OS X Yosemite: Pick up where you left off with Handoff

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Pick up where you left off with Handoff

When your Mac computers and iOS devices are within Bluetooth range of each other (about 33 feet or 10 meters), they can automatically “hand off” what you’re doing from one device to another. For example, you can start writing an email in Mail on your iPhone, then instantly pick up where you left off in Mail on your Mac.

Handoff app icon in Dock

Handoff works with several apps that come with OS X Yosemite and iOS 8: Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Maps, Messages, Notes, Phone (iOS only), Reminders, and Safari. It also works with Keynote v6.5 or later, Numbers v3.5 or later, and Pages v5.5 or later for Mac, and Keynote, Numbers, and Pages v2.5 or later for iOS. Third-party apps may also work with Handoff.

Turn on Handoff

To use Handoff, your Mac must have OS X Yosemite, and your iOS devices must have iOS 8. You must also be using supported devices.

  1. Make sure you’re signed in to iCloud using the same Apple ID on your Mac and iOS devices.

  2. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on on all your devices.

    • On your Mac: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Bluetooth.

    • On your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch: Tap Settings > Bluetooth.

  3. Make sure Handoff is turned on on all your devices.

    • On your Mac: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click General, then select “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”

      If you don’t see the option below “Recent items,” your Mac doesn’t support Handoff.

    • On your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch: Go to Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps, then tap to turn on Handoff.

      If you don’t see the option, your iOS device doesn’t support Handoff.

Hand off to iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch

  1. On a Mac or other iOS device, use an app that’s compatible with Handoff.

    For example, search for a location in Maps, or start a conversation in Messages.

  2. When the Mac or other iOS device is near the iOS device you want to hand off to, a Handoff app icon, such as or , appears automatically in the bottom-left corner of the device’s Lock screen.

    Note:   Only the app you’re currently using can hand off your work.
  3. Swipe up on the Handoff app icon to pick up where you left off.

    The item opens on your iOS device. For example, the location you searched for in Maps on your Mac opens in Maps on your iOS device.

You can also see the Handoff app icon when you double-click the Home button to reveal the multitasking screen. Swipe left to see the app that’s available for hand off, then tap it to pick up where you left off.

Hand off to a Mac

  1. On an iOS device or other Mac, use an app that’s compatible with Handoff.

    For example, start writing an email in Mail, or start a reminder list in Reminders.

  2. When the device or other Mac is near the Mac you want to hand off to, a Handoff app icon appears automatically on the left side of the Dock.

    Handoff app icon in Dock
    Note:   Only the app you’re currently using can hand off your work.
  3. Click the Handoff app icon to pick up where you left off.

    The item opens on your Mac. For example, the email you were writing in Mail on your device opens in Mail on your Mac.

You can also see the Handoff app icon when you press Command (⌘)-Tab to quickly switch between apps. Click the icon to pick up where you left off. For more information about switching between apps, see Window basics.

Turn off Handoff

On a Mac: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click General, then deselect “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”

On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch: Go to Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps, then tap to turn off Handoff.

Published Date: Sep 15, 2017
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