How to Turn On and Activate the Handoff Feature
Turning on and activating the Handoff feature only needs to be done once on your iPhone, as well as your iPad and/or Mac. To use this feature with a Mac, it must be running the latest version of OS X Yosemite. Your iPhone and iPad must have the latest version of iOS 8 running.
Each iOS mobile device and Mac you want to use Handoff with must also be linked and signed into the same iCloud account (using the same Apple ID). In addition, all of the devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, have Bluetooth turned on, and remain within about 33 feet from one another. Your iPhone must also remain turned on, and not be in Airplane mode to utilize the Handoff calling and messaging features, for example, from your iPad or Mac.
On your iPhone, follow these steps to turn on and set up Handoff:
- Launch Settings
- Tap on the General option.
- About halfway down within the General submenu of Settings, you’ll see the Handoff & Suggested Apps option. Tap on it.
- From the Handoff & Suggested Apps submenu, turn on the virtual switch that’s associated with the Handoff option.
- Return to the main Settings menu.
- Tap on the FaceTime menu option to access the FaceTime submenu.
- Turn on the virtual switch that’s associated with the iPhone Cellular Calls option.
On your iPad, repeat steps one through four. Then, to turn on the Handoff feature on a Mac, launch System Preferences, click on the General option, and click on the Handoff & Suggested Apps option. Turn on the Handoff feature from this menu window.
Upon completing these steps, assuming the iPhone, as well as the iPad and/or Mac are connected to the same iCloud account and Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth is turned on, and the iPad and/or Mac are within about 33 feet from the smartphone, the Handoff feature will automatically work when an incoming call to your iPhone is received, or if you initiate a call by tapping on a phone number that’s displayed within the Contacts, Calendar, or Safari app on your tablet or Mac.
The Handoff feature will also allow your iPhone to forward SMS and MMS messages sent to the smartphone to your iPad or Mac, or allow you to compose messages on your iPad or Mac to be sent via your iPhone using the cellular texting network its subscribed to.
In situations where connecting your iPhone, iPad, and Mac to the same Wi-Fi network isn’t possible, you can turn on the Instant Hotspot feature that’s built into your iPhone, and then connect your iPad and/or Mac to the iPhone-created hotspot. Unfortunately, not all cellular service companies support the iPhone’s Personal Hotspot feature, and those that do often charge extra to use it, so the ability to use Handoff via an Instant Hotspot generated by your iPhone may or may not be possible.
If applicable, to turn on the Personal Hotspot feature within your iPhone, launch Settings, tap on the Cellular option, and then turn on the Set Up Personal Hotspot option. Follow the on-screen prompts if this is a feature your cellular service provider supports.