Universal Control extends your mouse, trackpad, trackball, keyboard and other input devices across multiple Macs and iPads that you’re logged into the same iCloud account. Keep your devices close together and you can move your mouse seamlessly from one screen to another and use your Mac to manage input on an iPad or another Mac.
But you can fall into a confusing situation if you forget that your universal control is on and your devices are not so close. Recently, both I and a colleague had the same mystery: our cursor was leaving our screen. Was it a strange journey? It turned out that it had visited another Mac that we were active in a different part of the house.
This situation only happens occasionally because it requires more than one condition:
- Both Macs are unlocked and active.
- They are within a few feet of each other.
- Universal Control’s “Push with a display edge to connect to a nearby Mac or iPad” setting is enabled (see below).
In the case of both me and my friend, we had Macs Dozens Feet away – I had a whole floor away – yet Universal Control still considers them close enough. And for both of us, our Macs usually enable their lock screens or fall asleep when not in use for a reasonable amount of time. We hit a window where two Macs were unlocked And Decided they were close enough to trade inputs.
You can prevent this from happening if it becomes annoying for you by selecting it > Sleep Or > Lock screen From Mac that you don’t want to use.
You can also disable the setting System Preferences > Displays The Universal Controls above, “Push through …,” and below, “Automatically reconnect to a nearby Mac or iPad,” to prevent automatic connections. Then, click to connect to a nearby Mac (or iPad) Add display Select the other device in the Display Preference pane and under it Link keyboard and mouse Chapter.
This Mac 911 article answers a question posed by MacWorld reader Jeff.
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