Consistent issues with shared clipboard between iPads

I’ve got a Mac, 2 iPads and an iPhone in use. Interestingly the iPads won’t share their clipboards with each other. If I copy on either one I can paste the copied text on the Mac or iPhone but the iPads don’t see the shared content. If I copy on the iPhone it works on all the devices. If I copy on the Mac it also works on all the devices. For some reason it’s just the two iPads that fail. My Air 2 is running iOS 12, the Pro is running 11. But as far as I can recall this has been an issue since I purchased the Pro over a year ago.

Hi Denny,

Having a device in beta can be tricky for troubleshooting purposes, so you might want to leave that out of the equation when troubleshooting this. My tip would be to have it turned off during the troubleshooting process, and if worst come to worst, restore it completely so that you have no more beta software running in your iCloud ecosystem. It would also be very interesting to know if you are running iOS 11 beta as well, or if this is the actual public release? To check this, go to Settings -> General -> Profiles. If you cannot locate Profiles, it’s not on beta.

What you call shared clipboards, I think of as one of the many features of Continuity, called Universal Clipboard.

First, we would like to check if you meet the system requirements (check both software and hardware version).

Next, following the Continuity knowledge base article, we know these are the requirements:

  • It works when your devices are near each other.
    (1) Are them really near eachother?
    (2) Is there any kind of interferance between your iPads and devices - even if the Mac and/or your iPhone is located at the same spot? Interferance include everything physical blocking it’s way, even minor, or any wireless transmitters (including wireless phones, speakers, microwave ovens)?

  • Each device is signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID.
    (3) For troubleshooting purposes, you can sign out of iCloud on every single device (do a restart as well). To isolate a potensial issue, sign back into one known-good device, and one affected device, example your Mac and your iPad. What happens now?
    (4) If this works, add each device in order and test between, to see where it fails.

  • Each device has Bluetooth turned on.
    (5) Bluetooth does not have many troubleshooting steps, but disabling, restarting and enabling again would be good to do.
    (6) Another thing could be to remove every Bluetooth accessory you have. Also isolate the issue by testing your Bluetooth against other Bluetooth accessories, so we know that your Bluetooth is working as expected.

  • Each device has Wi-Fi turned on.
    (7) Troubleshooting wi-fi is more complex, but make first sure that wi-fi is working. Follow Apple’s knowledge base article regarding wi-fi connectivity.
    (8) Also try to just remove and re-add the network from Settings -> Wi-fi.

  • Each device has Handoff turned on.
    (9) Check this in settings on every device.
    (10) Trigger the checkbox off and on also, on every device.

I’ll also throw in this:

  • (11) Does the other continuity features, e.x. Handoff, iPhone Cellular Calls or Instant Hotspot work?

  • (12) You are telling us that you are running iOS 11, but are you running the latest iOS 11.4.1?

  • (13) In case none of this works, I would suggest that you perform general troubleshooting for an iOS device, first by taking a backup, take a full restore in iTunes, set up as new by ONLY signing into your iCloud account. If this does not work, I’ll suggest restoring the device running beta.

I hope these troubleshooting steps actually help you along. Please, if possible, provide detailed the RESULTS for each step I provided, in the numbering system I’ve made. That would not only help yourself, but also me and everyone in the forums :slight_smile:

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Thanks for your fantastic, thorough response. Much appreciated!

A few clarifications. Yes, this is what you describe as Universal Clipboard, a feature of Continuity. Second, the Mac is running High Sierra, up-to-date with most recent version. The iPad Pro is not on beta, just the standard version of 11, up-to-date. iPad Air and iPhone both on latest public beta of 12. Something else to point out, this was also an issue when all devices were running standard iOS 10 a year ago and standard iOS 11 up to the time I installed public beta 12. Which is to say, it was an issue before I installed PB 12.

Replies to your suggested actions, in order:

  1. Yes. Usually within 1 to 5 feet of each other.
  2. No interference. Devices are all very close, no blocking of signal.
  3. I’ve not yet done this. Does signing out of iCloud, even temporarily, disrupt stored back-ups? Any other issues with temporarily signing out? All devices signed into same iCloud with same Apple ID.
  4. Not done yet
  5. Bluetooth has been tested with the start restart process.
  6. Done
  7. WiFi has been tested and working
  8. Done
  9. Yes
  10. Done
  11. Yes. Interesting in that these continuity work/fail in the same pattern. Which is to say, that just as with Universal Clipboard, both iPads both see and work with the iPhone for handoff of calls and apps. Both iPads send and receive with the Mac. When my iPhone rings I can take the call on either iPad. If I’m using Safari on the iPhone it properly shows up on both iPads and the Mac. Or, if I’m using an app such as Safari or Mail on the Mac it properly shows upon iPads. Or, if I’m using those apps on the iPads they show up on the Mac. In other words all the combinations of Continuity seem to work between devices EXCEPT between iPads. They do not register each other for the Universal Clipboard or for app handoff.
  12. See above. Yes, iPad Pro running the latest iOS 11, non-beta.
  13. At the moment I don’t have time to go through the process.

Again, thanks for your response. :nerd_face:


Absolutly no problem, I love to help out the MPU community. Thanks for participating yourself.

I understand that the problems were present even before betas were installed, and I don’t really suspect it.

3 No, there are no issues signing out of iCloud, but since your always resposnible for your own data, I’d make sure I had all the data from the phone somewhere else as well. Take a iTunes backup before signing out, and if some iCloud data is stored for example on a Mac, make sure to back it up as well. When signing out, you might experience that your iOS device removes some data. This is expected.

11 Good, then we have some more information about this issue. :slight_smile:

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