Thursday, July 25, 2024

Mastering Universal Control on Mac: Helpful Tips & Tricks

Universal Control is a handy utility for anyone owning multiple Macs and/or iPads. It makes it stress-free and easier to control multiple Apple devices using a single trackpad/mouse and keyboard.

The Universal Control feature was previewed at WWDC 2021, and Apple users couldn’t hide their excitement as this was the next step in seamlessly working across multiple devices. The feature allows users to control and manage their Apple devices using a single input source.

However, the feature isn’t compatible with all Macs and iPads. If Universal Control not working between two Macs, you must check their compatibility before trying out other resolution methods.

The feature requires iPadOS 15.4 or later and macOS Monterey 12.4 or later to function smoothly. Other reasons might be that you are not using the same Apple ID on all your Apple devices, or there might be a software bug that needs fixing.

How to set up Universal Control?

🟠 On Mac, head to the System Preferences and choose Displays. Click Universal Control and click the checkboxes to enable the features like Allow your cursor and keyboard to move between any nearby Mac or iPad, Automatically reconnect to any nearby iPad or Mac, etc.

Then, click Done > Add Display. You will see all the devices that are nearby and signed into the same Apple ID.

🟠 On iPad, go to the Settings app > General > AirPlay and Handoff > turn it on.

That said, there’s more this feature can do than the convenient ability to share the mouse and keyboard. Look at the handy tips and tricks.

🟠 Drag and drop files between devices

Files can be seamlessly dragged from one Mac to another or one Mac to an iPad and vice versa. Thanks to Universal Control, it is super easy and hassle-free to drag files from one device to another. You can drop the files into a folder or anywhere on the desktop.

🟠 Copy-paste items across devices

Copying and pasting items between the connected devices is seamless with this feature. All you need to do is select the image or text you want to copy and then paste them to the destination device.

Drag your cursor to the device you wish to copy from and drag it to the device you want to paste.

🟠 Gestures

The gestures you are already familiar with on your iPad will work with Universal Control. Swipe the cursor over to your iPad from a Mac and if you are using the trackpad, you can use different gestures like three-finger swipe right or left to change applications, two-finger swipe down or up for scrolling, three-finger swipe up and pause for Mission Control, three-finger swipe up to return to Home Screen, etc.

🟠 Keyboard shortcuts

If you want to use keyboard shortcuts for launching an app or opening Spotlight, the shortcuts will follow the cursor. Swipe the cursor over to your iPad or Mac and execute the keyboard shortcut.

Audio adjustments also work across devices. You can adjust the system volume on the iPad through the Mac Touch Bar volume controls or keyboard. Unfortunately, you cannot do the same within the Spotify app. Hopefully, these limitations will be removed in the upcoming updates.

🟠 Reconnect devices using Universal Control

iPads and Macs will automatically reconnect to Universal Control when they are in range if this setting is enabled.

Head to Apple menu > System Preferences/Settings > Displays > Advanced/ Universal Control > ensure the box next to reconnect any nearby Mac or iPad Automatically is checked.

🟠 Adjust how the displays line up

Do you have a desk setup with multiple displays? If so, you can arrange the displays using Universal Control. Go to System Settings/Preferences on your Mac > Displays > Arrange > drag the iPad’s display or other displays to the right or left according to your desk setup.

If you have an iPad on the left and a secondary display on the right, the position can be adjusted to match your desk setup. This will result in the cursor being put on the correct side of the display on your iPad and also the secondary display.

But Apple doesn’t yet allow you to arrange the iPad on the bottom and top. The quirk might be worked out in future updates.

Do More With These Universal Control Tricks

You can use these handy Universal Control tricks and tips to make the best use of this feature with your iPad and Mac. You can use this feature to enhance your productivity. Thanks to this feature, you can improve your workflow and streamline your tasks across your Apple devices.

Although Universal Control is a one-of-a-kind feature, you must not miss out on the other macOS features that offer improved productivity opportunities. While at it, you must also check out the macOS Sonoma features that will be released for the public later this fall.