When it announced the new iPads and the new Retina iMac, Apple has also unveiled the free upgrade to OS X Yosemite. One of the most interesting and useful features is Handoff which allows you to start writing an email on your iPhone and switch over to your Mac without losing your place. However, not all Macs are getting the upgrade, therefore many with older ones are curious how to get this feature.

handoff old macs

When Apple introduced “Continuity” in iOS 8, which is basically a set of features for deeper integration between Macs and iOS devices, it mentioned that some Continuity features, such as Handoff, are limited to Macs with Bluetooth 4.0. Also, even the 2011 MacBook Air and 2011 Mac mini which  include Bluetooth 4.0 won’t get Continuity features, because Apple has restricted it.

However, some members of the MacRumors forums have come up with a solution that would allow them to enable Continuity on their older Macs. A set of instructions and a Continuity Activation Tool have created and they are available on Github.

The Continuity Activation Tool activates Continuity by doing a compatibility check, creating backups of original System drivers, and disabling a Mac-model blacklist in the Bluetooth code that prevents it from running. Then it also whitelists Mac board-ids within the Wi-Fi code to make Handoff working, along with some other features. Just follow the link from above and after clicking the app, you will just need to follow the instructions provided on the screen.

The mid-2011 MacBook Air and the mid-2011 Mac mini will get Handoff with no additional hardware required, but if your older Macs doesn’t come equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, then you will need to install new wireless cards. It seems that USB dongles that provide Bluetooth 4.0 will not work with the Continuity Activation Tool. In the image from below you can see the list of wireless cards that will provide Bluetooth 4.0 for each older Mac.

old mac get handoff

This method is said to have successfully enabled Continuity on a variety of Macs, including the mid-2011 MacBook Air, the early 2011 MacBook Pro, and the mid-2011 Mac mini. And only will you get Handoff, but also other Continuity features like Instant Hotspot, SMS forwarding, and Mac phone calls. Nonetheless, you should perform a back-up before proceeding with the app.

Source: MacRumors
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was the Managing Editor of Technology Personalized. He now writes about Windows 10 apps and reviews them on WindowsReport. Believes that technology is the main engine of civilization. Send him a tweet or make him your Facebook friend