It is possible to connect a mouse to Mac, but if you have ever imagined controlling multiple Macs and iPads using the same peripherals, it is now possible with the Universal Control feature. It was released as a part of macOS Monterey, one of Apple’s software updates for Mac. With Universal Control on Apple, the users can use the same keyboard and mouse/trackpad to control three Apple devices simultaneously. The feature connects Macs and iPads together in a way like never before that it allows the users to transfer between their devices seamlessly, even without a setup procedure. With this feature, the desk cluttered with more than one set of input devices is reduced. To use the Universal Control feature, you must have Mac that runs on macOS 12.3 beta and an iPad running on iPadOS 15.4 beta.
What is Universal Control & How Does it Work
Universal Control is very useful to users who need to switch between their Mac and iPads and work on them simultaneously. The feature also allows transferring data between the devices much easier. i.e., you need to just drag and drop content between the devices by moving the mouse across the devices.
Besides this, you shall even use the same keyboard to type in text fields on Notes or Safari on connected devices. Similarly, you can copy and paste the content between devices using one keyboard. With Apple Universal Control, the users can move the screenshots, screen recording, GIFs, etc., between Mac and iPad.
FYI: macOS Monterey comes with quite a number of new features that make this version very attractive for users, like unlocking the iPhone face ID with a mask.
How to Use Universal Control on Apple
Find about the procedure to use Universal Control on Apple in detail from the section to take advantage of using multiple devices using the same mouse or keyboard.
Universal Control Supported Devices
Universal Control is available only with the new models of iPad and Mac. The below-given models of iPad and Mac have the support for Universal Control.
- MacBook Pro (2016 and later)
- MacBook (2016 and later)
- MacBook Air (2018 and later)
- iMac (2017 and later)
- iMac (5K Retina 27-inch, Late 2015)
- iMac Pro, Mac mini (2018 and later)
- Mac Pro (2019)
- All iPad Pro models
- iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
- iPad (6th generation and later)
- iPad mini (5th generation and later)
- To use the Universal control feature, all devices need to be signed into the same Apple ID, and two-factor authentication should be enabled.
- If you are an iPad user, go to Settings >> General >> and enable Cursor and Keyboard (Beta) to use Universal Control with the iPad. This setting is enabled automatically if you have updated to the latest OS. At last, you should keep your Mac or iPad within 30 feet of your main Mac.
- The devices should have WIFI, Bluetooth, and Handoff features enabled. It is to note that the Mac and iPad should not share the internet or cellular connection.
How to Setup Universal Control on Mac
To enable universal control, you should turn on the Handoff feature on your Mac and iPad.
1. On your Mac Home screen, click on the Apple menu at the top left corner of the screen.
2. From the menu options, select Preferences.
3. Click on the General Option in the System Preferences window.
4. Check the check box next to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.
How to Setup Universal Control on iPad
5. Open the Settings on your iPad.
6. Tap on the General option.
7. From the General settings menu, tap on AirPlay & Handoff.
8. Tap on the Handoff option toggle button to turn it on.
9. Finally, tap the Cursor and Keyboard toggle button and turn it on.+
You can use the same method to connect up to three devices into this chain and work simultaneously on them.
How to Invoke Universal Control
You may find a lot of ways to invoke Universal Control. Here, we have explained to you the easiest way.
1. Place your Mac’s cursor at the edge of the display toward a nearby iPad or Mac.
2. Now, you will see an animation icon on both screens which indicates that the device is recognized.
3. Then, move your mouse to “push through” to another device, and Universal Control is established.
Alternatively, you can use Universal Control directly from System Preferences.
1. Go to System Preferences and select Displays on your Mac.
2. Tap Add Display button from the bottom left corner and choose the name of your Mac or iPad from Link Keyboard and Mouse heading.
3. Now, the display icon will appear in the menu bar.
4. When you tap on the icon, you will be able to see the Link Keyboard and Mouse.
5. You can use this menu bar to enable or disable Universal Control quickly.
Note: If you want to use Universal Control always, go to System Preferences >> Dock & Menu Bar >> Display and enable the option to Always for Shortcuts for Menu Bar.
How to Control Macs and iPads
When Universal Control is invoked, you can start using your primary mouse and keyboard to control your additional Macs and iPads. If you are using an iPad, you can use Twelve South’s HoverBar Duo because it supports both landscape and portrait modes. And it will be helpful to use iPads with Universal Control in both modes. Apart from this, you can also use iPad Magic Keyboard to control the devices.
Further, you should know that Universal Control can be used to transfer files between multiple devices. You can directly move only the files from iPad to Mac. If you want to differentiate the different devices, go to System Preferences >> Display Settings to rearrange the displays.
If you want to access Universal Control advanced preferences, tap on the Advanced button from the right corner of the screen and select the option that you want to use. And from the primary Mac, you can connect seven devices (4 iPads and 3 Macs) using Push Through method.
How to Disable Universal Control on Mac
To disable the Universal Control feature, you shall follow the same steps and uncheck Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices. Then turn off both the Handoff and Cursor and Keyboard toggle button on your iPad.
Switching Control Between your Devices
Place your iPad next to your Mac. Then, move your mouse pointer to one edge of the screen towards the iPad, and keep moving it in that direction until a bar appears on the side of the display, indicating an established connection. Keep moving the mouse pointer in the same direction, and it will pop up on the iPad screen. When the mouse cursor is on the iPad screen, you can use your keyboard and mouse to control the iPad. You can move the cursor towards your Mac until it pops back up on the Mac screen to switch back to the Mac.
Universal Control Apple Not Working Fixes
The feature may not work when the device uses different WIFI or Bluetooth is turned off. Some of the ways to fix the Universal Control Apple feature not working are listed down.
- Connect the devices to the same WIFI.
- Enable Bluetooth and use the same Apple ID on all the devices.
- Disable the VPN on Mac and iPad.
- Turn off the Firewall on Mac.
- Turn off the Hotspot of the iPad and ensure the Mac isn’t connected to its WIFI.
That’s all about the new Universal Control beta. Universal Control on Mac may have some issues like unexpected disconnections on the initial connection, and then drag and drop option may not be available for some file types and apps. Universal Control is worth waiting for as it helps us to control multiple devices from primary resources.
No. The feature isn’t available for iPhones.
Yes. It works with Logitech. However, not all the peripherals are supported.
No. Apple limits the input and controls with the mouse, keyboards, and trackpads.