Sending URL from Mac to iPad


I just stumble upon a sharing problem between 2 Apple devices. I hope you can give some directions.
I’m using a MacBook Pro mid-2009 with El Capitan on it. Not registrered with iCloud/Apple account. Wifi connected to the net, Bluetooth enabled. (the Macbook isn’t mine)
I have next to it an iPad Pro 10.5 from 2017 with iOs 11.4.1 and my iCloud account. Connected to the net, Bluetooth connected.
Both are connected to the same router.

My goal is “simply” to share a URL from Safari on the Macbook Pro to the iPad. The task doesn’t seem obvious. I tried Safari’ sharesheet on the Macbook Pro to send via Airdrop. But the iPad doesn’t appear in the list.
I drag&drop the URL on the desktop (creating a .webloc file). Trying to send it via bluetooth (from the desktop menubar), the iPad is seen, but I get an error message the service is not available.

So, how can I share a URL (by extension a small file) from the Macbook Pro to the iPad? Better if using only the local network.

Thank you :slight_smile:

Just copy the URL to clipboard (as text) and paste on the other device. If both are logged in using the same Apple ID and have bluetooth enabled, the Universal Clipboard should take care of it.


If I understand correctly they are not linked via Apple ID, correct? If that’s the case I would probably just login to a gmail account on both machines, create a draft and use that as “clipboard”

If just use handoff to do that. No need to copy a URL or save it to a desktop. If that isn’t an option for you, do you have an app synced together on both machines? I use my task manager (Things3) to note URLs I want to read later. I do that using the Share sheet in Safari to send it to Things. So if you have an app like Things on both it would show up on both. If you have Messages on both you could send it via text message, again using the Share sheet in Safari.

Apologies if I misunderstood the problem.

Well, Dropbox is an option.
If it’s just once in a while, email, or text.
Copied works for me, and there are other applications that do similar things. I’m pretty sure it works over WiFi and doesn’t need iCloud.

I’ve recently seen an option in airdrop to look for older computers. It was probably in the ios12 beta, so that might help establish the link.

I use the reading list for that.

Did you determine the reason that the iPad isn’t showing up in the AirDrop list? My inclination would be to troubleshoot AirDrop until it worked or until I was certain that, for whatever reason, that iPad can’t connect to that Mac using AirDrop. (Apologies if you already did that and just didn’t think it was necessary to explain that in detail.)

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I guess the Mac is not in the known devices of the iPad; you might need to set airdrop discoverability to everyone.

I use Handoff and Universal Clipboard all the time, so convenient to send info back and forth.

When the devices doesn’t share an Apple ID nor any Notes-capable account, you can use QR Codes to copy small data and URL from a desktop to an iOS device.

Create a QR Code on the Mac containing the URL and then use the iPad’s camera app to scan it. Since iOS 11, the built-in app should recognize QR code automatically. Failing that, you could use eBay’s RedLaser app (among others) to scan the QR code.

Well, (may be not clearly), one has an iCloud account, the other, not). So the universal clipboard doesn’t work. As it’s universal to one account only :frowning:


I didn’t found why the iPad is not showing in Airdrop. But my feeling is that Airdrop version are different and imcompatible between the 2009 Macbook and the 2017 iPad. I remember (but unsure), there have been a change of protocol or chipset, or something like that in the past.

On a good news, I can Airdrop from my iPad to my iPhone.

Good point. on the iPad, the discoverability was on “contact only”. Switched to all… But the Macbook is not seen (Finder is open on AirDrop too) :frowning:

However, I can airdrop to my iPhone 8 !

Handoff and universal keyboard requires the same iCloud account, why is not the case…

You have a nice trick for a URL ! Never thought of that.