Apple Universal Clipboard: Copy & Paste Between Devices

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you have multiple Apple devices, you can copy or cut something from one device and paste it to the other. This productivity feature is extremely helpful for starting something on one device and completing it on the other device. Apple calls this the Universal Clipboard, and the feature couldn’t be easier to use. Read on to find out!

Why You'll Love This Tip:

  • Copy and paste links, photos, and even large text between devices super fast.
  • Cut and paste between any Apple Device logged into the same iCloud account.

Copy on Phone & Paste on Mac with Handoff

System Requirements

This tip will work on iPhone SE (gen 1) or later running iOS 10 or later, iPad (gen 5) or later running iPadOS 10 or later, and Macs running macOS Sierra or later. 

In order for Universal Clipboard to work smoothly, make sure all your devices are connected to Wi-Fi and are logged in to the same Apple ID account. Next, you will want to make sure AirPlay & Handoff is turned on in your iPhone's settings. To do this:

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  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.

    universal clipboard
  2. Tap General.

    copy to mac
  3. Tap AirPlay & Handoff.

    how to copy and paste from iphone to mac
  4. Toggle Handoff on. It will be green when activated.

    how to copy and paste from iphone to macbook

You can also follow these steps to turn on Handoff on your iPad. Similarly, click on General in System Settings on your Mac to ensure Handoff is toggled on.

Copy Across Devices: Mac to iPhone or iPad and Vice-Versa

Now that you've made sure you're logged in to your Apple ID on all devices, and you've turned on Handoff, you should be able to copy, cut, and paste between various devices. Let's start out with copying from your Mac and pasting on your iPhone.

  1. Highlight the text or image you want to copy or cut and paste by clicking and dragging with your mouse.

    copy from iphone to macbook
  2. Right-click in the highlighted text.

    how to copy from iphone and paste on mac
  3. Select copy or cut depending on your needs.

    copy and paste from iphone to mac
  4. Now, open your phone to the place you want to paste (I chose the Notes app).

    pasting from iphone to mac
  5. Tap the screen twice where you're about to type to reveal the menu.

    paste from iphone to mac
  6. Tap Paste.

    iphone copy to mac

Now your copied text from your Mac should appear on your iPhone like magic.

How to Copy on Phone & Paste on Mac

Now, let's go the opposite way and paste text or images from iPhone or iPad to your Mac. If you like tips like this, be sure to sign up for our Tip of the Day to learn more cool and useful tricks for working with your Apple devices. 

  1. Highlight the text or image you want to copy or cut by tapping it twice to reveal the menu.

    how to paste from iphone to mac
  2. Drag the cursor handles to highlight the text.

    how to copy on mac and paste on iphone
  3. Tap cut or copy depending on your needs.

    how to copy on iphone and paste on mac
  4. Now, open up your Mac to the place you want to paste.

    how to copy paste from iphone to mac
  5. Right-click to reveal the menu.

    how to copy from phone and paste on mac
  6. Click Paste.

    how to copy all on iphone

And that's all there is to it! I use this feature every day, and if you also have a few Apple devices you use regularly, you may find it helpful as well! Overall, Universal Clipboard makes copying and pasting things from one device to the other ridiculously easy.

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.