Handoff is one of the Apple’s continuity features that enable to start working on one device and continue on another device where you left. You can use this feature between any supported Apple devices like iMac, MacBook, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or iPod. But this always does not work smoothly between iOS and macOS devices. In this article let explain the basics of how to fix handoff continuity connection between MacBook and iPhone.
Related: Fix Safari slow in Mac.
Table of Contents
What About watchOS?
We also provide the requirements for watchOS. You can follow the similar process for connecting any iOS, macOS and watchOS devices. Handoff will work only from watch to MacBook or iPhone. You can’t handoff the apps from iOS/macOS devices to watch.
How Handoff Works?
When your MacBook and iPhone are nearer the app you open in one device will appear on another device. You can pickup the app anytime on another device and start working where you left off on the previous device.
On Your iPhone:
- Double tap the home button in iPhone 8 or earlier versions. Swipe up on iPhone X or later versions, hold and wait a moment for the app switcher to appear.
- You should see the app at the bottom of the screen, from your Mac.
On Your Mac:
- You will see the app popups in the dock when opened in iPhone.
If you are not seeing the app, check the below things to resolve the problem.
1. System Requirements
Apple supports handoff on the following devices and operating systems. Ensure to update to the latest operating system supported on your device. Below are the minimum requirements for handoff function should to work which means you should have the device or operating system later than the mentioned.
- iPhone and iPad – on iOS 8 with iPhone 5, iPad Pro, iPad 4th generation, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPod touch 5th generation.
- Mac – on macOS Yosmite with MacBook Early 2015, MacBook Pro 2012, MacBook Air 2012, Mac mini 2012, iMac 2012, iMac Pro and Mac Pro Late 2013.
- Apple Watch – on watchOS 1.0 with Apple Watch 1st generation, Apple Watch Series 1, 2 or 3.
2. Enable Handoff Continuity in iPhone and Mac
Handoff function is enabled by default on your devices. But ensure that you did not turned off.
Follow the below instructions to enable handoff in iPhone.
- Tap on “Settings” app on the home screen and navigate to “General > Handoff”.
- Switch on the option to enable handoff.
Follow the below instructions on your Mac:
- Go to “Apple Menu > System Preferences…” and click on “General” section.
- Select the checkbox for the option “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices”.
Enable Handoff in Watch:
- First you should have paired your watch and iPhone.
- Tap on the “Watch” app on your iPhone and go to “General” section.
- Enable handoff here.
3. Check Your Wi-Fi
Ensure you have connected to the same Wi-Fi network on iPhone and Mac. If you are connected to 3G/4G/5G on phone and Wi-Fi on Mac then handoff continuity function will not work.
4. Check iCloud Account
Handoff continuity will work only when you login to iCloud account on all devices with the same Apple id. So ensure to check both your MacBook and iPhone are logged into iCloud with the same account.
Logging into iCloud on iPhone:
- Tap on the “Settings” app and then your name that appears as a first option.
- If you are not logged in then you will be prompted to login with your Apple account. The Apple account is the same you should be using for iCloud.
Logging into iCloud on MacBook:
- Go to “Apple Menu > System Preferences…”.
- Click on “iCloud” button.
- Login using the same Apple id used on your iPhone.
In order to find the Apple id used on the watch, tap on Watch app on iPhone. Navigate to “General > Apple ID” section to view the account used for your watch.
5. Supported Apps
Unfortunately, Apple does not support handoff feature on all the apps. Only few apps are supported like Safari, Mail, Maps, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Keynote and Numbers. Some of the third party apps like Google Chrome also will work with handoff function between MacBook and iPhone devices.
So ensure you are looking for continuity with the supported apps and not from any of the apps you want.
6. Enable Bluetooth
Handoff works with Wi-Fi, iCloud and Bluetooth. Ensure to enable Bluetooth on both Mac and iPhone. When you have enabled Bluetooth on iPhone then you will see the Mac apps on iPhone. But iPhone apps will not handoff on Mac.
Enable Bluetooth on Mac:
- Go to “Apple Menu > System Preferences… > Bluetooth”.
- Turn Bluetooth on.
Enable Bluetooth on iPhone:
- Tap on “Settings” app.
- Tap on “Bluetooth” and enable.
7. Keep Devices Nearer
Though connected to Bluetooth and same Wi-Fi, ensure to have both devices nearer to each other. For example, handoff for sure will not work by placing iPhone and MacBook on different floors on your house.
8. Resetting Network
if handoff is not working after following all the above stuff then try to restart iPhone and Mac. If that also not solve the problem then reset the network settings on both devices to check that helps.
Reset Network on iPhone
- Go to “Settings > General > Reset”.
- Tap on “Reset Network Settings”.
- Reconnect to Wi-Fi again.
Reset Network on Mac
- Click on the Wi-Fi icon and “Turn Wi-Fi Off”.
- Reconnect again.
Apple’s continuity program helps to continue the work seamlessly across all devices. Hope you have understood how handoff feature works between MacBook and iPhone. We believe one of the above points should solve your handoff connection problem.