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How to activate Handoff on unsupported Macs: complete guide

noviembre 24, 2019

enable Handoff on unsupported Macs

Apple has created an excellent ecosystem among its devices. Who owns a Mac, iPhone is iPad has the possibility of having all the updated data on the different devices taking advantage of the potential of iCloud. Furthermore the devices can communicate with each other using the Handoff technology introduced in iOS 8 and OS X 10.10. Activating it, you can for example call from the Mac or from the iPad, start writing an email on the iPhone and complete it on the Mac and much more. Unfortunately it is not possible to activate Handoff on unsupported Macs.

These functions can only be exploited if your devices have the Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy. Despite this requirement, not all Macs with Bluetooth 4.0 are Handoff compatible. For example, I have a 2011 MacBook Air that is not supported by Apple.

How to activate Handoff on unsupported Macs

If you have a Mac with macOS that is not officially compatible with Handoff, in this guide I will show you how to activate Handoff on unsupported Macs. All versions of macOS are compatible from 10.10 up to the last one released by Apple. Even if your Mac does not have Bluetooth 4.0, I will show you a solution to solve the problem and start exploiting the potential of Handoff.

Check if your Mac officially supports Handoff

The first thing you need to do is check if your Mac is officially compatible with Handoff. You can do this by checking the following table.

Check if your Mac supports Handoff

If your Mac is supported, then you can enable this feature by going to System Preferences -> General and putting the check mark on Allow Handoff between this Mac and your devices and iCloud. If it is not supported, you need to do another couple of checks before proceeding.

Check for the presence of Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy on Mac not officially supported

If your Mac is not among those supported, first check if there is a card Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy. To do this, proceed as follows:

  • Select the Apple logo at the top left. Then click on Information on this Mac.
  • A summary page of your Mac will open. Select System report.
  • Select Bluetooth present in the left bar. Check what is written in the field Bluetooth low power consumption supported:. If written Yes then your Mac has a Bluetooth 4.0 card. Otherwise you have a Bluetooth module with previous technology.
Check for Bluetooth 4.0

If from the verification you just made you could see that your Mac doesn't have Bluetooth 4.0, to use Handoff you must purchase a Bluetooth LE 4.0 USB adapter before proceeding with the guide.

If you have Bluetooth 4.0 or if you have purchased an external adapter, you can continue with the guide to enable Handoff on Mac not officially supported.

Enable Handoff on Mac with any MacOS version

In case you had to purchase a Bluetooth LE 4.0 USB adapter, connect it to your Mac before proceeding. You are now ready to proceed with the guide on how to activate Handoff on unsupported Macs.

  • Turn off your Mac.
    • Now turn it on by pressing the keys cmd + R. Wait for the opening of the recovery mode.
    • At the end of the recovery upload, select Utility -> Terminal.
    • The terminal window will open. Type the following command and press enter:

csrutil disable

  • Now you can restart your Mac.
  • Download the Continuity Activation Tool from this link. At the end of the download, extract the contents of the package. You can extract it by double clicking on the downloaded file.
  • Open the newly extracted folder. Start the application Continuity Activation Tool. If you encounter an error message during the opening of the app, go to System Preferences -> Security and Privacy. Below you will see the message The Continuity Activation Tool has been blocked because it is not from an identified developer. Select Open anyway.
  • After starting the app, enter your Mac password when prompted. You will see a window similar to that of the Terminal.
  • In the window, type 1 and press enter.
Continuity Activation Tool
  • The hardware check will start. At the end, type 1 and press enter to continue.
activate Handoff on Mac

If you've done everything correctly, you'll start the process for enable Handoff on unsupported Macs. The process will take a few minutes. At the end the writing will appear Do you want to enable a Automatic check for Continuity each boot?. Type 1 and press enter to confirm. Now press any key on the keyboard to restart your Mac.

At this point your Mac is ready for Handoff. Go to System Preferences -> General and enables the voice Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

Allow Handoff between these Macs

On your iPhone and / or iPad, go in Settings -> General -> Recommended handoffs and apps. Secure the item Handoff is active. Now always go to the iOS device Settings -> iCloud -> iCloud Drive. Disable the voice iCloud Drive and then reactivate it.

Conclusions

The guide for enable Handoff on unsupported Macs finished. Now you can finally use all the Handoff features even if your Mac is not officially supported. If you have problems, I suggest you disconnect all devices (both iOS and Mac) from the iCloud account and log in again. If you need clarification on the procedure to activate Continuity on unsupported Macs, do not hesitate to contact us via comments.