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
4 weeks 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)
LarrySW Avatar
4 weeks 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
4 weeks 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
4 weeks 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
4 weeks 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
4 weeks 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)

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