Using your iPad as a second monitor to extend your PC's desktop onto its touch screen creates an ideal parking spot for the content you frequently have to move around your workspace, like cumbersome toolbars or streaming lecture videos. Both Air Display and Splashtop's XDisplay, for example, use your Wi-Fi network to share your desktop's real estate. For a solution that gives you remote access to your PC's desktop from anywhere in the world, try Splashtop's Remote Desktop instead.
Purchase, install and then open the Air Display app on your iPad.
Download and install the Air Display host software on your PC (link in Resources), and then allow it to restart your computer when installation is done.
Launch Air Display on your PC, select your iPad's name from the list of available Air Display receivers, and then allow a few moments for the two devices to establish a connection. The computer display appears on the iPad when this is successful.
Download and install the Splashtop Streamer software onto your PC (link in Resources).
Launch the program when installation is complete, and then set a security passcode when prompted.
Download and install the Splashtop XDisplay app on your iPad.
Launch the app when installation is complete, and then enter your passcode when prompted. When a connection has been established, your PC's desktop appears on your iPad.
Splashtop Remote Desktop
Download and launch the Splashtop Streamer software on your PC (link in Resources).
Set a security passcode when prompted -- this will be used on your iPad to establish a secure connection.
Purchase, install, and then launch the Splashtop Personal - Remote Desktop app on your iPad.
Enter the security passcode when prompted by the app, and then allow the two devices to establish a connection. Once your computer's desktop appears on your iPad, you can use its touch screen to access all content, settings and software on the PC.
Purchase the optional Anywhere Access Pack -- you are prompted to do so within the app, or you can purchase it by logging into your My Splashtop interface (link in Resources) -- to enable a remote Web connection even when the two devices are not using the same wireless network.
- When using Air Display or XDisplay, use your PC's Control Panel -- press the "Windows-X" keys, and then select "Control Panel" from the available options -- to configure your display settings. You can, for example, modify which device is the primary display or adjust the screen resolution.
- While Splashtop developed both the XDisplay and Remote Desktop applications, they are not identical products. XDisplay is designed to extend your desktop to the iPad, but is entirely controlled with your PC's mouse or trackpad. Remote Desktop, on the other hand -- which mirrors your PC's desktop instead of stretching it -- allows you to control your PC using the iPad's touch screen instead of your computer and mouse.
- Information in this article applies to PCs running Windows 8 and iPads running iOS 7. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
- There are a number of apps and software solutions that promise to stretch your computer's desktop onto your iPad, but be cautious if choosing a solution not listed here. While Air Display and both Splashtop apps are compatible with Windows 8, most other tools only promise to support Windows 7 and prior versions. Be sure to investigate the system specifications before committing to an alternative solution.
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