Wed. Jul 6th, 2022


Apple’s Universal Clipboard feature allows you to copy the text on your iPhone or iPad and paste it on your Mac and vice versa. While it works reliably well most of the time, some users may experience that the universal copy-paste is not working as intended. Therefore, this article brings you tested methods to fix Universal Clipboard copy paste not working between Mac, iPhoneand iPad.

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What is Universal Clipboard on iPhone & Mac?

As part of Handoff features, Universal Clipboard allows you to copy text, images, or videos on one Apple device and paste the content on another Apple device, say from an iPhone to Mac or vice versa.

It is enabled by default on Mac. And you can seamlessly paste the copied files or text between your other Apple devices. To use it, copy the text or image on one Apple device. It will automatically be copied to the universal clipboard. Now, pull up another Apple device and paste the copied content.

Universal Clipboard Not Working Between Mac, iPhone, or iPad? Here’s How to Fix

Universal Clipboard requires Wifi and Bluetooth to work. And in most cases, issues with copy-paste are due to problems with Bluetooth and Wifi connection or iCloud sync. Below are certain ways to fix Universal Copy Paste not working between Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Method 1- Check Universal Clipboard Requirements

To begin with, make sure your iPhone, iPad or Mac supports Universal Clipboard and is running the right operating system version for the same. Here are the requirements for the feature to work:

  • iPhone or iPad running iOS10 or newer.
  • Mac or MacBook running macOS Sierra 10.2 or newer.
  • Apple devices are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.
  • Bluetooth and Wifi turned on each device.
  • Connected to the same Wifi network.
  • Each device has Handoff turned on.
  • Both devices must be within 30 feet 10 meters (the Bluetooth range).

Connect both devices to the same Wifi (or connect to the iPhone hotspot), turn on Bluetooth, ensure handoff is enabled, and keep the devices nearby. All of it while making sure your iCloud account is logged on the two devices. If sync is not working, log out and log in to iCloud again.

Method 2- Turn Off & On Bluetooth and Wifi

Universal Clipboard relies on Bluetooth and Wifi to work. If you’re facing intermittent issues while copying and pasting from iPhone to Mac or Mac to iPhone, disable and re-enable the Bluetooth and Wifi on the two devices.

On iPhone or iPad

1. Swipe down from the top right to pull Control Center.

2. Tap the Wifi icon to turn it off. Tap it again to re-enable it.

3. Similarly, turn off Bluetooth and enable it back.

On Mac

Turn On Off Mac Wifi to Fix Universal Copy Paste Not Working

1. On your Mac, tap the Wifi icon in the toolbar.

2. Once the Wifi popup opens, turn off the toggle. Enable it again.

3. Next, tap the Bluetooth icon, turn it off and on.

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Method 3- Disable & Re-Enable Handoff

Universal Clipboard is a handoff feature. Disabling and re-enabling handoff could fix issues with copy-paste across Apple devices. Here’s how to do it on iOS and Mac.

On iPhone or iPad

1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.

2. Go to General. Click AirPlay & Handoff.

3. Turn off and on the toggle for Handoff.

On Mac

1. Click the Apple logo at the top left corner.

Enable Disable Mac Wifi to Fix Universal Copy Paste Not Working

2. Select System Preferences and click on General.

3. Here, uncheck the box for Allow handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

4. Wait for a few seconds and enable it again. Then, restart your Mac.

Method 4- Sign Out iCloud Account & Login Again

Universal Clipboard requires you to be signed in with the same Apple account on the devices you want to use it on. If copy-paste is not working between your Mac or iPhone / iPad, sign out of the iCloud account and sign back, as shown below.

On iPhone or iPad

1. Open Settings on your iOS device.

2. Click on your Apple ID name at the top.

3. Tap Sign Out at the bottom.

4. If Find My iPhone is turned on, enter your Apple ID password and hit Turn Off.

On Mac

1. Click the Apple logo at the top left> System Preferences.

2. Tap Apple ID.

3. Select Overview from the sidebar at the left.

4. Hit Sign Out at the bottom.

Next, reboot your device and sign in back to your Apple account.

Related | How to Fix Handoff Issues Between Mac and iPhone or iPad

Method 5- Reset Network Settings on iPhone

Since Handoff features like Universal Clipboard rely on Bluetooth and Wifi, resetting the network settings may fix any related problems on your iPhone. Here’s how to do it:

1. Open Settings on your iPhone.

2. Click on General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.

3. Tap Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Method 6- Delete Bluetooth Files on Mac

Your Mac stores information about Bluetooth devices in PLIST files. Deleting these files will make the Mac recreate new files upon restart, fixing intermittent issues with Bluetooth connectivity affecting the Universal Copy Paste feature.

1. Open Finder on your Mac.

2. Tap Go in the top menu bar, and select Go to Folder.

Reset Mac Bluetooth to Fix Universal Clipboard Handoff

3. Here, type or paste / Library / Preferences and tap the search result.

Reset Mac Bluetooth to Fix Universal Clipboard Handoff

4. Inside the directory, tap Search and search for Bluetooth.

5. If you see some Bluetooth PLIST files (such as com.apple.Bluetooth.plist), select and move them to Bin.

Reset Mac Bluetooth to Fix Universal Clipboard Handoff

6. Finally, restart your Mac.

Now, try copying something on your iPhone and pasting it on your Mac. It should work without any issues. This method is a sure-shot fix for those having trouble with Universal Clipboard and AirDrop after updating from older macOS versions to Big Sur.

Method 7- Close Recent Apps on iPhone

Several users have reported that closing recent apps on their iPhone has fixed issues with the universal copy not working. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone home screen and hold to open the Recents view. Here, swipe up to remove all the apps.

Potentially, other apps using Clipboard or Bluetooth may be causing issues with the Universal Clipboard feature, which is why the solution may work on some iPhones.

Method 8- Fix Universal Clipboard via Terminal Commands

If Universal Clipboard is still not working on your Mac, you can try fixing it through Terminal commands. However, be careful with executing commands as it might interfere with your Mac’s normal functioning.

1. Open Terminal on your Mac. You can do it from Finder, Applications menu, or by searching Spotlight Menu.

2. Type the following command to see if ClipboardSharingEnabled equals zero.

defaults read ~ / Library / Preferences com.apple.coreservices.useractivityd.plist

3. If you see ClipboardSharingEnabled = 0, type and enter

defaults read ~ / Library / Preferences / com.apple.coreservices.useractivityd.plist ClipboardSharingEnabled

4. Alternatively, you can try the following command:

defaults write ~ / Library / Preferences / com.apple.coreservices.useractivityd.plist ClipboardSharingEnabled 1

Now, reboot your Mac and try using Universal Clipboard features. Copy-paste should now work fine across devices.

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Method 9- Restart Your Mac & iPhone

Several users have reported that restarting their Mac fixes issues with copying and pasting to or from iOS devices.

Restart iPhone to Fix Universal Clipboard Not Working

Press and hold the Side button and swipe the Power Off slider to restart your iPhone to turn it off. Wait for a few seconds and press the button again to start the device. On Mac, press the Apple logo at the top left corner. Click on Restart and confirm when prompted.

Restart Mac to Fix Universal Clipboard Not Working

Doing so will soft-reset the Handoff features, and Universal Clipboard may start working usually hereafter.

Other Tips to Fix Universal Clipboard Not Working on iPhone & Mac

  • Update Your Mac and iPhone Software.
  • Make sure no other app is using Bluetooth.
  • If using any clipboard manager on Mac, try disabling them.

Wrapping Up

These were some tried and tested methods to fix Universal Clipboard not working between iPhone, iPad, and Mac. I hope the guide helps you resolve any problems copying and pasting text or images to or from your iPhone to Mac. Stay tuned for more such tips, tricks, and troubleshooting guides.

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