How to Setup Handoff On Mac (OS X Yosemite) and iPhone/iPad [iOS 8]

For those looking to start with Handoff, here’s how to setup Handoff on iOS 8 and Yosemite. It is a feature that connects iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite in new ways. With Handoff, you can start doing something on your Mac and finish it on your iPhone/iPad. It’s part of the “Continuity” feature that was demoed at the WWDC 2014.

You have to setup Handoff (and a few things) before you can start using the feature. Here’s some information on setting up it across all your devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc.)

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How to Setup and use Handoff on Mac

You’ll need:

  • A Mac that runs OS X Yosemite (beta, at the moment)
  • An iDevice that runs iOS 8 (beta, at the moment)

Note that your Mac device needs to be a model that’s newer than 2011. Also, your iDevice can be iPhone 5s, 5c, 5 or 4s. For iPads: iPad 3 and above. This is because only these devices support Bluetooth 4.0 (LE) and Handoff works on Bluetooth LE.

To setup Handoff on Mac

Step #1. Turn On Bluetooth on your Mac.

Step #2. Go to System Preferences (Settings)iCloud and make sure you’re signed in to your iCloud account.

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Step #3. Further, go to System Preferences → General and scroll down. Enable/tick Allow Handoff between this Mac and iCloud devices.

Setup Handoff On Mac OS X Yosemite and iPhone or iPad on iOS 8Setting up Handoff On Mac OS X Yosemite and iPhone or iPad on iOS 8

How To setup Handoff on iPhone/iPad in iOS 8:

Step #1. Turn on Bluetooth on your iPhone/iPad.

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Step #2. Open Settings → iCloud and make sure you are logged into the same Apple ID as on your Mac.

Step #3. Go to Settings → General, scroll down and turn on the switch for Enable Handoff.

Enable Handoff on Max OS X Yosemite

That’s about it. You’ve setup the devices for Handoff.

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Handoff works with only a few apps right now. Here’s a list:

  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Reminders
  • Pages
  • Keynote
  • Numbers
  • Maps
  • Messages
  • Mail
  • Safari

With Handoff working, you’ll be able to continue from where you left off, irrespective of what device you are using. Handoff works both ways: start on Mac and finish your work on the iPad or start on iPad (or iPhone) and finish the work on Mac.

On Mac, the Handoff can be initiated by the app icon on the left-most corner (right next to the dock). On iPhone/iPad, the app icon shows up at the left-bottom corner on the Lockscreen.

That’s all, mate!

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Jignesh Padhiyar
Jignesh Padhiyar is the founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad.


  1. the continuity only works with iPhone 5 and later. It SUCKS I know but it is a way for apple to get people to buy newer devices from them

    • Actually it is a way for Apple to avoid the security and bloated software issues Microsoft is plauged with by supporting legacy equipment. You will start to see this change with newer version of MS OS’s real soon. It is called consumer electronics for a reason.

  2. Unfortunately I think you’re wrong. Handoff and continuity does not work with a Bluetooth 4 capable iPhone 4S. Thanks to the overall poor Apple support for three year old 800$ devices. To me this is “hands off Apple” for my next smartphone!

  3. I don’t see handoff under settings on any of my iPhone 4s and iPad 2, running iOS 8.1
    I would love to turn off this terrible function (one phone ringing, cannot anser but when I answer on a different device I can talk on the device that was ringing). It drives me crazy…

  4. Sadly, this is an all or nothing situation. I find handoff to be moderately useful, but what ISNT useful (and is downright annoying) is the fact that all my computers start making loud ringing noises when the phone goes off.

    We should be able to use handoff but turn off the phone part or the text part and just use the apps handoff part.

    I don’t know what kind of palaces the engineers at Apple live in, but I live in a small apartment. Why in the world would I ever want my computer to ring when someone calls me? The phone is always within five steps of my hand, mostly it’s right beside me or in my pocket or my bag 24/7.

  5. Really sad. Macbook Pro 2011 model, iPad 3rd generation both don’t support Handoff. Only the iPhone 5S does. Fail, Apple. Just a ploy to get new devices sold. Don’t think anyone would do that just for one feature. Time to move back to Android next time.


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