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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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New in macOS Sierra and iOS 10 is a Universal Clipboard feature that makes it much easier to transfer links, text, photos, and more between different devices. With Universal Clipboard, you can copy something on your Mac and paste it on your iPhone, or vice versa.

It's already been possible to open up web pages across multiple devices, but now that functionality has been extended further. With macOS Sierra and iOS 10, when you copy a link on one device, it's uploaded to iCloud and available on all other devices where you're signed in with your Apple ID. You can do things like look up a recipe on your Mac, copy the text, and paste it on your iPhone, or copy a photo from an iPhone to an iPad.

Using the feature is as simple as copying something on one device, switching over to another device, and hitting "Paste." It can sometime takes a second or two for the copy to register, but it works seamlessly. There are no visual indicators for Universal Clipboard -- it's all behind the scenes.

macossierrauniversalclipboard-800x457.jpg

Apple has implemented an expiration for Universal Clipboard, so you only have a few minutes to paste something to another device once it's been copied. After that expiration time, which appears to be about two minutes, cross-device paste stops working and will need to be reactivated with another copy.

There are limitations on what can be copied where. Text can be copied almost anywhere on a Mac or iOS device, but images are somewhat more limited and will need to be copied into an app, like Pages, so it isn't a solid alternative to AirDrop for photo file transfers.

Universal Clipboard is a Continuity feature, so to get it to work, you will need to be signed into the same Apple ID across all devices. Bluetooth will also need to be turned on for the feature to work, and Bluetooth LE is required. The following Macs work with Universal Clipboard:

- MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (2012 or newer)
- MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
- Mac mini (2012 or newer)
- iMac (2012 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Continuity features are sometimes unreliable, and there have been reports about spotty performance with Universal Clipboard during the beta testing period. Sometimes it helps to sign in and out of iCloud to restore functionality, and you'll need to make sure Handoff is activated on your iOS device (Settings --> General --> Handoff).

Aside from a Bluetooth connection and the same Apple ID, there are no other requirements. Wi-Fi is not necessary, as Universal Clipboard will work with cellular data.

Previously introduced Continuity features allow users to do things like make and answer phone calls on their Macs, get SMS messages on the Mac, and transfer tasks from one device to another with Handoff. Other new Continuity features in macOS Sierra include Apple Pay on the web and Auto Unlock with Apple Watch.

macOS Sierra is available as of today and can be downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Article Link: macOS Sierra and iOS 10: Universal Clipboard for Cross Device Copy/Paste
 

Crazy Badger

macrumors 65816
Apr 1, 2008
1,222
574
Scotland
Just tested on my 2013 MBA (didn't work on the 2011 iMac I was testing macOS on) and it works as described. Not sure how useful this will actually be, but we'll see...
 
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sp3k0psv3t

macrumors regular
Jun 3, 2013
166
212
Miami, FL
I hope it doesn't work "as well as" Apple Watch unlocking does lol.

After enabling 2-FA on my Air it worked like a charm. Unfortunately, lol, my MBPro doesn't seem to want to be a willing participant in this feature set haha.

After 3 HOURS trying to sort it all out the other day, I finally gave up and decided that I would just use my Air from now on lol.

If the MR community has ANY tips, tricks, or secret squirrel information regarding proper setup to establish functional execution of this feature between my MBPro and my Apple Watch, for the love of god please spill the beans. I feel like I'm trying to solve he riddle of "Schrodingers Cat" here lol.

And yes, my MBPro is capable of running and using this feature, has the Sierra GM installed, and my Apple Watch is running Watch OS3 as well.

Thank you in advance of any support and help.

PS - not to hijack this thread, but I wanted to see if I am the only one who was given by Apple and UPS a delivery date of TODAY for my new Apple Watches, and TOMORROW for my new iPhone 7+ JB 256GB ATT, only to check NOW and see that BOTH deliveries have been DELAYED until "later this week" without any reason provided or additional details given.


USVet
 
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sb93

macrumors newbie
Sep 2, 2014
2
1
England
So it seems if I copy FROM the iPhone to the MacBook all is well, copying from the MacBook to the iPhone is another issue... Yet the iPad works perfectly
 
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Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,475
9,060
San Jose, CA
It's already been possible to open up web pages across multiple devices, but now that functionality has been extended further. With macOS Sierra and iOS 10, when you copy a link on one device, it's uploaded to iCloud [...]
As someone who sometimes uses copy/paste for sensitive information (e.g. to copy passwords from a password manager), this makes me very uneasy if true. Does anyone know if this is documented somewhere? I had assumed that the universal clipboard works similarly as Airdrop, which does not upload anything to iCloud (but rather uses a combination of Bluetooth and peer-to-peer Wifi to transfer the data locally). Unfortunately the iOS Security Guide has not yet been updated to cover the universal clipboard.
 
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itsmilo

Suspended
Sep 15, 2016
3,985
8,717
Berlin, Germany
Doesnt work for me but i am not surprised. I never got hand off to work properly either nor did i ever see a usecase for me
 
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donawalt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2015
598
264
I tried iPad Pro 9.7 to MBP 2015, it does not work. Never had a problem with other handoff features. iCloud same account, bluetooth on, Handoff enabled, update to latest Sierra and iOS 10.
 
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scoobydoo99

Cancelled
Mar 11, 2003
1,007
353
sounds like a nightmare. More exotic new features that work "seamlessly" as long a you wait a few seconds, but not too long, and re-sign in when it doesn't work. I miss the days when Apple took time to ensure solid operating systems instead of constantly moving on to the next new feature.
 
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sleepydinosaur

Suspended
Oct 31, 2009
242
178
I can't help but wonder, as MacOS and iOS incrementally expand, what the future of the computer OS is.

Personally, I feel the greatest triumph of iOS was that it showed how needlessly complex computer OS's are.

The keyboard and mouse scenario has to end at some point. Looking at science fiction, most notably Tony Stark, shows an interesting way forward. AI based devices seem like the logical way forward but who knows.

I'll be the first to admit I was wrong when the iPhone 6 was announced as I was steadfastly believeling that Apple wouldn't go with larger screens, instead moving faster with Siri.

Now that MacOS has Siri, I think logically, Apple wants Siri to bridge the gap on a PERSONAL basis. Using your iPad to tell Siri to check for and install software updates on your Mac and things of that nature.
 
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CrystalQuest76

Suspended
Dec 14, 2015
640
717
West Cost A Lot
Does this feature work between my iPad and iPhone? When I tried it did not work. Could this be related to why my Keyboard text shortcuts are no longer on my iPad but are on my iPhone and mac?
 
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GeneralChang

macrumors 68000
Dec 2, 2013
1,546
1,213
I already use Notes.app for this. It is more flexible - can paste/copy multiple separate items and they appear almost instantly on all devices. What is the advantage of the new cross-device clipboard feature over the existing functionality of Notes.app?
Just a few keystrokes or clicks less time. I wouldn't expect any drastic changes to your workflow as a result of this.
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
As someone who sometimes uses copy/paste for sensitive information (e.g. to copy passwords from a password manager), this makes me very uneasy if true. Does anyone know if this is documented somewhere? I had assumed that the universal clipboard works similarly as Airdrop, which does not upload anything to iCloud (but rather uses a combination of Bluetooth and peer-to-peer Wifi to transfer the data locally). Unfortunately the iOS Security Guide has not yet been updated to cover the universal clipboard.

I thought it was local-only (BT/WiFi ad hoc) as well.

Clarification?

PS - not to hijack this thread, but I wanted to see if I am the only one who was given by Apple and UPS a delivery date of TODAY for my new Apple Watches, and TOMORROW for my new iPhone 7+ JB 256GB ATT, only to check NOW and see that BOTH deliveries have been DELAYED until "later this week" without any reason provided or additional details given.

My watch was initially due next week, then was changed to EARLIER—today—and is out for delivery as expected. (No phone for me this year.)
 
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Straight Flush

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2013
33
18
Universal Clipboard is not working for me as well. :(

I tried the usual routine of turning it Off and On again including, my MBP, 6S Plus, both the Bluetooth, iCloud login, check the Settings etc.

Actually, even the Handoff feature which was working seamlessly before installing macOS Sierra has stopped working as well.

*UPDATE* : UC and Handoff works for me now. Left the MBP shut down overnight and iPhone restarted again. To be clear I had restarted both devices before but it had not worked before.
 
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CrackerJackToy

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2011
392
129
If it doesn't work for you, try resetting your iPhone and restarting your computer. Once I did that, it worked flawlessly. I'm really digging it!
 
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macandgeesuz

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2016
1
0
Bluetooth? I though it worked via iCloud. O well, I'm not turning on Bluetooth.

Yah. I don't understand why Continuity and Airdrop require WiFi and/or Bluetooth. If you have a network connection you should be good to go but Apple has to make it difficult.
 
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JTToft

macrumors 68040
Apr 27, 2010
3,447
792
Aarhus, Denmark
Balls. Really hate how they're artificially limiting the availability of Continuity. I can't use it on my technically perfectly capable Bluetooth 4.0-enabled Mac just because my model is blacklisted by Apple.
 
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rishiomedia

macrumors member
Mar 10, 2015
84
41
If it doesn't work for you, try resetting your iPhone and restarting your computer. Once I did that, it worked flawlessly. I'm really digging it!

It doesn't work for me and I'm afraid of resetting my phone. What does resetting my phone mean? Do I have to restore all apps and data if I do that? Seems like a dangerous thing to do. And under the general iPhone settings, there are maybe 5 different reset options. Which one do I chose, "Reset All Settings"?

*UPDATE*

Simple turning on and off the phone did the trick. It's working now. Glad I didn't reset and create havoc!
 
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