Universal Control is designed to allow you to control multiple Macs and iPads with a single trackpad/mouse and keyboard, and this Universal Control guide covers the ins and outs of the feature and answers all the questions you might have about how it works.
What is Universal Control?
Universal Control streamlines multi-device workspaces by allowing you to use the same peripherals across multiple Macs and iPads.
With Universal Control, you can use your main Mac’s trackpad and keyboard to control additional Macs and/or iPads nearby, so you don’t need a desk cluttered up with more than one set of input devices.
How Does Universal Control Work?
Universal Control is a system-level feature that is designed to work automatically when a Mac running macOS Monterey 12.3 or later is paired with another Mac also with macOS 12.3 or an iPad running iPadOS 15.4. There is no setup for Universal Control – it works right after updating to the latest operating system updates.
Let’s say you have a MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro. You can set the iPad Pro up next to your MacBook Pro and then use the MacBook Pro’s keyboard and trackpad to navigate and type on the iPad. If your iPad has an attached keyboard and input device, such as the Magic Keyboard, it can be used to control the Mac.
Each individual device will still be running its respective operating system (macOS on the Mac and iPadOS on the iPad) but you won’t need to bring in an extra keyboard or mouse if you want to work with multiple devices side by side.
What are the Control System Requirements?
Universal requires iPadOS 15.4 on an iPad and macOS Monterey 12.3 on a Mac. It is compatible with the following devices:
- MacBook introduced in 2016 or later
- MacBook Pro introduced in 2016 or later
- MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later
- Mac mini introduced in 2018 or later
- iMac introduced in 2017 or later, or iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
- iMac Pro
- Mac Pro introduced in 2019 or later
- Mac Studio
- All iPad Pro models
- iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
- iPad (6th generation and later)
- iPad mini (5th generation and later
Macs and iPads need to be within 30 feet of one another for Universal Control to work, and all devices where you want to use the feature need to be signed into the same Apple ID account. It will not work across devices signed into separate Apple ID accounts.