Universal Control is one of Apple’s finest software tricks in years, and it’s a perfect example of what’s possible when a corporation has complete control over both hardware and the software that runs on those devices. Similar concepts exist, such as Logitech Flow, but none are as polished or thoroughly integrated at the operating system level as Universal Control.
When utilizing Universal Operate, you can use your Mac’s keyboard and cursor to control an iPad sitting next to it — and vice versa. If you have a Magic Keyboard for an iPad Pro, you can utilize the keyboard and trackpad on that attachment to manage a Mac.
Your Mac must be running macOS 12.3 or later to use Universal Control, and your iPad must be running iPadOS 15.4 or later. At the bottom of this page, you can discover which devices are supported.
Make sure your Mac and iPad are both logged in with the same Apple ID before utilizing Universal Control. The devices must be within 30 feet of one another and have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Handoff enabled. (On both macOS and iPadOS, you may enable handoff in the General section of Settings.) Universal Control can be utilized with up to three devices.
On a Mac, how do you enable Universal Control?
- Open System Preferences on your Mac.
- Choose Displays.
- Click on Universal Control at the bottom of the Displays menu.
- Check the box for Allow your cursor and keyboard to move between any nearby Mac or iPad.
- Check the box for Push through the edge of a display to connect a nearby Mac or iPad.
On an iPad, how do you enable Universal Control?
- Open Settings.
- Choose General.
- Select AirPlay & Handoff.
- Enable Cursor and Keyboard.
How to Get Started with Universal Control
- Once the feature has been enabled on both your Mac and iPad, position the two devices next to each other.
- Move the cursor past the left or right edge of your display in the same direction as the iPad or Mac you want to link up with.
- You should see an animation on that other device showing your Mac’s cursor “pushing through” onto its screen. Continue moving your cursor in the same direction, and Universal Control will be activated.
How to Get the Most Out of Universal Control
If your mouse isn’t lining up where you want it to while switching between your Mac and an iPad (or another Mac), you can alter the secondary device’s location in macOS System Preferences.
- Open System Preferences and click on Displays.
- Move the iPad or secondary Mac display up or down (or from the left to right side and vice versa) until it’s exactly how you want it.
When everything is in order, it’s time to start using Universal Control. You can use the actual keyboard and cursor on each device to operate any Mac or iPad that is linked via Universal Control. It is also possible to drag and drop files between macOS and iPadOS with ease.
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, plus 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