Universal Clipboard not working between Mac and iPhone

If Universal Clipboard isn’t working on Mac or iPhone, it’s likely that one of those devices isn’t compatible with this feature, or something isn’t configured correctly on your iPhone or Mac.

Universal Clipboard not working on Mac

When you copy something to a computer, the copied data is stored in a temporary location on the computer called the “clipboard,” and this allows you to paste the data elsewhere on the device.

The Universal Clipboard feature in Apple devices takes this concept even further, allowing you to copy and paste content between multiple devices – Mac to iPhone, iPhone to iPad and vice versa.

Universal Clipboard appears to be a work in progress, and it’s not uncommon for it to become buggy or not work at all even after it’s set up properly.

Before proceeding with the troubleshooting steps, make sure you are aware of the following limitations of the universal clipboard feature.

  1. The universal clipboard only stays active for about 2 minutes, anything you try to paste after 2 minutes won’t work.
  2. While you can copy text from Mac to anywhere on iPhone, images can only be pasted into special apps (Notes, Keynotes, Pages).
  3. The paste function may be delayed if the internet connection is not strong enough.
  4. Universal Clipboard works best on a WiFi network

1. Make sure both devices are compatible with universal clipboard

The first thing to do is make sure that both your Mac (MacBook, Mac Mini, or iMac) and iPhone are compatible with Universal Clipboard.

According to Apple, the Universal Clipboard feature should work if you have a Mac running macOS Sierra or later and an iPhone or iPad running iOS 10 or later.

2. Update WiFi and Bluetooth networks

Sometimes the problem is due to an error in the WiFi or Bluetooth network on one of the two devices.

On iPhone: Go to settings > Wireless Internet access > disable Wireless Internet access. Proceed in a similar way settings > Bluetooth and disable Bluetooth.

Disable Bluetooth on iPhone

Wait 30 seconds and activate both Wireless Internet access and Bluetooth on your iPhone.

On Mac: Choose wifi icon located in the upper right corner and disable Wireless Internet access. Also select Bluetooth Icon is in the right corner and disabled Bluetooth.

Disable Bluetooth on Mac

Wait 30 seconds and re-enable both Wireless Internet access and Bluetooth on your Mac.

3. Enable handover on both devices

Universal Clipboard requires you to enable the Handoff feature on both iPhone and Mac.

On iPhone: Go to settings > General > AirPlay and handover and move the switch next to Forward onto to ON Position.

Enable Handoff on iPhone

On Mac: Click on Apple logo in the top menu bar > system settings > General and Activate Allow handoff between this Mac and iCloud devices Possibility.

Allow handoff between this Mac and iCloud devices option

4. Turn on Bluetooth sharing on Mac

Click on Apple logo > system settings > Split and enable Bluetooth sharing Possibility.

Turn on Bluetooth sharing on Mac

5. Sign out of Apple ID on both devices

Sometimes the problem is because your Apple ID is not recognized by iCloud. This can be fixed by signing out of the Apple ID on both devices and signing back in.

On iPhone: Open settings > Tap yours AppleID > scroll down and tap log out.

Sign out of Apple ID

On Mac: Click on Apple logo > system settings > AppleID > scroll down and click Deliver Possibility.

Sign out of Apple ID on Mac

After that, log in again AppleID on both devices. Wait patiently for the two devices to sync and check if the universal clipboard is now working between Mac and iPhone.

Important: Make sure you’re signed in with the same Apple ID on Mac and iPhone.

6. Reset Bluetooth settings on Mac

Click on finder icon > select go tab in the top menu bar and click Go to folder Possibility.

Go to the folder option on Mac

Type in Go to window ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost and click walk.

Go to Library/Preferences/ByHost

On the next screen, right-click com.apple.Bluetooth.xxx.plist and click move to Trash Possibility.

Delete the bluetooth plist file from Mac

shut down Mac > Wait 30 seconds > restart Mac and check if universal clipboard is now working on your Mac.

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