What is Apple’s Universal Control?

Have you been thinking of how you can seamlessly control multiple Apple devices such as iPad, MacBook, and iMac with the same mouse and keyboard? Well, that is now possible with Apple’s Universal Control.

So, what is Apple’s Universal Control?

Universal Control is a feature recently launched by Apple. It is where you can use one keyboard and mouse for a seamless experience between Apple devices like MacBook, iPad, and iMac. It is a situation where you can use the iPad as the next screen for your iMac device. It sounds very interesting. This means that you can use the cursor and keyboard from the iMac to control the iPad right beside you. It also means if you own a Magic Keyboard for an iPod Pro, it can be used to control a Mac device. The exciting thing is that this requires no serious setup at all. 

However, your iMac will have to run on macOS 12.3 or the latest versions to make this work seamlessly, while the iPad has to run on iPadOS 15.4 version or later. Your devices have to be updated to these versions or higher ones to have the Universal Control feature work on your devices.

What are the Apple devices that make Universal Control work?

Not all Apple devices work using the Universal Control feature. So, there is every possibility that your current devices may not support the feature. Below is a list of devices that support Universal Control:

Mac devices

  • 2016 MacBook Pro or later 
  • 2016 MacBook or later 
  • 2016 MacBook Air or later 
  • 2018 Mac mini or later 
  • 2017 iMac or later
  • iMac Pro
  • 2019 iMac Pro and Mac Studio

iPad devices 

  • All models of iPad
  • 6th Generation iPad or later
  • 3rd Generation iPad Air or later
Photo credit: Apple Support

How can I set up Universal Control? 

There is no complicated process in setting up Universal Control. Just follow the steps below: 

  • Ensure that the two devices you will be using, like iPad and Mac, are signed in using the same Apple ID. The devices have to be within 30 ft of one another. You must also ensure that Bluetooth, Handoff, and Wi-Fi are turned on. No sharing of cellular and internet connection between devices.    
  • On your Mac, open up “System Preferences.” 
  • Select “Displays”
  • At the end of the Displays Menu, select “Universal Control.”
  • Tick the box where you see “Push through the edge of a display to connect a close by iPad or Mac.”
  • Next is to press “Done.”
  • Open up “Settings” on your iPad
  • Select “General,” then “Airplay & Handoff.”
  • “Cursor & Keyboard” should be enabled. 
  • The two devices should be positioned next to each other once the Cursor & Keyboard feature is turned on on both iPad and Mac.
  • Press “Add Display through Displays” on Mac. This helps you to select the iPad you intend to connect to
  • Allow the cursor to move past the right or left edge of your screen in the same direction as the device you wish to connect to.  
  • When you check the screen, on the other device, you will see an animation displaying the Mac cursor pointing towards the screen.
  • The displays’ position can be changed at any time. You can do this by just clicking and dragging the screen on the Mac’s “Display Settings.”


Universal Control is an incredible feature from Apple that allows you to use the cursor and keyboard of one Apple device to control another. This feature can connect two or more devices. This is an excellent advancement by Apple. It will undoubtedly improve productivity since files can be dragged and dropped between devices. 

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