Home / Technology / How to enable Universal Control in macOS Monterey beta 5

How to enable Universal Control in macOS Monterey beta 5

macOS Monterey was announced in June at WWDC 2021 with a new feature called Universal Control, which allows users to control an iPad or another Mac using the keyboard and mouse on the main computer. Unfortunately, this feature was never made available to beta users, but a developer has now found a way to partially enable Universal Control in macOS Monterey beta 5.

The feature can be enabled by modifying some internal files in the operating system, in the same way that users could go back to the old Safari in the first beta of macOS Monterey. The process is not exactly difficult, but changing system files can always result in other problems, so be aware of this before trying.

Developer Zhuowei Zhang (via MacRumors) has shared the GitHub codes you need to enable Universal Control on a supported Mac. To make things easier, you can download the file from GitHub to just move it to the correct folder on your Mac.

After downloading the file containing the correct tags, move it to the following folder: / Library / Preferences / FeatureFlags / Domain / ̵

1; if the folder does not exist, you can create it manually. Since this is an internal macOS folder, you may need to disable System Integrity Protection on your Mac before modifying it. You can read more about how to disable SIP in this article on the Apple website.

After moving the file to the correct folder, a simple reboot should enable Universal Control on your Mac. It is worth noting that the feature requires a Mac from 2016 or later with iCloud and Handoff enabled.

How does it work?

One thing to keep in mind is that Universal Control can only be used with another Mac by following this method. Since it is not possible to modify iPadOS 15 internal files without jailbreak, Universal Control will not work with an iPad at this time.

In my tests with two Macs (an Intel MacBook Pro and an M1 MacBook Air), Universal Control worked exactly as promised. I was able to move the cursor from one Mac to the other, as well as reproduce gestures and type on both Macs using the same keyboard. The delay is barely noticeable, and I was also able to move files between Macs with just the mouse.

At this time, it is unclear why Universal Control is not officially available in macOS Monterey beta. Maybe this is due to a problem on the iPadOS side, or that Apple is planning to postpone the feature for a future release.

Of course, this method was only tested with macOS Monterey beta 5 and may not work with upcoming betas.

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