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How to Use Universal Controls on Your Mac and iPad

How to Use Universal Controls on Your Mac and iPad

Universal Control is one of the best software tricks Apple has introduced in years, and it's a perfect example of what's possible when a company has complete control over both the hardware and software running on those devices. There are similar concepts like Logitech Flow, but nothing is so polished or deeply integrated as Universal Control at the operating system level.

When using Universal Controls, you can use the keyboard and cursor to control an iPad sitting next to your Mac—and the opposite works. If you have a Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, you can use that accessory's keyboard and trackpad to control the Mac.

To use Universal Controls, your Mac must be running macOS 12.3 or later, while your iPad must be running iPadOS version 15.4 or later. You can see which devices are supported at the bottom of this page.

Before using Universal Controls, make sure both your Mac and iPad are signed in with the same Apple ID. Devices must be 30 feet from each other when Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Handoff are switched on. (Handoff can be enabled from the General section of Settings on both macOS and iPadOS.) Up to three devices can be used with Universal Controls.

How to set up Universal Controls on Mac?
Open System Preferences on your Mac.
Select Display.
Click Universal Controls at the bottom of the Display menu.
Check the box to allow you to move your cursor and keyboard between any nearby Mac or iPad.
Check the box to push from the edge of the display to connect a nearby Mac or iPad.

How to set up Universal Controls on iPad?
open settings.
Choose General.
Select Airplay and Handoff.
Enable Cursor and Keyboard.

How to get started using Universal Controls
After the feature is enabled on both your Mac and iPad, place the two devices next to each other.
Move the cursor to the left or right edge of your display in the direction you want to link the iPad or Mac.
You should see an animation on the other device showing your Mac's cursor "pushing" on its screen. Continue to move your cursor in the same direction, and Universal Control will be activated.

How to Make the Best of Universal Controls
When you move between your Mac and iPad (or another Mac), if your mouse isn't where you want it, you can adjust the position of the secondary device in macOS System Preferences.

Open System Preferences and click on Display.
Move the iPad or secondary Mac display up or down (or left to right and vice versa) until it's exactly the way you want it.

Once you're all set, it's time to start using Universal Controls. You can use each device's physical keyboard and cursor to control any Mac or iPad connected via Universal Controls. It's also possible to seamlessly drag and drop files between macOS and iPadOS.

Macs That Support Universal Control
MacBook introduced in 2016 or later
MacBook Pro introduced in 2016 or later
MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later
Mac mini introduced in 2018 or later
iMac introduced in 2017 or later, as well as iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
iMac Pro
Mac Pro introduced in 2019 or later
mac studio
iPads that support Universal Control
iPad Pro (all models)
iPad (6th generation) or later
iPad Air (3rd generation) or later
iPad mini (5th generation) or later

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