Mac Handoff Not Working – Here’s How To Fix

Beginning a project on your iPad and continuing on your Mac is an awesome thing – when it works. If you’re having problems with Handoff not working the way it should, don’t worry, we can help.

Mac Handoff Not Working - Here's How To Fix

This article focuses on the common causes of this problem. We’ll show you how to make sure your Apple devices can talk to each other for various iOS versions. Plus, we’ll provide other troubleshooting tips you should consider.

How to Fix Handoff Not Working on Mac

A popular fix for Handoff not working is to re-establish the connection. Before we show you how to do this, here is a list of other things to check:

  • Ensure your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled and that all devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi.
  • Ensure all your devices use the same Apple ID.
  • Ensure your devices are in close proximity to each other.

Also, check that your device is compatible. Currently, Handoff is designed to work with:

  1. iOS 8 or later
    • iPhone 5 – or higher
    • iPad Pro
    • iPad – (4th gen)
    • iPad – or higher
    • iPad mini – or higher
    • iPod touch – (5th gen) or higher
  2. OS X Yosemite or later
    • Mac Pro – Late 2013
    • iMac – 2012 or higher
    • Mac mini – 2012 or higher
    • MacBook Air – 2012 or higher
    • MacBook Pro – 2012 or higher
    • MacBook – Early 2015 or higher
  3. Apple Watch versions from 1st gen.

How to Fix Handoff Not Working on MacOS Big Sur

To refresh the handoff connection between a Mac with macOS Big Sur and other devices, do the following:

  1. Select Systems Preferences > General.
  2. Then, towards the bottom, if the Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices box is checked, uncheck it and restart your Mac.
  3. Once restarted, check the Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices box again.

Now restart your other devices:

  1. iPhone X or 11
    • Hold down any volume button with the side button until ‘power off’ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  2. iPhone SE (2nd Gen), 8, 7 or 6
    • Hold down the side button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  3. iPhone SE (1st Gen), 5, or earlier
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  4. iPad with Face ID
    • Hold down any volume button with the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  5. iPad with a Home button
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  6. Apple Watch
    Hold down both the Digital Crown and the Side button for 10-plus seconds. Release once the Apple logo displays.
    Once you’ve restarted your devices, check them to confirm Handoff is turned on:
    • Select Settings > General.
    • Select AirPlay & Handoff; the Handoff slider should show green.

How to Fix Handoff Not Working on MacOS Catalina

To refresh the handoff connection between a Mac with macOS Catalina and other devices, do the following:

  1. Select Systems Preferences > General.
  2. Then, towards the bottom, if the ‘Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices’ box is checked, uncheck it and restart your Mac.
  3. Once restarted, check the Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices box again.

Now restart your other devices:

  1. iPhone X or 11
    • Hold down any volume button with the side button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  2. iPhone SE (2nd Gen), 8, 7 or 6
    • Hold down the side button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  3. iPhone SE (1st Gen), 5, or earlier
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  4. iPad with Face ID
    • Hold down any volume button with the top button until ‘power off’ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  5. iPad with a Home button
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  6. Apple Watch
    Hold down both the Digital Crown and the Side button for 10-plus seconds. Release once the Apple logo displays.
    Once you’ve restarted your devices, check them to confirm Handoff is turned on:
    • Select Settings > General.
    • Select AirPlay & Handoff; the Handoff slider should show green.

How to Fix Handoff Not Working on MacOS Mojave

To refresh the handoff connection between a Mac with macOS Mojave and other devices, do the following:

  1. Select Systems Preferences > General.
  2. Then, towards the bottom, if the ‘Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices’ box is checked, uncheck it and restart your Mac.
  3. Once restarted, check the ‘Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices‘ box again.

Now restart your other devices:

  1. iPhone X or 11
    • Hold down any volume button with the side button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  2. iPhone SE (2nd Gen), 8, 7 or 6
    • Hold down the side button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  3. iPhone SE (1st Gen), 5, or earlier
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  4. iPad with Face ID
    • Hold down any volume button with the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  5. iPad with a Home button
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  6. Apple Watch
    Hold down both the Digital Crown and the Side button for 10-plus seconds. Release once the Apple logo displays.
    Once you’ve restarted your devices, check them to confirm Handoff is turned on:
    • Select Settings > General.
    • Select AirPlay & Handoff; the Handoff slider should show green.

How to Fix Handoff Not Working on macOS High Sierra

To refresh the handoff connection between a Mac with macOS High Sierra and other devices, do the following:

  1. Select Systems Preferences > General.
  2. Then, towards the bottom, if the ‘Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices’ box is checked, uncheck it and restart your Mac.
  3. Once restarted, check the ‘Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices‘ box again.

Now restart your other devices:

  1. iPhone X or 11
    • Hold down any volume button with the side button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  2. iPhone SE (2nd Gen), 8, 7 or 6
    • Hold down the side button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  3. iPhone SE (1st Gen), 5, or earlier
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  4. iPad with Face ID
    • Hold down any volume button with the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  5. iPad with a Home button
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  6. Apple Watch
    Hold down both the Digital Crown and the Side button for 10-plus seconds. Release once the Apple logo displays.
    Once you’ve restarted your devices, check them to confirm Handoff is turned on:
    • Select Settings > General.
    • Select AirPlay & Handoff; the Handoff slider should show green.

How to Fix Handoff Not Working on iPhone

To refresh the handoff connection between your iPhone and other devices, do the following:

  1. Select Settings > General.
  2. Select AirPlay & Handoff; if the Handoff slider is on, turn it off and restart your phone.
  3. Once restarted, turn on the Handoff slider again.

Now restart your other devices:

  1. Mac Computers
    At the Apple menu (Apple icon towards the top left-hand corner of the screen); select Restart > then confirm.
  2. iPad with Face ID
    • Hold down any volume button with the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  3. iPad with a Home button
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  4. Apple Watch
    Hold down both the Digital Crown and the Side button for 10-plus seconds. Release once the Apple logo displays.
    Once you’ve restarted your devices, confirm Handoff is turned on.

How to Fix Handoff Not Working on iPad

To refresh the handoff connection between your iPad and other devices, do the following:

  1. Select Settings > General.
  2. Select AirPlay & Handoff; if the Handoff slider is on, turn it off and restart your phone.
  3. Once restarted, turn on the Handoff slider again.

Now restart your other devices:

  1. Mac Computers
    At the Apple menu (Apple icon towards the top left-hand corner of the screen); select Restart > then confirm.
  2. iPhone X or 11
    • Hold down any volume button with the side button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  3. iPhone SE (2nd Gen), 8, 7 or 6
    • Hold down the side button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  4. iPhone SE (1st Gen), 5, or earlier
    • Hold down the top button until ‘power off‘ appears.
    • After dragging the slider, your phone will go off.
  5. Apple Watch
    Hold down both the Digital Crown and the Side button for 10-plus seconds. Release once the Apple logo displays.
    Once you’ve restarted your devices, confirm Handoff is turned on.

Additional FAQs

Why Can’t I Find Handoff on My Mac?

Currently, Handoff is available on the following Mac computers:

• OS X Yosemite or later

• Mac Pro – Late 2013

• iMac – 2012 or higher

• Mac mini – 2012 or higher

• MacBook Air – 2012 or higher

• MacBook Pro – 2012 or higher

• MacBook – Early 2015 or higher

What to Do if Your MacBook Is Not Working?

Try the following if your MacBook doesn’t come on:

It might appear to be on when in fact it’s off. Hold down the power button for a minimum of 10 seconds then release, forcing it to turn off, then try turning it on again.

If your MacBook restarts but doesn’t complete start-up, depending on the type of screen you see, there are various things you can try. We’ll show you what to do if you see a circle with a line through it. If you’re seeing something different, please visit the Apple Support website.

A circle with a line through it on start-up means that your Startup Disk has an operating system that can’t be used by your Mac. Try the following to resolve this:

• Turn off your MacBook by holding down the power button.

• Turn it back on, and as it’s starting up, immediately hold down the Command (⌘) and R buttons to start-up from recovery.

• To repair the Startup Disk use Disk Utility.

• When there are no errors reinstall macOS.

How Do I Transfer a Call From My iPhone to My Mac?

Once call forwarding has been enabled on your iPhone, to transfer a phone call to your Mac or iPad you need to do the following:

• Answer the phone call or make one.

• Select Audio on your phone screen.

• Select either Mac or iPad to transfer the call.

Once the call has been successfully transferred, the device will display the call screen.

Picking Up Where You Left Off

Hopefully, rebooting your devices and starting them again is just what Handoff needed to get rid of any software glitches, and you can now get back to what you started.

Is Handoff now working as it should? What did you do to fix the problem? Let us know in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “Mac Handoff Not Working – Here’s How To Fix”

Cris says:
Interesting I have a late 2009 iMac 27in model, and I remember using Handoff with my iPhone 6 but for some reason it has now been removed from my Mac. I am not about to buy a new computer when this one works just for some shoddy program. Thank for the guide.

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