Cannot connect iPhone to Mac Mini

Running Sonoma 14.1.1 on my Mac mini M1 and iOS 17.1.1 on my iPhone 14 but when I try to connect the iPhone to the Mac the error “Pairing Unsuccessful owltower is not supported” where owltower is the name of my Mac mini. I know Bluetooth is working in general on the Mac as I have both a Magic Keyboard and a Magic Mouse connected via it.

I want to use my iPhone as a webcam.

Bluetooth is on on both devices. The iPhone show owltower on the “Other Devices” list.

Apple doesn’t let iPhones/iPads/Macs pair via traditional Bluetooth pairing. To use the phone as a webcam, you need to either use Continuity Camera which detects the phone without pairing, or run something like the Camo app on both the Mac and the iPhone and it’ll handle the connection between devices.


I read that page and made sure that everything was as it should be. Both devices logged in to the same iCloud account, have both WiFi and Bluetooth switched on, etc, etc. Still can’t get the two to comunicate.

Someone may want to repeat my response so the poor owl can see it, haha.

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Someone wants to repeat my response that I tried everything that Apple says is required for Continuity Camera to function between my iPhone and Mac mini so someone chipping in can see it.

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At the risk of sounding like the bored call centre guy, have you tried restarting the Mac and the phone? It does sometimes help.

Also, try switching off WiFi and Bluetooth on both devices, and then back on.

Other than that, sorry

Yup done both. The Mac rebooted after applying the latest macOS update — the problem existed before installation of Sonoma 14.1.1. Also restarted the iPhone yesterday — again the problem existed before that.

I suppose i could turn off Bluetooth but that would disconnect both my Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse from the Mac. Except of course that the above mentioned reboot and restart should have reset both devices.

OK - understood.

Another thing you might already have tried - connecting within an app. E.g. start FaceTime on the Mac and select the phone from the Video menu. Phone has to have the rear camera activated and be in landscape orientation

Another random suggestion, make sure the phone is set down in a holder or on the desk. I think it is using the accelerometer to detect that it is mounted so that it doesn’t take control if you are actively using it.

You’re supposed to mount it, but I had it working handheld, with some movement. Don’t know how long that would have lasted though.

Sorry, it sounded like you were trying to pair.

Do any handoff/continuity features work? E.g., if you open Safari on your iPhone, does a browser app icon appear in your dock with a phone symbol on it? Or if you right-cilck in an empty area of Finder, can do navigate to Import from Iphone > Take Photo?

In the past I’ve had to restore these features by logging out and logging back into iCloud on both devices. Once I also had to disable Continuity Camera in settings, restart, re-enable Continuity Camera.

If you have all that working and only Continuity Camera doesn’t work, like @cwolverton and @ThatGuy said, you do actually have to mount it first or hold it really still in a camera position. Once you’ve activated Continuity Camera for the first time, it’s more forgiving.

I have a Belkin magsafe holder perched atop my monitor.

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I’ve never a Continuity Camera setting on any of my devices.

It should be an enabled toggle in AirPlay and Handoff settings.

Thanks; turns out I had Continuity Camera switched On all the time. Though as I don’t have a HomePod I turned that off.

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Yup already tried FaceTime and Microsoft Teams and neither detected my iPhone as a possible camera source.

I came across an issue reported elsewhere in which the user was seeing frequent panics when using their phone as a continuity device on 14.1.x, so I wonder whether this is a MacOS problem.

I know you’re not getting anything, let alone panics, but it might be a clue. And it doesn’t really help because unless you’re into betas, there’s nowhere to upgrade to. Sorry

Deep reading of one of Apple’s documents mentioned a “wired” connection between an iPhone and Mac for Continuity Camera. With a spare USB-Lightening cable I have been able to use the iPhone with Facetime (in as much as Facetime shows what the camera is pointing at).

I consider this a bodge work around because Apple says it should be possible to use the iPhone wirelessly.

To connect the spare cable requires unplugging the cable for my iPod Classic.

Not to be marked as a solution.

Do you use a VPN? There are reports that this can sometimes interfere with Continuity Camera. Searching “macOS continuity camera vpn” gives several suggestions for solving this.

Sorry it’s not working right for you.