Using the Universal Clipboard in Big Sur

Universal Clipboard is a great way to shuttle small sections of data between Mac and iOS devices; as long as the Macs are running at least macOS Sierra, and iOS devices are on iOS 10 or later (including iPadOS), and all your devices are signed into the same Apple account. Here’s a guide to copying on one device and pasting to another using Macs and iOS devices.

Step 1 – To use the Universal Clipboard feature, the devices in question must be logged into the same iCloud account. If they’re yours, they probably already are but if you have trouble using this tutorial, it might be worth checking.


Step 2 – Now you can copy and paste a piece of text from one device to another, quickly and easily. On your Mac, simply copy it to your clipboard by highlighting the text in question, then pressing either CMD-X to cut it or CMD-C to copy.

Step 3 – Now, on your iOS device, double tap on the place where you want to paste the text you cut or copied on your Mac. From the pop-up menu, select Paste and it appears. There might be a slight lag while the text uploaded to iCloud.


Step 4 – You can copy text from your device running iPadOS, or iOS 10 or later, and paste it on your Mac using CMD-V. It works for images and video too. We copied the photo shown above from Safari on our iPad and pasted it into TextEdit on our Mac.

Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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