Handoff is a feature in macOS that allows you to continue working on another device. You start writing an email on the iPhone and then you can continue writing on the Mac. Or vice versa: you create a Keynote presentation on the Mac and can continue working on the iPhone or iPad . Handoff remembers where you left off. This guide explains how to enable and use Handoff.
How Handoff works and what it is ?
Handoff is a function in OS that connects the Mac, iPhone and iPad with each other. If you are viewing a website on the iPad , you can continue reading on the Mac. Handoff is part of Apple’s Continuity , which allows devices to work together effortlessly. Handoff can be used with Mail, Safari , Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar and Contacts. Third parties can also make their apps suitable for Handoff.
Handoff is set automatically when your devices are signed in to the same iCloud account. These are the requirements:
- A Mac that runs on at least OS X Yosemite. Not all Mac computers are suitable (see list below).
- An iOS device with iOS 8 or later. Not all iDevices are suitable (see list below).
- The two devices must be signed in to the same iCloud account.
- Both devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network.
- Bluetooth 4.0 must be enabled on both devices. You don’t have to make a link yet; that will soon be automatic.
How can I turn off Handoff?
Handoff is a very useful function, but would you rather not use it? You can disable Handoff from the settings on your Mac and iPhone and iPad.
iPhone and iPad :
- Go to Settings> General .
- Tap Handoff . Turn off the switch there.
- Go to System Preferences> General .
- Uncheck the option at Handoff at the bottom.
Handoff not working?
Not getting Handoff working? Then it may be that you do not meet one of the above conditions. Many people report offline that they have problems setting up Handoff even though they have everything connected properly. If it doesn’t work, it is often this:
- Your Mac does not support Bluetooth LE (4.0) and is therefore not suitable for Handoff. You can check this by clicking the Apple logo on the top left of the Mac screen . Go to About This Mac > System Preferences> System Overview> Bluetooth . The items Bluetooth Low Energy supported and Handoff supported should read ‘yes’.
- You need to sign in to iCloud again. Logging out and logging back in to iCloud appears to work well for many people. Go to System Preferences> iCloud on the Mac or to Settings> iCloud on your iDevice and sign in again.
How Handoff works : Which Mac Is Right?
Not every Mac with OS X Yosemite is Handoff capable. You will need Bluetooth LE. This applies to the following models:
- MacBook Air (from mid 2012)
- MacBook Pro (from mid 2012)
- MacBook (12 inch)
- iMac (from late 2012)
- Mac mini (from late 2012)
- Mac Pro (from late 2013)
Handoff: Which iOS Devices Are Suitable?
Not every iPhone and iPad is suitable for Handoff. Here you see the devices that support Handoff:
- iPhone 5 or later
- iPhone 4S: only suitable for phone call sharing)
- iPad 4 , iPad Air and iPad Air 2
- iPad mini , iPad mini 2 , iPad mini 3
- iPod touch 5th generation
Calling with iPhone, iPad and Mac
Handoff is useful because you can record phone calls with the Mac, even when the iPhone is in your bag or pocket. Phone calls are automatically forwarded to the Mac. A notification will then appear at the top right, with which you can answer or reject the phone. You can have a call via the built-in phone of the Mac. You can also connect a headset with microphone to the Mac . From your Mac, you can reject a call and set a reminder to call you back at a time when it’s more convenient.
You can also make calls from the Mac. Search for the right person via Contacts or Spotlight, click on audio and you will see the option Call via iPhone. It couldn’t be easier.
Reply to text messages with Handoff
Handoff also allows you to reply to text messages arriving on the iPhone on the iPad, iPod touch or Mac.
how Handoff works ? Using apps with Handoff
You can use Handoff with the following apps. That means that you can use the apps on the Mac and then continue on the iPhone or iPad (or vice versa).
Handoff works with the following apps from Apple, among others:
Mail | Safari | Pages | Keynote | Numbers | Maps (Maps) | Messages (Messages) | Reminders (Reminders) | Agenda (Calendar) | Address Book (Contacts) | Pages | Numbers | Keynote
In addition, it works with many third-party apps. If you open an app on your iPhone, such as the Mail app, an icon will also appear in the dock of your Mac. Click on the icon and the software will open the exact same email you opened on the iPhone . This does not only apply to reading. When you are writing an email message on the iPhone, you can continue writing the email message on the Mac.
This also works in all kinds of other apps. You open a website on your Mac and you can continue reading on the iPhone. You make a note on the iPad and continue writing on the Mac. This is all automatic.
On the iPhone you can see which app you are working on on the Mac. An icon appears at the bottom of the lock screen, for example from the Mail app. Swipe the icon up from the bottom, enter your PIN and you will immediately see the Mail app, with the email message you were viewing or editing on the Mac.