How to Connect iPads to Monitors

By Anne Hirsh

Connecting your iPad to a monitor generally requires an adapter. Apple sells adapters that can convert your iPad's 30-pin docking port to a digital out signal for HDMI television screens or VGA computer monitors. Full external monitor support is only available on the iPad 2. The original iPad only supports external monitors for video playback and limited other apps. This means you will need an iPad 2 if you want to view productivity apps or other unsupported work on a larger monitor.

Things You'll Need

  • iPad digital AV or VGA adapter
  • Connecting cable

Step 1

Charge your iPad fully, particularly if you plan to use the Apple VGA adapter. The digital AV adapter features a space to plug in your iPad charger while using the monitor, but the VGA adapter does not. Either way, a fully charged iPad will allow you more flexibility to place your iPad where you can best use it with the external monitor.

Step 2

Plug the appropriate adapter into your iPad's docking port.

Step 3

Plug the appropriate connecting cable into the adapter's out jack and into your monitor or TV. Use an HDMI cable for the digital video adapter or a VGA cable for the VGA adapter.

Step 4

Launch the appropriate app on your iPad. On the iPad 2, your display will appear on the external monitor as soon as you have it plugged in. On the original iPad, the display will appear on the monitor when you open an app that is compatible with external monitors.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can play certain iPad apps, such as iTunes movies, photos and other supported images through the AirPlay function if you have Apple TV. However, this feature does not support all apps, so you are better off using the less expensive and easier to set up cable adapters when getting started with an external monitor.

References & Resources