Using Universal Control in macOS 12.3 Monterey and iPadOS 15.4

Originally published at: Using Universal Control in macOS 12.3 Monterey and iPadOS 15.4 - TidBITS

At long last, Universal Control is here, and it lets you control up to three additional Macs and iPads using one Mac’s keyboard and pointing device. It’s remarkable, but how are you going to use it?

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I’ve really been looking forward to this particular feature!

It works well both ways: That is, you can control your Mac with an iPad and Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard trackpad works great. Haven’t tried with a mouse paired to the iPad, but I’m pretty sure that would work too.

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Yeah, Universal Control is kind of trippy like that. All of your devices essentially act as one, at least from an interface standpoint.

I have an iPad gen 8 and iPhone 8. Both at 15.4

Neither shows in settings the choice to set them up. Any suggestions of why and how to fix?

My goal is to be able to use my wireless keyboard to type into both the iPad and iPhone because my fingers are fat and the iDevice keys are small Should I be trying a different way?
I am NOT trying to extend the screen of my iMac to my iPad

thanks for any help


I think you need to set it up initially on a Mac.

Scripting support would be fabulous, even if limited to turning Universal Control on and off with a single keystroke.

I was able to “pair” my iMac and my iPad 8. Cursor and keyboard

Still haven’t been able to get my iPhone 8 to appear as a device in my System Preferences / Displays panels.

Universal Control does not with iPhones. See the System Requirements in the Apple Support article.

That seems normal, as Universal Control is for Macs and iPads only.

Didn’t know that. Thanks.

Teleport is still available and being updated: GitHub - johndbritton/teleport: Virtual KVM for OS X

Well, that’s cool—I had no idea! Do you have a sense of how it compares with Universal Control now?

I use it every day to share my keyboard and mouse between two Macs and it works very well. I use clipboard sharing, mainly with text, all the time but don’t use the drag and drop file sharing.

Unfortunately, one Mac can’t run macOS Monterey and I am still on macOS Big Sur on the other so can’t compare them directly.

Aside from the Mac sleeping problem rendering the mouse useless on an iPad, another problem I discovered was that the mouse became very laggy on the iPad after using it a while. It even lagged a bit on the Mac, but the iPad lag made it useless. This happened after using it a while; initially the mouse was very snappy on both devices. I was using a Magic Mouse II on an M1 MacBook Air and a 2017 10.5" iPad Pro. All devices were running the latest OS. For these two reasons I have given up on UC.

Well, it is a beta product.

As a cynic…
If Apple really wanted to make iOS useful, it would add the command/control and option keys to iOS. :roll_eyes: :exploding_head: DUH!

Of course, I’m not even using Monterey, so that proves I’m a laggard (at a minimum)! Once Apple allows these kinds of drag-n-drop/copy-&-paste both ways, I’ll be impressed (and thankful). :smiley:

It worked for me right after I updated but now it doesn’t. I have all the setting as described above but no amount of rebooting or turning them off and back on is working. The option under add display only shows mirror or extend to and cursor will not slide over automatically either.

One tip I’d add for anyone who runs into the same problem I did — if your iPad didn’t automatically connect and you don’t see a “Link Keyboard & Mouse” setting under System Preferences > Displays on your Mac, try putting both devices to sleep and then waking them up. Once I did that, the setting showed up and the iPad had automatically connected.

I had exactly the same problem, universal control was working beautifully between my MacBook Air and Mac mini (M1). Last week I could not make them connect again. I rebooted both devices multiple times. I wonder if the latest iOS update what is the problem? Does anyone have any ideas? Maybe rebooting is not as effective as putting the devices to sleep? I would appreciate any help because I was getting great productivity boost using my MacBook Air keyboard and track pad to control my Mac mini which sits on the back of my desk with a very large display. Previously I was putting my MacBook Air to the side while pulling out the keyboard and trackpad for the Mac mini now I just put the MacBook Air on the desktop in front of the Mac mini and go to work on both devices without shuffling them around. Please tell me there is a solution to get this option running again.

The saga continues…
My new Studio Mac and Studio Display have arrived, and the 2017 27 inch iMac sits next to the Studio Display, both running Monterey. I have Universal Control (UC) running, so I can use one keyboard and mouse to operate both machines. I have Mail running on the iMac and the rest of my work on the Studio.

  • First problem: if the iMac goes to sleep, I had no way of waking it up because UC does not work when the iMac is asleep (the mouse and keyboard are connected to the Studio, and the iMac has no mouse or keyboard). Solution: a little shell script (wrapped up as an app by appify ) that ssh's to the iMac and runs caffeine on it. If anyone is interested, I can provide more detail.
  • Second problem, not yet solved. I’ll get very confused about which computer the documents I create are filed on. What would be great is if my home directory on the iMac was actually a symbolic link to my home directory on the Studio. Is this possible, and if so, how? I’ve tried Googling, but I am not sure what term I should search for - it is not a virtual desktop that I am looking for.

A simpler solution would be to have an old USB mouse attached to the iMac. Just wiggle it a bit when the iMac goes to sleep.