How to Easily Copy and Paste From Your Mac to Your iPhone

How to Easily Copy and Paste From Your Mac to Your iPhone

The ability to copy and paste images and text is pretty terrific, but we’re now at a point where we can copy and paste content wirelessly from a Mac to an iPhone quite easily.

Windows’ integration with Android is quite extensive these days, with the development and support of the Phone Link app and the clipboard syncing feature. Meanwhile, Apple users get access to the ‘Universal Clipboard’, letting them access copies and pastes on the fly.

Here’s how you can set the feature up across your devices.

How to copy and paste across Apple devices

Things are a lot simpler within the Apple walled garden. According to Apple’s own page on the Universal Clipboard feature, copying and pasting across your Apple devices only requires a few settings to be enabled:

  • You need to be signed into the same Apple ID across all of your devices
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi need to be enabled in your settings
  • Each device needs Handoff enabled.
copy and paste
Screenshot: Gizmodo Australia

Handoff is the more complicated feature to have enabled:

  • On iOS or iPadOS: Open the Settings app, and then tap General. Tap Airplay & Handoff, and then turn on Handoff
  • On Macs with MacOS Ventura or later: Click on the Apple menu at the top of the screen, then click General, then click Airplay & Handoff. Now enable “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices”
  • On Macs with earlier versions of MacOS: Click on the Apple menu at the top of the screen, then click System Preferences, then click General. Now enable “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices”.
Screenshot: Gizmodo Australia

With these settings enabled, all you need to do is copy text, an image, or a file on one device and paste it on another. It’s not clear if there are file size limits for copying and pasting across devices.

How to copy and paste from your Windows computer to your Android phone

To start with, you’re going to need a computer running Windows 11, a phone running Android, and a Microsoft account (though Microsoft was originally working on this feature with iPhones in mind, it does not currently work for Apple devices at the time of writing).

On your Windows computer, open your phone settings (press the Windows key and type Settings), and then click Clipboard. You’ll need to enable Clipboard history at the top of this menu, which will, going forward, keep your previously clipped photos and text copied for quick pasting if you press the Windows key + V.

copy paste
Screenshot: Gizmodo Australia

Below the Clipboard history setting, you’ll need to enable Sync across your devices, with this set to Automatically sync text that I copy.

With this set, you can now seamlessly copy text and photos between your Windows devices – but we’ll need to go a step further for Android intergration.

Now, on your Android phone, head to the Google Play store and install Microsoft SwiftKey. This is Microsoft’s proprietary keyboard that recently received a facelift to allow for AI integration.

With the app installed, open it and run through the steps presented on the screen. Enable SwiftKey will make the keyboard useable alongside all of your other keyboards (such as the emoji keyboard and Gboard, Google’s proprietary keyboard). Yes, you will need to use Microsoft’s keyboard to pull off cross-device clipboard syncing.

copy paste
Screenshot: Gizmodo Australia

Now, Select SwiftKey will enable the keyboard as your input method. Finally, tap Finish up, and then sign into your Microsoft account – the same one that you use on your Windows 11 PC. You don’t need to enable app notifications after you do this.

With this done, SwiftKey should be installed and operating. Tap the blue icon in the bottom right with the keyboard icon on it, which will pull up a test keyboard. tap the clipboard icon on the keyboard, and then tap Manage.

You’ll need to have Remember copied items enabled, along with Sync clipboard history.

After you do this, syncing your clipboard data across your devices should work seamlessly – however, to get it to work, you may have to turn the clipboard settings off and on again on your computer and in the SwiftKey app. I had to do this as part of my first-time setup.

Note that there is a maximum of 4MB allowed for text and images copied and pasted using the clipboard syncing feature (locally-copied and pasted files can obviously exceed this).

And that’s about it. Note that there might be some lag as copied data syncs between your devices, but this is all you’ll need to do to set the feature up on your devices.

Image: Apple/Gizmodo Australia

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