Learn how to copy and paste between your Apple devices

Learn how to copy and paste between your Apple devices

THE Universal Transfer Area a feature that was added in iOS 10 / macOS Sierra 10.12. With it, it is possible to copy a text on the iPhone, for example, and paste it on the Mac or vice versa.

In addition to ATU, there are several other features that make up what Apple calls Continuity, such as the Handoff, iPhone calls, Personal Access and others, which integrate all compatible devices. Therefore, before using the Universal Transfer area, you need to verify that your iOS devices and your Mac meet the system requirements for this feature:

iOS 10 or higher

  • iPhone 5 or higher;
  • iPad Pro;
  • fourth generation iPad;
  • iPad Air or higher;
  • iPad mini 2 or higher;
  • Sixth generation iPod touch.

macOS 10.12 Sierra or higher

  • MacBook (beginning and 2015 or higher);
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or higher);
  • MacBook Air (2012 or higher);
  • Mac mini (2012 or higher);
  • iMac (2012 or higher);
  • iMac Pro;
  • Mac Pro (late 2013).

See below how to configure iOS and macOS devices to use the Universal Transfer area:

  1. Sign in with the same Apple ID on all your devices.
  2. Make sure your devices have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled.
  3. Enable the feature Handoff in each of them.
  4. On iOS: open Settings, go to General Handoff and touch the slider to activate the Handoff.
  5. On macOS: in the menu, select General System Preferences and check the box “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices ”.

Enabling Handoff on Mac

Also remember that, for everything to work, the devices must be close to each other when copying and pasting texts, images, photos and even videos.

With everything ready, check out how to use the Universal Transfer area:

  1. Copy the content the way you normally would (on iOS, tapping 2x over the content or pressing and holding until the “Copy” option appears; in macOS, selecting the content and pressing the C keys or the menu Edit Copy).
  2. The content will be available for a short time in the clipboard, so open the app where you want to paste the content.
  3. On the other device, paste the content in the same way as you normally would (on iOS, tapping 2x over the target area or pressing for a while until the option “Paste” appears; on macOS, pressing the V keys or the menu Edit Paste).

The feature works with most native iOS and macOS apps, however, if you're having trouble copying / pasting between devices, try logging out of your Apple ID and starting it again. If you want to solve general problems with the Handoff, check out these tips.