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 Forum: macOS Monterey

Top Rated Comments

bollman Avatar
33 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
33 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
33 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
33 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
33 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
33 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)

Popular Stories

Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple Cancels Electric Car Project

Tuesday February 27, 2024 11:05 am PST by
Apple has canceled all plans to release an autonomous, electric vehicle, reports Bloomberg. Apple has been working on an Apple Car for more than a decade and invested millions of dollars into development before deciding it was not a viable project. Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams today told approximately 2,000 employees working on the Apple Car that the project was canceled,...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
iPad Air 5

iPadOS 18 Rumored to Drop Support for These iPad Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:55 am PST by
iPadOS 18 will drop support for iPad models equipped with the A10X Fusion chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS and iPadOS updates. This means that iPadOS 18 would not be compatible with the first-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro or the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro models released in 2017. It...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...