macOS Sierra – Getting Universal Clipboard to Work

One of the new macOS Sierra features that I find useful is its Universal Clipboard. You already know what a clipboard is for – whatever you copy is kept here until you paste it elsewhere – but with Universal Clipboard you can paste your text selection from your iPhone to your Macbook or iPad and vice versa.

It is a great feature to have if you work on multiple devices, but only if it works of course. Users have been reporting a problem with this feature, myself included, and after trying out a few fixes I could find online, here’s how I got Universal Clipboard to work properly for me.

1. Check device compatibility

The fix that is at the top of the list has to do with device compatibility – you need to make sure your devices are compatible and can use this new Continuity feature.

Your iOS device(s) needs to be running the latest iOS 10 whereas your Mac needs to be of the following:

  • MacBook Air (mid-2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (mid-2012 and later)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, early 2015)
  • iMac (late 2012 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2012 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013)
2. Use the same iCloud account

This cross-device copy-pasting feature requires both (or all) your devices to be signed in to the same Apple ID on iCloud. If any of your devices are on a different iCloud account, sign in to the common one before trying out the clipboard again.

3. Turn on your Bluetooth

If you are copy-pasting between Mac OS and iOS, make sure both iOS and Mac OS devices have their Bluetooth on and are paired.

If all else fails

If the three methods above don’t work, then you will need to try this one instead:

  • Under System Preferences > iCloud on your Mac. Enable “Back to my mac
  • Under Settings > General > Handoff, make sure Handoff is turned on in your iOS device.
  • Sign out and sign in iCloud account on both your Mac and iOS devices.
  • Turn off your Bluetooth and WIFI on Mac, turn them on again. Do the same for your iOS device.
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