help us connect your second device to your Windows PC.

With all that sorted, let’s get your device set up as a second monitor for your Windows PC.

Quick tip: How to switch between monitors on Windows 11

Turning your device into a second monitor

To use your MacBook, iPad, or any device as a second monitor with “Space Desk”, you’ll need to install the “Server” on your Windows PC and the “Viewer” on the second device. Here’s how to do it:

Getting “Space Desk” ready on your Windows PC

First things first, let’s set up the server part of Space Desk on your Windows computer:

  1. Downloading the software:
    • Jump over to the Space Desk website at
    • Look for the “Downloads” section and pick the version that fits your Windows setup, whether it’s 32-bit or 64-bit.Download Space Desk Server for Windows 11 10
    • After downloading, run the installer and simply follow the setup guide.Install SpaceDesk Server on Windows 11 to extend display
  2. Adjusting the settings:
    • Once installed, click on the Space Desk icon near your system clock.How to open Space Desk in Windows
    • Check that the Space Desk SERVER is turned to “ON”, allowing your second device to recognize your PC as an additional screen.Use Macbook or iMac as second monitor for Windows

More info: Troubleshooting Windows 11 wallpaper on dual monitors

Setting up the second device

Now, let’s prepare your second device to act as an extended display:

  1. Installing the viewer:
    • Visit the Space Desk site again, but this time head to the “Viewer” section.
    • Select the viewer download that suits your device’s operating system.
    • For Apple devices, find spacedesk in the App Store. For Android, it’s in the Google Play Store.
    • If you’re using something else, choose the “Go to HTML5 Viewer page” option in a web browser.Download Space Desk Viewer for Macbook or Mac
  2. Making the connection:
    • Open the “Space Desk Viewer” app on your second device.
    • Ensure both devices are on the same network.
    • Your PC should appear in the app. Tap on it to start the connection.Use iPad or iPhone as second monitor for Windows
    • If you’re using a web viewer, you might need to manually enter your PC’s IP address. Here’s how: Finding your PC’s IP address.Use Mac as second monitor for Windows

That’s it! Your devices are now connected, and your second device acts as an extended part of your Windows PC screen. This setup allows you to drag windows and apps across from the main screen to the second one, just as if you were using a traditional dual-monitor setup.

Use another Windows or Linux Ubuntu laptop as second monitor for Windows
Related issue: Second Monitor Not Detected After Upgrading to Windows 11

Tip: How to set up your monitors in Windows 11/10

After connecting your second device as a monitor, it’s important to place it correctly next to your main display. This makes switching screens smooth. Here’s the easy way to do it in Windows 11:

  1. Right-click on a blank area of your Windows desktop.
  2. Click “Display settings” from the menu that shows up.Open Display Settings
  3. Go to the “Multiple displays” section in Display settings.
  4. You’ll see your monitors shown as numbered boxes.
  5. To move your second screen (probably “2”), drag its box to where you want it around your main screen (“1”). If your second monitor is to the left, pull it to the left side of box “1”.
  6. Place it wherever fits best, like above, below, or diagonal to your main screen.How to Change Monitor Position in Windows 11
  7. Check if moving your mouse between screens is smooth.
  8. If all looks good, scroll down and click “Apply”.Change position of monitors Windows 11

Need more help: Learn to display different things on two monitors in Windows 11

How “Space Desk” turns devices into extra screens

It might seem like magic how a MacBook, iPad, or other devices can become a second screen for your Windows PC. It’s all because of smart tech and software. Here’s the simple explanation:

  1. Your Windows PC runs “Space Desk Server”, ready for a device to connect.
  2. The secondary device uses “Space Desk Viewer” to find and connect to the server over your network.
  3. Once they’re connected, your Windows screen extends to the secondary device, giving you more room like with a dual-monitor setup.

How does Space Desk works to extend display

This makes it super easy to move windows or apps from your main screen to the secondary one, expanding your workspace without needing more monitors.

Ending notes

Turning an extra device into a second monitor for your Windows PC is a smart way to use what you already have, turning unused gadgets into a handy workspace. With “Space Desk”, it’s easy and effective. So, think twice before buying a new monitor; you might just have the perfect solution lying around in a drawer.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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