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Apple Universal Clipboard: How To Copy/Paste content between devices with It?

Apple users are well aware of copy-pasting content or commands on the Mac or iPhone. But do you know that you can copy and paste content between Mac and iPhone, iPhone and iPad, or between other Apple devices?

Confused? Shocked? You may feel worse at this moment for wasting your time typing the same content, letter-by-letter, from the beginning on each device. If so, you are unaware of this Universal Clipboard from Apple. It is not your mistake that you have zero knowledge about this feature, there is no visible button or any mention in System Preferences and Settings.

You have to set the Universal Clipboard feature through a series of steps that we are going to discuss in the later part of this article.

What is Apple Universal Clipboard?

Apple has found a clever solution for copy-pasting between devices through its Universal Clipboard. The name itself reveals that it can be synced across multiple devices.

Devices compatible with Universal Clipboard

Before you enable this feature, make sure that your device is running on iPadOS, iOS 10, macOS Sierra, or later versions. Shown below is the list of devices that support the Universal Clipboard feature:

iPhone and iPad devices

  • iPhone 5 or newer
  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad (4th generation) or newer
  • iPad Air or newer
  • iPad mini 2 or newer
  • iPad touch (6th generation) or newer

Mac

  • MacBook (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (2012 or later)
  • iMac (2012 or later)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)

How to set up Universal Clipboard on your Mac or iPhone devices

Now, follow these steps and you are ready to use Universal Clipboard in another few minutes: can you provide images for each step?

  1. Log in to iCloud on your devices

    Use the same account to sign in to iCloud on all devices. On macOS, go to System Preferences and under Internet Accounts, open the iCloud option and then sign in with your Apple ID. On iOS devices, go to Settings App and then sign in to your iPhone.

  2. Switch on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your devices

    • On iOS devices, you can enable them on the Settings App or from Control Center. Go to the Control Center and swipe down from the top or swipe up from the bottom and then turn on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons.

    • Go to Settings App and then enable the toggle buttons of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. On macOS, you can turn on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options present in the status menu.

 Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Turn on Handoff on each device

  • To set up the Universal Clipboard feature, you need to switch on Handoff on macOS and iOS devices.

  • On macOS, go to System Preferences > General and then tick the checkbox Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

Select General from the System PreferencesEnable heck Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices
  • On iOS devices, head on to Settings General AirPlay & Handoff and then switch on the Handoff button.

Tap General on iPhone Settings App

Enable Handoff toggle button

What is Handoff?

Handoff is a feature in Apple that lets you synchronize your work between multiple Apple devices and resume from where you have left off.

Note that Handoff works only with a few apps like Mail, Maps, Safari, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and other third-party apps.

How to use Universal Clipboard on Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices?

If you have religiously followed the above steps, you have signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID and turned on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Handoff on all devices.

  1. Place the devices near one another. Please note that Universal Clipboard is proximity-dependent.

  2. Copy text, photos, or videos on one device like you normally do. The copied content is saved on the clipboard on that device.

  3. This copied content is automatically saved on the clipboard of nearby Apple devices.

  4. Go to your destination device and click Paste . The content you have copied previously is now successfully copied to your desired device.

Is your Universal Clipboard not working? What to do?

While this feature worked perfectly for most users, some have complained that Universal Clipboard has stopped working suddenly and failed to copy-paste from Mac to iPhone. Here are a few quick fixes that are tested and will help you resolve the problem:

1.Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and then turn them on again

Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi need to work perfectly for the successful operation of Universal Clipboard.

  • On iPhone and iPad devices, go to the Settings App> Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth. Turn off the toggle buttons of both and then turn them on again.
  • On Mac , there are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options available in the menu bar. Turn off the toggle buttons and then turn them on again.
 Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Now, reboot all your devices and then try copy-pasting to check if the Universal Clipboard is properly working or not.

2. Restart All Your Devices

  • Restarting your devices can sometimes help fix your issues.
  • To restart your iPhone, go to Settings , click General and then press Shut Down.
  • Switch it on after a few minutes.
  • On Mac, click on the Apple logo at the top left and tap Restart.

3. Turn On Bluetooth Sharing on your Mac

Tap Sharing on System Preferences on your Mac

Bluetooth plays an important role in operating the Universal Clipboard. Thus, you are advised to enable Bluetooth Sharing to resolve any issues with the clipboard.

  • Go to System Preferences App and click Sharing.
  • Under the System Preferences menu, make sure that the Bluetooth Sharing checkbox is enabled.
  • Now, try to copy it on your iPhone and then paste it onto your Mac . The Universal Clipboard should work perfectly now. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
Enable the Bluetooth Sharing checkbox.

4. Turn Off Handoff and Turn it On again

Sometimes, resetting Handoff is all you need to do to fix your Apple Universal Clipboard issues.

  • On iPhone/iPad devices, go to the Settings App and click General.
Tap General on iPhone Settings App
  • Now, click AirPlay & Handoff. You will find the Handoff toggle button. Disable the toggle button.
Disable Handoff toggle button
  • On Mac Devices launch the System Preferences and tap on the General Options
Select General from the System Preferences
  • Disable the Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices checkbox.
 Uncheck Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices

Now, restart all your devices and then tick the Handoff checkbox. If your Universal Clipboard isn’t working because of the Handoff issues, it should be working fine now. If you are still facing issues, proceed to the next step.

5. Sign out of iCloud and Re-login

On iPhone or iPad:

  • Go to Settings and hit on your name at the top of the screen.

  • Tap Sign Out.

  • Restart your iPhone or iPad.

  • Use a similar method to Sign In.
  • Go to Settings>Sign In and enter your Apple ID credentials to Sign In.
Signing Out on your iPhone or iPad devices.

On Mac:

  • Go to System Preferences and click Apple ID .
  • Under the Overview section,Sign Out.again
  • Restart your Mac.
  • Follow the same steps to Sign In again.
Sign Out on your Mac

6. Reset the Bluetooth Settings on your Mac

Try resetting the Bluetooth Settings on your Mac with the following steps:

  • Open Finder on your Mac, and press hold the Option key. Now, click Go at the menu bar.
  • Select the Library option.
 Go to the library on your Mac
  • Scroll down to select the Preferences option.
Select the Preferences option in your library
  • In the search box on the top right corner, type the word Bluetooth and select Preferences .
  • Press Command+A and select all the files that appear on the screen.
  • Move them to the trash .
Move the selected items to the trash
  • Clear the items in your trash and restart your Mac.
  • Once done, use the Universal Clipboard and check if it’s working or not.

7. Reset iPhone Network Settings

When your device has network-related issues, you might face trouble operating the Universal Clipboard. Resetting your device network settings can solve the problem.

  • Go to the Settings App on your device and tap the General option.
  • Scroll down to find the Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad option and click on it.
Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone
  • Tap Reset and select the Reset Network Settings option.
Reset Network Settings
  • Enter your Passcode and click Reset Network Settings for confirmation.
Confirm Reset Network Settings

8. Update your Mac and iPhone

If none of the above methods work, it is time to update your devices to resolve software glitches or other technical issues.

  • For iPhone, go to Settings>General>Software Update
  • For Mac, proceed to System Preferences>Software Update

Reset your Mac Clipboard

If the Universal Clipboard isn’t working on your Mac even after the software update, reset your Mac Clipboard using Terminal Commands.

 Open the Terminal App
  • Press Command+Space Bar> Search Terminal and then launch the Terminal app.
  • Copy the following command and paste it into Terminal. pbcopy < /dev/null
  • Press the Enter key. Your Mac Clipboard will be cleared.
  • Try copy-pasting using the Universal Clipboard. It should work flawlessly now.

Wrapping Up!

Apple Universal Clipboard is bliss for Apple users who are struggling to copy content between multiple Apple devices. If you are looking for help, this article is for you. Besides guiding you in using the Universal Clipboard, we have provided a clear roadmap to help you fix all your issues with the Clipboard along the way. Thanks for reading!

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