One of the biggest success factors behind Apple devices is the ability to sync data across all devices. You can easily transfer files or share screen when having multiple devices on the same network. Among other sharing options like AirDrop, Continuity is the must use feature for all Apple users. Handoff is part of Continuity feature which allows you to instantly share content from iPhone to Mac and vice versa. If you wonder what Handoff is and how to use it on your devices, here is the instructions for you. You can also check out the article on how to fix Handoff between iPhone and Mac if it does not work.
As the name indicates, Handoff allows you to start an activity on one device and continue the activity on another device where you left. All default macOS apps like Safari, Reminders, Notes, Mail, Contacts and Pages support Handoff. Good thing is that you can copy and paste content across devices when using Handoff feature. However, here are the requirements for the feature to work between your iPhone and Mac:
- Enabled Handoff on both iPhone and Mac.
- Both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi and enabled Bluetooth. You do not need to pair the devices, just enabling Bluetooth on both devices is sufficient.
- Using same iCloud account.
Handoff works on all latest models and latest OS version. You can check the hardware and OS requirements in this Apple support page to make sure your device supports the function.
Enabling Handoff in iPhone
- Open Settings app and go to “General” section.
- Tap on “AirPlay & Handoff” option.
- Enable “Handoff” option.
Enabling Handoff in Mac
- Go to Apple logo menu and select “System Settings…”.
- Navigate to “General” section and select “AirPlay & Handoff” option.
- On the next screen, enable “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices”.
If you are using macOS Monterey or earlier versions, then you will see “System Preferences…” instead of “System Settings…” in the Apple menu. From there, you can open “General” preferences section and enable Handoff.
How Does Handoff Work?
As mentioned, Handoff works for all the apps from iPhone to Mac and vice versa including Safari tabs.
Handoff Example from iPhone to Mac
For example, let me open a Pages document in iPhone.
It will immediately show the Pages app in the Mac’s Dock as below. This app will show the phone icon in the badge to indicate this is a handed off app and not from your Mac.
I click on the Pages icon in the Dock to open the document and continue where I left on the iPhone.
Likewise, you can pick up the Safari tabs, Mail, FaceTime call and work from other Apple apps.
Handoff Example from Mac to iPhone
Now, I can open the same Pages document from Mac to iPhone with the updated content. However, I will show a different example for picking up a Safari tab.
- Open a website in Safari browser on your Mac.
- Swipe the screen up on your iPhone to open App Switcher.
- You will see the tab from Safari on the bottom of the apps showing “From Your Mac…”.
- Tap on it to open the tab from Mac in iPhone Safari and continue reading.