How to Fix Universal Control Not Working on Mac

Is your Universal Control not working on Mac?

Apple released Universal Control in 2021, a feature intended to let you connect your iPad and Mac or several Macs with one another. When enabled, you can use the main Macbook’s keyboard and trackpad to control other Macbooks and iPads nearby. 

This feature is not only helpful for the functionality it offers but also saves you space on a desk as you would not need multiple computer peripherals anymore. But getting yourself familiar with the feature is quite a challenge.

To smoothly use Universal Control, your devices must be compatible (i.e., iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3). If this requirement is met, but you’re still facing issues with the feature, it’s time to perform some troubleshooting. We’ve covered some of the methods in this guide, so simply go through them one by one.

Let’s get started!

1. Check Compatibility of Mac and iPad. 

Before you proceed to troubleshoot the Universal Control not working on Mac, the very first step that you need to do is check the compatibility of both your devices, Mac and iPad. 

Your Mac should be running on Monterey 12.3 or later, while the iPad requires iPadOS 15.4 and later. Although Macs manufactured in 2016 or later are compatible with Universal Control, the model of your Mac also matters. Therefore, check the compatibility requirements of the Universal Control process and update your device if needed.

2. Enable the Universal Control Feature. 

Once you’ve checked if your devices are compatible with the Universal Control system or not, the next step is to enable this feature on both devices. If you’ve recently updated your Mac, the Universal Control will be disabled by default. 

This may be one of the reasons why the feature may not be working on your Mac. So, here’s what you can do to turn it on: 

  1. Go to the Apple menu and click on System Preferences
apple menu
  1. After that, select Displays
displays in system preferences
  1. Choose Universal Control from the bottom. 
universal control in displays settings
  1. Now, check the box for Allow your cursor and keyboard to move between any Mac or iPad
Universal Control Not Working on Mac
  1. Finally, click on Done.

3. Sign In to the Same Apple ID.

For Universal Control to work, another requirement is that both your devices need to be signed in from the same Apple ID using the two-factor authentication. The Universal Control system will not work if you’re signing in from two different Apple IDs. 

To ensure that your Mac is signed into an Apple ID, follow these steps:

  1. Start by clicking on the Apple menu from the top bar on your Mac. 
  2. Now, select System Preferences
  3. Click on Sign in from the top-right and sign in to iCloud. 
sign in button in system preferences

Moreover, following these steps below will allow you to enable two-factor authentication on your Mac: 

  1. Head over to the Apple menu from the top and click on System Preferences
  2. Next, click on Apple ID
apple id in system preferences
  1. From the left pane, choose Password & Security
  2. Finally, click on the Turn On button next to Two-Factor Authentication
Universal Control Not Working on Mac

4. Turn on BlueTooth and Wi-Fi. 

The Universal Control system works by connecting your Mac and iPad through two main connections, that is, BlueTooth and Wi-Fi. Furthermore, both of your devices should be connected to the same Wi-Fi.

 The Universal Control feature will not work if both of these conditions are not met. So, ensure BlueTooth and Wi-Fi are turned off on your Mac from the macOS status bar.

wi-fi in status bar

5. Enable Handoff. 

The Handoff feature on Apple devices allows users to start and work on the same tasks on two devices. If this functionality is turned off on Mac, the Universal Control feature may not be able to work. 

Here’s how you can enable Handoff on Mac:

  1. Click on the Apple menu and click on System Preferences
  2. Next, choose General
general settings
  1. After that, check the box next to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices
Universal Control Not Working on Mac

6. Disable Internet Sharing. 

It’s also possible that other devices are sharing Mac’s network connection, which would prevent the Universal Control system from working. Therefore, for the feature to work, you must make sure that your Mac does not tether its connection through Wi-Fi or BlueTooth, etc. 

Here’s how to disable internet sharing on Mac:

  1. Begin by clicking on the Apple menu from the status bar. 
  2. Afterward, select System Preferences
  3. Now, click on Sharing
sharing in system preferences
  1. Under the Service column, uncheck the box next to Internet Sharing
internet sharing

Once done, check whether the Universal Control is working or not. If not, you may have to force stop the feature, then restart it again. 

7. Restart your Mac. 

If you’re still having trouble trying to get Universal Control to work, now is the time to restart your Mac. Sometimes, a minor bug in the connection or other service used by this feature may cause it not to work properly.

Restarting your device gets rid of the temporary glitches and bugs that may be interfering with the functionality of Universal Control. 

So, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click on the Apple menu from the top.
  2. Now, select Restart
restart in apple menu

Wait for your computer to restart, then check if that resolved your problem. Otherwise, move to the next method mentioned in this guide. 

8. Restart Universal Control.

If, even after trying all of the methods mentioned in this guide, the Universal Control is not working on Mac, the last option is to restart the Universal Control system. This may give the Universal Control process a fresh start and get it to start working again. This can be done via the Activity Monitor tool, which is used to troubleshoot problems on Mac. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1.  Firstly, click on Finder from the dock. 
  2. From the sidebar, select Applications
  3. Double-click on the Utilities folder. 
utilities in application folder
  1. Now, double-click on Activity Monitor
  2. Afterward, click on the search bar at the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Type in ‘universal’ and click on Universal Control from the search result. 
  4. Click on the x icon from the top and select Quit
Universal Control Not Working on Mac

Once done, head to Universal Control and check again. 

This concludes our guide on how to fix Universal Control not working on Mac. Hopefully, the methods mentioned in this guide have helped you resolve your problem. In case of further queries, use the comments sections. We’ll be more than happy to assist you. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 😊


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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