Universal Control Not Working on Mac and iPad? Try These 11 Fixes.
Universal Control not working on your Mac and iPad? This is often caused by compatibility issues, feature limitations, and misconfigured settings.
Check out the suggestions and solutions below to get Universal Control working again on your Mac and iPad.
1. Restart the Devices
If a moment ago you could use Universal Control without any problems, try restarting your Mac and iPad. This should fix any software-related glitches preventing this feature from working.
Restart your Mac
Open the Apple menu and select Restart. Then uncheck “Reopen windows when I log back in” and select “Restart” again.
Open the Settings app and tap General > Turn off. Then drag the Power slider to the right, wait 30 seconds, and hold down the top button to restart your device.
2. Check Devices for Compatibility
Like Sidecar, Universal Control only works on newer Macs and iPads. If you are trying to use this feature for the first time, it is best to check your devices for compatibility.
Check Mac for compatibility
Universal Control supports any Mac since 2018. So if you’re using an older macOS device, you can still expect to use this feature if it’s a 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro, a 2016 MacBook, a 2017 iMac, or a 2015 27-inch iMac 5K Retina.
In addition, the Mac must be running macOS Monterey 12.3 or later. Open the Apple menu and select About This Mac to check your system software model and version.
Check iPad for compatibility
Universal Control requires iPad Pro (any generation) or iPad 6th generation, iPad Air 3rd generation, iPad mini 5th generation or later. Also requires iPadOS 15.4 or later. Open the Settings app and go to General > About This iPad to check your device model and system software version.
3. Update System Software
If you’re using a Universal Control-compatible Mac or iPad with older system software, you’ll need to update to macOS 12.3 Monterey or iPadOS 15.4 to use this feature. It’s also a good idea to install any pending updates, regardless, as they often contain general improvements and bug fixes.
Open the Apple menu and choose About This Mac > Software Update > Update Now.
Update your iPad
Open the Settings app and tap General > Software update > Download and install.
4. Check Universal Control Options
Then make sure Universal Control is active or customize it the way you want on your Mac and iPad.
Check Universal Control Options on Mac
Open the Apple menu and choose System Preferences > Display > Universal Control. Then, select the Allow cursor and keyboard to move between any nearby Macs or iPads if it is not checked.
The other two options affect universal control as follows and should ideally be enabled:
Click on the edge of the display to connect to a nearby Mac or iPad – Requires you to click on the cursor in the corner of the display to connect to a nearby device.
Automatically reconnect to any nearby Mac or iPad – Automatically reconnects to devices when they are within range.
Check out Universal Control Options on iPad
Open the Settings app and tap General > Airplay & Handoff. Then enable Keyboard and Mouse (Beta) if it is not enabled.
5. Manually Connect to the Device
If the Automatically reconnect to any nearby Mac or iPad option is grayed out in your Mac’s Universal Control preferences, you’ll need to manually connect to your iPad to enable this feature.
To do this, select the Control Center icon and expand Screen. Then select the device you want to connect under “Pin keyboard and mouse to “.
6. Use the Same Apple ID
Universal Control won’t work if you’re not using the same Apple ID or iCloud account on your Mac and iPad. If you have separate Apple IDs (for work and personal use, for example), make sure this isn’t a problem.
Check Apple ID on Mac
Open the System Preferences app on your Mac and select your Apple ID. You can find your Apple ID on the left side of the window.
Check Apple ID on iPad
Open the Settings app on your iPad and tap your profile picture. You can find your Apple ID at the top of the screen.
Are you using the wrong Apple ID? Learn how to sign in with the correct iCloud account.
7. Rearrange Displays
Universal Control is smart enough to automatically detect the position of your devices, but sometimes it can get it wrong. To check this, open the System Preferences app on your Mac and select Displays. If the displays are in the wrong order, drag them as needed.
8. Check Bluetooth & Wi-Fi
Universal Control uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to switch between your Mac and iPad. If you’re still having trouble getting this feature to work, check if Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on both devices.
Check Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Mac
Open Control Center. If the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi icons are grayed out, activate them.
Check Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on iPad
Swipe down from the top left corner of the screen to open the Control Center. If the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi icons are grayed out, click to activate them.
9. Check Handoff
Apart from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Universal Control also requires Handoff to communicate. Enable the feature if it is not active.
Test handoff on Mac
Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Then select “General” and enable the option “Allow handoff” between this Mac and your iCloud devices.
Test handoff on iPad
Open Settings and click General > AirPlay and Handoff. Then turn on the toggle next to Handoff.
10. Disable Internet Sharing and Personal Hotspot
“Internet Sharing” and “Personal Hotspot” are two features that can interfere with universal control on Mac and iPad. Disable them and check if it makes a difference.
Turn Off Internet Sharing on Mac
Open the System Preferences app, select Sharing and uncheck the box next to Internet Sharing.
Disable Personal Hotspot on iPad
Open the Settings app, tap Personal hotspot and turn off the switch next to Personal hotspot.
11. Restart Network Settings
If none of the above fixes worked, you need to reset network settings on Mac and iPad. This should fix any corrupted Bluetooth or Wi-Fi configurations preventing communication between devices.
Reset network settings on Mac
Open Finder, select Go > Go to Folder in the menu bar and navigate to the following folder:
Then drag the file below to the trash.
Then go to the following folder:
Then drag the files below to the Trash.
Finally, restart your Mac.
Important: If you experience any network problems afterwards, please restore the above files from the Recycle Bin.
Reset network settings on iPad
Open the Settings app and tap General > Transfer and reset iPhone > Reset > Reset network settings. Then enter your device passcode and Screen Time passcode. Click Reset to confirm.
In Total Control
Universal Control is a handy feature on Mac and iPad, so the time it takes to get it to work right is well worth the hassle. However, as with anything software related, you can minimize the chance of further problems by keeping the system software on both devices up to date.
Universal Control Not Working on Mac and iPad? Try These 11 Fixes
Universal Control Not Working on Mac and iPad? Try These 11 Fixes