Universal Control Works in macOS Monterey Beta 5, But Terminal Commands Required to Enable It

One of the most highly anticipated features coming to macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 is Universal Control. ‌Universal Control‌ enables users to use a single Mac's input devices across multiple iPads or Macs.

universal control wwdc
While the feature was previewed at WWDC in June, it's yet to make an official appearance in any developer beta of ‌macOS Monterey‌ or ‌iPadOS 15‌, leading to speculation that the feature may be delayed to a future update to the operating systems. However, in the latest ‌macOS Monterey‌ beta released on August 11, ‌Universal Control‌ can be enabled and used between two Macs.

To enable it, users will need to follow the steps outlined in this GitHub post, which requires running a series of Terminal lines, altering system settings, and running commands to enable "Ensemble," Apple's internal codename for ‌Universal Control‌.

Universal Control is not yet officially enabled in the latest macOS beta, and the steps needed to enable it are complex. We don't advise users to attempt to enable it because it may damage crucial system files and their machines.

From MacRumors' testing of ‌Universal Control‌, while it's not officially supported, the feature works as demoed at WWDC, with minimal lag and latency when switching between devices. Although, there are still some technical issues. For example, ‌Universal Control‌ in its final form will allow a user's Mac to seamlessly detect another Mac or iPad placed next to it, allowing users to move their mouse and keyboard between devices automatically.

In the latest beta, users must first select their accompanying Mac within System Preferences -> Displays -> Add Display, and select their device under "Link Mouse and Keyboard." Additionally, ‌Universal Control‌ will allow users to drag and drop files, photos, videos, and more between devices, which is not yet present in the latest beta. From our testing, despite ‌Universal Control‌ working between two Macs, iPadOS does not yet support the feature, even in the newest beta.

‌macOS Monterey‌ beta five was released on August 11, while iOS 15, ‌iPadOS 15‌, and watchOS 8 are already on their seventh round of developer betas. Apple has indicated that several ‌iOS 15‌, ‌macOS Monterey‌, and ‌iPadOS 15‌ features, such as SharePlay, won't be available at launch. Apple has previously previewed features at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, only to delay them until a subsequent update later on in the year.

On ‌macOS Monterey‌ and ‌iPadOS 15‌'s preview page, Apple has not yet indicated that ‌Universal Control‌ will be delayed, suggesting it intends to release it with the initial versions of its operating system this fall.

Related Roundup: macOS Monterey
Related Forum: macOS Monterey

Top Rated Comments

bollman Avatar
12 months ago
Why bother with yearly releases if the announced features will release later?
It can’t be considered a law of nature to release a major version at the exact same time every year.
Try making it ready first, THEN release it!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ProfessionalFan Avatar
12 months ago

Why bother with yearly releases if the announced features will release later?
It can’t be considered a law of nature to release a major version at the exact same time every year.
Try making it ready first, THEN release it!
Technically when they announce the new OS at WWDC, they aren't announcing it all for the launch. That announcement can cover the entire year (15.1, 15.2, etc). When you look at it that way, you don't see it as an issue and really that's the way to look at it.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrhansolo Avatar
12 months ago

I really do see anyone using it for real use apart from using it as a demo; I would never need my iPad next to my mac like that
I may be an outlier, but I will definitely use it. I currently use an ultrawide monitor with half of the screen with a browser and the other half with a word processor, another program, etc.

Universal control will be great for setting my iPad on my desk with notes or Onenote open to add or edit notes while as I continue whatever my task is for that day.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ddtmm Avatar
12 months ago
The ability to drag and drop files between devices is pretty cool. Airdrop is nice but there’s nothing easier that drag and drop. I think this is one of the more useful features I’ve seen in a while. Better than getting another 50 new emojis.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrMacintoshBlog Avatar
12 months ago
I created a quick video shows how to set this up between 2-3 macOS Monterey Macs.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kung gu Avatar
12 months ago

I really do see anyone using it for real use apart from using it as a demo; I would never need my iPad next to my mac like that
I will also use Universal Control with my iPad and my other Mac too. This is a very useful 'tool' for me.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

macOS Monterey 2

Apple Seeds Second Public Beta of macOS Monterey With Universal Control

Wednesday February 9, 2022 10:25 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.3 update to its public beta testing group, with the new software coming a week after the first macOS Monterey 12.3 public beta. Public beta testers can download the macOS 12.3 Monterey update from the Software Update section of the System Preferences app after installing the proper profile from Apple's beta software website. ...
universal control 1

macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta 3 Makes Accessing Universal Control Settings Easier

Tuesday February 15, 2022 3:56 pm PST by
In the third beta of macOS Monterey that Apple released to developers today, there is a small Universal Control update that is designed to make it easier to access the various Universal Control settings that you might need when using the feature to control multiple Macs and iPads with a single mouse/trackpad and keyboard. If you open up the Displays section of System Preferences after...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds macOS Monterey 12.2 Release Candidate to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Thursday January 20, 2022 10:22 am PST by
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.2 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week the second beta and more than a month after the release of macOS Monterey 12.1. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds Third macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta to Developers

Tuesday February 15, 2022 10:13 am PST by
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS macOS Monterey 12.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming a week after the release of the second macOS Monterey 12.3 beta. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds Second Beta of macOS Monterey 12.2 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday January 11, 2022 10:19 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.2 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming three weeks after the first beta and a month after the release of macOS Monterey 12.1. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Universal Control in iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3

Thursday January 27, 2022 3:01 pm PST by
Apple today released new developer betas of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, and the updated software adds the long awaited and highly anticipated Universal Control feature. We tested out Universal Control, and even in an early beta form, Universal Control is an easy to use and convenient multi-device control option. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. To use...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Seeds Third Public Beta of macOS Monterey With Universal Control

Wednesday February 16, 2022 10:30 am PST by
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.3 update to its public beta testing group, with the new software coming a week after the second macOS Monterey 12.3 public beta. Public beta testers can download the macOS 12.3 Monterey update from the Software Update section of the System Preferences app after installing the proper profile from Apple's beta software website. ...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds First Beta of macOS Monterey 12.3 to Developers

Thursday January 27, 2022 10:20 am PST by
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming just a day after the release of macOS Monterey 12.2. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System...

Popular Stories

cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
Apple Watch Series 7 Starlight Midnight

Standard Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature Same Design as Series 7

Friday August 5, 2022 7:46 am PDT by
The standard 41mm and 45mm models of the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature the same design as the Apple Watch Series 7, according to Twitter user @ShrimpApplePro, who was first to reveal that iPhone 14 Pro models would feature a new pill-and-hole display. Titanium will not be an option for the standard Apple Watch Series 8 models either, according to @ShrimpApplePro, but Bloomberg's Mark...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone X and the iPhone XS. Battery percent...
iphone 14 pro max camera bump compared lipilipsi 16 9

Bigger iPhone 14 Pro Max Camera Bump Shown Alongside iPhone 13 Pro Max

Monday August 8, 2022 4:33 am PDT by
The camera bump on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to be the largest rear lens housing Apple has ever installed on its flagship smartphones, and a new photo offers a rare glimpse at just how prominent it is compared to Apple's predecessor device. iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy (left) vs iPhone 13 Pro Max All iPhone 14 models are expected to see upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera on the...
ipad pro magic keyboard white

Rumor Claims Next iPad Pro to Feature New Four-Pin Smart Connector

Sunday August 7, 2022 11:57 am PDT by
A new rumor claims that the next-generation 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro will feature a new four-pin Smart Connector, an update from the current three-pin connector in the iPad Pro. The rumor from Mac Otakara, citing "reliable sources," says that the next iPad Pro, expected to debut possibly as soon as this fall, will feature a new Smart Connector that has four-pins rather than three. The...