Are you familiar with Universal Clipboard? It’s a feature of Apple’s Continuity initiative, making it possible to copy text, photos and videos from one Mac to paste them to another. With the release of macOS High Sierra, Apple added the ability to copy and paste complete files from one Mac to another, providing Mac users with a quick alternative to AirDrop. In this guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know in order to use Universal Clipboard for fast and easy file transfers between Macs.
1) Do Your Macs Support Universal Clipboard?
Not all Macs running macOS High Sierra can take advantage of Universal Clipboard. The Continuity features of macOS require Bluetooth LE, and of course the Mac you’re trying to use Universal Clipboard on must be able to run macOS High Sierra. That limits the Macs that support Universal Clipboard to the following:
- iMac (2012 or newer)
- MacBook (early 2015 or newer)
- MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (2012 or newer)
- Mac mini (2012 or newer)
- Mac Pro (late 2013)
2) Sign Into iCloud On Both Macs
When Universal Clipboard sends files and other content between devices, it uses iCloud to handle the security and move the files. Both Macs must be logged into the same iCloud account in order for this to work; you and a co-worker can’t use Universal Clipboard to pass files back and forth, and in a case like that you’d revert to AirDrop. To ensure that both Macs are logged into the same iCloud account:
1. Launch System Preferences on both Macs
2. Click on the iCloud icon
In the left sidebar of the iCloud pane you’ll see the name and email account associated with the iCloud account you’re logged into (see screenshot above). Be sure both Macs are signed into the same account. If not, click on the Sign Out button, then sign in with the correct account.
3) Make Sure Both Macs Have Bluetooth Turned On
1. Click the Bluetooth icon in the Menu bar of both Macs. It’s located in the upper right region of the Mac screen, and is usually situated right next to the Wi-Fi icon (see screenshot below).
2. If Bluetooth is indeed turned on, you’ll see that the first line of the Bluetooth menu item says “Bluetooth: On”. If it isn’t currently turned on, the second line will say “Turn Bluetooth On”, allowing you to enable Bluetooth with a simple click.
4) Make Sure Both Macs Are On The Same Wi-Fi Network
1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the Menu bar of both Macs. It’s usually right next to the Bluetooth icon, so if you’ve completed the step above, you know where to look (see screenshot below).
2. Look for a check mark next to the name of one of the Wi-Fi networks. That’s the network that your Mac is currently using. Repeat the same check on the other Mac. If the two networks are different, change one of the Macs so that they’re both using the same Wi-Fi network.
5) Copy and Paste Your Files
These easy setup steps make it possible to use Continuity between your Macs. All you need to do is copy a file (or files) on one Mac, then go to the other Mac and paste.
- On one of the Macs, select the file or files you wish to send to the other Mac.
- Press Command ( ⌘ ) + C to copy the selected files. Alternatively, right-click the selected files and select Copy from the pop-up menu.
- On the other Mac, select the location you want to paste the files into by clicking on the desktop or opening a folder.
- Press Command ( ⌘ ) + V to paste the selected files, or select Paste from the Finder menu.
That’s all it takes to use Universal Clipboard between two Macs. It’s most useful if you’re trying to set up two Macs, say a desktop and a MacBook, with the same documents and want an easy way to transfer them between the computers.
Get more macOS tricks and guides at the Rocket Yard Tech Tips section!