Some people are having issues with Universal Control and other Continuity features in macOS 13.3 and iPadOS 16.4

Are you having issues getting Universal Control and other Continuity features to work on your iPad and Mac after installing iPadOS 16.4 and macOS Ventura 13.3?

Apple's marketing image showing an iMac, MacBook Pro and iPad next to each other on a work desk, controlled wirelessly with the Universal Control feature
Continuity issues are present in Apple’s latest updates Image: Apple
  • What’s happening? People have reported issues with the various Continuity features on their iPhones and Macs, like Universal Control and Handoff.
  • Why care? If you’re impacted by this bug, you won’t be able to use Universal Control and other Continuity features to move seamlessly between devices.
  • What to do? If your livelihood depends on Continuity functionality, avoid installing iPadOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3 until Apple sorts this out.

Universal Control issues on macOS 13.3 and iPadOS 16.4

Some of the affected users have reported about their experience on RedditApple’s Support Communities and other online forums.

People can’t seem to get the various Continuity features up and running after installing the updates, including Universal Control and Universal Clipboard. The former lets you use a single mouse or trackpad to work on multiple Macs and iPads and the latter is for easy copying-pasting between devices.

Other Continuity features are impacted negatively, such as Handoff, which lets you start working in an app on one device and continue on the other.

MacRumors notes that online reports suggest that Universal Control is the main Continuity feature negatively impacted by the updates. Both Intel-based and Apple silicon Macs exhibit these problems on the Mac side.

Possible solutions to try

Typical troubleshooting steps, such as restarting the devices, reinstalling macOS and resetting network settings, don’t seem to do anything to fix these problems. For some people, however, rebooting the Mac into Safe Mode and then starting it up in normal mode has fixed the Universal Control problems.

You should also try toggling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off and on again on your devices, adding UniversalControl.app to your macOS firewall settings and checking whether Bluetooth sharing is turned on in System Settings → General → Sharing.

Other suggested fixes include toggling Universal Control checkboxes in System Settings → Displays → Advanced on macOS and Settings → General → AirPlay & Handoff → Cursor and Keyboard on iPadOS, signing out of your iCloud account on both devices and logging back in, unticking the Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac or Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac box in System Settings → Touch ID & Password in macOS, then ticking it after a restart.

Continuity is Apple’s umbrella term for the various features that enable its devices to work in an integrated fashion. It requires your devices to be within Bluetooth range, have Wi-Fi turned on and be signed into the same iCloud account. Read Apple’s support document about using the Continuity features for more info.

iOS 16.4.1 is coming soon as a stopgap update

This isn’t the only problem users have experienced after installing the latest updates. The stock Weather app is having issues and some people are complaining about having to reenter their saved Wi-Fi passwords in iOS 16.4.

Apple is rumored to be working on a stopgap update, iOS 16.4.1, to fix those problems, but it’s unclear if that update will fix the Continuity bug. Apple is also testing iOS 16.5 with minor enhancements like a new Sports tab in the News app and using Siri voice commands to start and stop a screen recording.