How to Copy from your iPhone and Paste to your Mac or iPad (and vice versa)
The universal clipboard for macOS and iOS devices
- Ever wanted to send content (a link, a text, an image) from one Apple device to another? And had to rely on mail and messages? You do not need to.
- With the right settings, you can select content on one Apple device (an iPhone, iPad, or Mac), hit copy or cut, and then hit paste on the Apple device you want to send it to. Yep, that simple.
- You do not need to install any third-party app – doing the magic is Apple’s macOS and iOS’ universal clipboard.
Have you ever wondered how life would have been like if there was no option to copy or cut and paste content? Imagine writing and rewriting the same thing over and over because no one thought of creating copy and paste. Well, even the thought of such a world is terrifying, and whoever gave us the option of copying, cutting, and pasting made all of our lives easier by many miles.
Mind you, even with them being around, life can sometimes still be a little complex.
Just copy on one Apple device, and paste on another
Imagine you are working on your MacBook Pro on a presentation and someone sends you a quote on WhatsApp (hey, it’s WhatsApp, it rains quotes there) on your iPhone. A quote so good that you want to include it in your presentation. How do you do it? Well, you could open a web version of WhatsApp on your notebook and copy and paste it from there. Or you could paste it in the mail on your iPhone and mail it to your notebook. Or maybe put the quote on a shared cloud drive. Or use AirDrop…
Or wait, you could simply copy it (or cut it if you want to get rid of it from there) from your iPhone and paste it on your MacBook Pro. Yep, that is possible. And you do not need to download any special apps for it either. It is baked right into your iOS and macOS devices. Basically, Apple took the mainstream copy-paste feature, spiced it up, and delivered a universal copy-paste feature. While copy-paste in itself is a magical spell enough, Apple has added a little touch of fairy dust to make it even more powerful. With the launch of macOS Sierra and iOS 10, Apple had released a number of continuity features and these features only got improved with the release of succeeding OSes. One of the improved continuity features in the two operating systems is the ability to copy-paste amongst multiple Apple devices.
This feature allows you to copy and paste content across Macs, iPhones, iPads, and the iPod Touch. So instead of finding ways with several steps to share content across two Apple devices, you could just simply use Universal Clipboard, a feature that lets you copy or cut content from one Apple device and paste it on another.
Some setting stuff!
But before we get to any actual copying and pasting, there are a few things you need in order to use Universal Clipboard. A quick note: these steps apply to cutting also, but we are going along with “copy” as a general term for the sake of keeping things simple.
- Each device needs to be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID. This means the devices that will be used in this copy-paste process need to have the same Apple ID signed in to iCloud. Yeah, before you ask, you cannot copy on your iPhone and paste on someone else’s iPad – imagine the privacy nightmare that could create!
- You have to turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both devices. The two devices also need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
- You have to turn on the Handoff mode on both devices. To turn on Handoff, you need to open the Settings app on your iOS device, tap on General, then select AirPlay and Handoff and tap on the toggle to turn the mode on. On your macOS device, once again go to Settings, choose General, and then tick the box in front of “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”
- You also need macOS Sierra or later and iOS 10 or later for this feature to work.
Now once you have got through this pre-process-process, you simply have to follow these very easy steps in order to get some universal copy-pasting done:
Select the content and copy on one device
First, you have to select the content that you need to copy from one device to another. It could be text, image, or any other content that you are otherwise able to copy and paste within the device. To copy from Mac, you need to select the content you want to copy and preset Command + C or you can go to the menu bar on top of your screen, select Edit and then choose the Copy option from there. To Copy from an iOS device, you need to select the content by double tapping and then pick Copy from the list of options that appear on top.
And Paste on the other…Voilà!
Once you are through with all the copying, this content will automatically get copied on Universal Clipboard for a brief period. Now if you need to paste on a macOS device, you need to simply press Command + V or go to the menu bar above and select Edit and then pick Paste from there. If your destination device runs on iOS, you simply need to long-press (or tap the screen with three fingers once), long enough for the paste option to appear on your screen, and when it does you have to tap on it. This will get your content from one Apple device to another with bare minimum work.
We laud the lad who created copy-paste in the first place but Universal Clipboard definitely makes life even easier peasy and…here it comes: very Apple squeezy!