You may want to know how you can connect your iPhone to a Mac without USB. In this article, I’ll explain the seven best methods to connect your iPhone to your Mac without a USB cable.
There are many reasons why you may want to connect your iPhone to your Mac. You might want to sync content, back up your device, remove data, or use the Continuity features. Whatever the reason, you can connect an iPhone to a Mac without USB easily.
- To connect your iPhone to mac without USB, use AirDrop, iCloud Drive, network file sharing, Handoff, Airplay, universal clipboard, or continuity camera.
It can be frustrating when you want to connect your iPhone to a Mac but don’t have a USB cable. Thankfully, there are several ways to connect your iPhone to a Mac without USB. You can use AirDrop, iCloud Drive, network file sharing, Handoff, Airplay, universal clipboard, or continuity camera.
Whether you want to use airdrop or Airplay to make the connection, each method is simple and straightforward. Your reason for connecting the two should determine which option you choose. Let’s walk through all the ways to connect iPhone to Mac without a cable.
Different Ways to Connect iPhone to Mac Wirelessly
Whether you want to connect your iPhone to a Mac to transfer files or mirroring your screen but don’t have a USB cable, use the methods explained below. These methods will work whether you are using a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, or iMac.
Without further ado, here’s how to connect your iPhone to a Mac wirelessly.
1. Connect iPhone to Mac via AirDrop
You can wirelessly transfer photos, videos, documents, websites, map locations, and a lot more from your iPhone to your Mac using AirDrop. The feature works completely offline and doesn’t need any kind of internet connection.
To make sure AirDrop works without a hitch, check that both devices fulfill the following conditions:
- Both devices are unlocked and within 9 meters of each other.
- Both have AirDrop, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on.
- The Personal Hotspot feature is turned off on iPhone.
On an iPhone, long-press on a file and select Sharefrom the context menu. Once the iOS Share Sheet opens, tap on AirDrop and select your Mac from the list of devices to send it. You’ll receive a notification on your Mac telling you you’ve received a file. You’ll find the file in your downloads.
On a Mac, Control-click on a file, select Share from the context menu, then choose AirDrop. Click on the recipient (your iPhone) and wait for the file to send. You should see a message on your iPhone prompting you to open the file with a compatible app. You can then save the file to your iPhone.
If you’re sharing something to yourself, such as from your iPhone to your Mac, you don’t need to accept the transfer. Everything will automatically get transferred, given you’re using the same Apple ID on both devices.
2. Connect iPhone to Mac via AirPlay
AirPlay is an Apple feature that lets you wirelessly stream content from one device to another. It’s designed for streaming from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to an Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible smart TV.
This can be useful if you want to display a photo album or app on your Mac, stream music from Apple Music or Spotify from an iPhone to your Mac, or play video content directly from iPhone apps like Hulu without using a cable. You can even record whatever you’re doing on your phone when you’re screen mirroring from iPhone to Mac.
For Airplay to work, make sure the iPhone and Mac are connected to the same wireless network – otherwise, AirPlay won’t be able to establish a connection between the two devices.
You can either AirPlay content directly from an app that allows for AirPlay like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or the NFL app. Or, you can AirPlay your entire iPhone screen by opening the Control Center.
Set Up AirPlay on Your Mac
You can set up your Mac to receive streamed AirPlay content. To enable AirPlay on a Mac with macOS Ventura or higher, go to System Settings > General > AirDrop & Handoff. Turn on the switch for AirPlay Receiver. Select the drop-down menu for Allow AirPlay for and choose to allow it for the current user, anyone on the same network, or everyone.
On a Mac with macOS Monterey or earlier, go to System Preferences and select Sharing. Check the box for AirPlay Receiver. You can then allow AirPlay for the current user, for anyone on the same network, or from everyone. You can also require a password if necessary.
Stream or Mirror From Your iPhone or iPad
If you want to stream content from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac, open Control Center and tap the AirPlay icon in the upper right of the playback control. Select the name of the Mac to which you want to stream the audio or video. You can now control playback from your mobile device. To disconnect, tap the iPhone or iPad entry.
There’s another way to stream if you’re in the middle of watching or listening to something. With the Apple Music app open and playing a song, for example, navigate to the Now Playing screen, tap the **AirPlay **icon, select AirPlay & Bluetooth devices, and then select the Mac to stream the media to the appropriate destination.
This also works for Apple’s Podcasts and Books apps, as well as third-party apps like Amazon Video, Hulu, Spotify, and YouTube. Just look for the **AirPlay **icon in the app and switch to your Apple TV. For third-party apps, you may first need to grant them permission to access your local network, which you can do in the Settings app on your device.
Instead of pushing audio or video to or Mac, you can mirror the screen of your mobile device on your Apple TV or Mac. Mirroring shares the content so that you can see it on both the source and receiving devices. To set this up, open Control Center on your iPhone or iPad, tap the Screen Mirroring icon, and select your Apple TV or Mac as the destination.
Once mirroring has been enabled, rev up a game, streaming app, or browser window to view and use it on the bigger screen of your Apple TV or Mac. To end mirroring, open Control Center again, tap the Screen Mirroring icon, and then select the Stop Mirroringoption.
3. Connect iphone to mac via Network File Sharing
With network file sharing, you can share files and folders with others on your network.
Enable File sharing on Mac
To enable File Sharing on your Mac, click the Apple menu from the top menu bar, select System Settings > General > Sharing and then click on the ON/OFF toggle for File Sharing to turn it on.
Optionally, click the Information icon next to the On/Off toggle to select folders to share and specify which user you like to share the files with. To prevent a folder from being shared, select it in the Shared Folders list, then click the Remove button.
Connect Mac file sharing from iPhone iPad
Connect your iPhone to the same Wi-Fi as your Mac. Then open the **Files **app, click **Browse tab from the bottom, then click the Menu(three dots inside a circle) **at the top right corner and choose Connect to Server from the drop-down menu.
On the Connect to Server screen, you can type in your Mac IP address, computer name or Hostname. (System Settings > General > Sharing), the Hostname can be found at the bottom of the Sharing screen.
You can find your Mac’s IP address by clicking on the Wi-Fi icon while holding down the Option key on your keyboard. When you do this, you will see a drop-down menu that displays additional information about your Wi-Fi connection, including your IP address, as well as other network-related details. Simply look for the “IP address” entry in the menu, and you should see your IP address displayed next to it.
Then choose Registered User, input your Mac login username and its password to connect. Once connected, you can copy files between your Mac and iPhone using the Files app, or share files from other apps and save them to Files app > Mac SMB share.
4. Connect iPhone to MacBook via iCloud Drive
Besides serving as a cloud-based storage provider, Apple’s iCloud service keeps your data synced across Apple devices. It’s a great file transfer option for Apple devices because you don’t need to download it or an USB cable to use it.
You can transfer files between your iPhone and Mac without USB by simply moving your files to iCloud Drive on either of the devices. On an iPhone, you can access iCloud Drive from the Files app. And on a Mac, you can access it from the Finder sidebar.
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap on your name and Apple ID at the very top.
- Tap iCloud.
- Below the Apps Using iCloud section, scroll down and toggle the iCloud Drive button to the right, turning it green, if it isn’t already.
5. Connect iPhone to Mac via Handoff
Handoff, as its name suggests, lets you hand off tasks from one device to another. So, for example, if you started typing a note on your iPhone, you can wirelessly hand it off to your Mac, and vice versa.
Handoff works when both devices are near each other and set up as follows.
- Each device is signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.
- Each device has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on.
- Each device has Handoff turned on.
Here’s how to hand off tasks between iOS and macOS.
- Launch the Settings app on your iPhone > General> AirPlay & Handoff.
- Make sure the Handoff toggle is enabled.
- Similarly, launch the System Settings app on your Mac > General > AirDrop & Handoff. Make sure Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices is enabled.
- Now whenever your iPhone and Mac are within proximity with Bluetooth enabled, you’ll be able to hand off tasks between the two devices.
- On iOS, you will see the Handoff shortcut at the bottom of the App Switcher.
- Meanwhile, on macOS the shortcut will appear at the right of your Dock.
- Clicking the Handoff shortcut will launch the respective app, letting you continue whatever task you’ve been working on the other device.
Handoff is great for those who tend to work on the go. You can quickly start typing an email on your phone, then hand it off to your Mac if you prefer the larger keyboard and screen. You can use Handoff with Notes, iWork, Safari, Mail, and other first-party apps.
6. Connect iphone to mac via Universal Clipboard
Universal Clipboard is a feature that Apple has built into the macOS and iOS that makes a copy and paste clipboard accessible to all of your compatible devices.
Think of it this way: When you copy something on one of your Apple devices, it’s actually copied to all of your Apple devices, giving each of them temporary ability to paste that item.
With Universal Clipboard, you can copy content such as text, images, photos, and videos on one Apple device, then paste the content on another Apple device.
To use Universal Clipboard, your devices must be:
- Macs running macOS Sierra (10.12) or newer.
- iOS devices running iOS 10 or newer.
- Signed into iCloud using the same Apple ID.
- Have Bluetooth enabled.
- Have Wi-Fi enabled and be connected to the same network.
- Have Handoff enabled.
- Be within about 30 feet (10 meters) of each other (standard Bluetooth range).
To use Universal Clipboard:
- Copy content on a device the way you normally would. This could be a block of text, an image, or other content that can be copied.
- The content is automatically added to the clipboard of your other nearby device. It remains there briefly, or until you replace it by copying something else on either device.
- On the other device, paste the content as you normally would.
7. Connect iPhone to Mac via Continuity Camera
Continuity Camera is a feature that turns your iPhone into a wireless webcam for your Mac.
Unfortunately, not every iPhone or Mac can use Continuity Camera.
- Your iPhone and Mac should be running iOS 16 and macOS Ventura or newer.
- You must be using an iPhone XR or a newer model for the basic Continuity Camera feature to work.
- To use Center Stage and Desk View, you must be using an iPhone 11 or a newer model.
- For Studio Light, you need an iPhone 12 or a newer model.
- Both your iPhone and Mac must be paired to the same Apple ID.
- You should have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled on both devices, along with Continuity Camera in iOS General Settings (which is on by default).
If you’ve got all the right devices, here’s how to use Continuity Camera.
- Bring your iPhone near your Mac.
- Launch FaceTime, or another app that uses your MacBook’s camera.
- Your Mac should automatically use your iPhone as the camera. If it doesn’t, pull up the camera list in whatever app you’re using and select the name of your phone.
connect iPhone to MacBook via Text Message Forwarding
You can set up your iPhone so that you can receive and send SMS messages (short text messages) and MMS messages (text messages with graphics, audio, video, and other media) on your Mac. After you set up your iPhone, when you receive an SMS message, it appears on both your iPhone and your Mac. When you send a message to someone who uses a phone other than an iPhone, your message is sent as an SMS message. You’ll need to make sure that both your Mac and iPhone are logged into the same iCloud account.
- On your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages.
- Tap Text Message Forwarding.
- Turn on your Mac in the list of devices.
- If you’re not using two-factor authentication, a six-digit activation code appears on your Mac; enter this code on your iPhone, then tap Allow.
Connect an iPhone to Mac using a cable
Although this article is about how to connect an iPhone to Mac without USB, It’s also good to know how to connect the two using a cable. ￼To sync content, remove data and settings, or update your iPhone, you can use a cable to connect it to your Mac. You’ll simply use the charging cable for your iPhone to make the connection. However, depending on which device models you own, you may need an adapter.
If your iPhone uses a Lightning to USB cable and your Mac has a USB port, you can simply plug it right in. But if your Mac only has a USB-C port, for instance, a MacBook Pro 2021, you’ll need an adapter. On the other hand, if your iPhone uses a USB-C to Lightning cable and your computer only has a USB port, like with the MacBook Air M1, 2020, it’s recommended that you utilize a Lightning to USB cable to make the connection. It’s also worth noting that all of Apple’s iPhone 15 models come with a USB-C port instead of Lightning.
The bottom line is that unless you have an iPhone cable and a Mac port with matching connectors, you’ll need to grab an adapter (or the appropriate cable) to physically connect it.
If you’re able to make this connection, whether with an adapter or not, you can use Finder on MacOS Catalina or later to work with your data as well as update your iPhone.
What is the Best Third-Party Tool to Mirror iPhone to Mac?
The best screen mirror apps include Reflector 4 and Mirroring360. However, using a Third-Party Tool to Mirror your iPhone to a Mac is not a viable approach because it can be flaky and it’s not free.
What if Data Stops Transferring?
Normally, if your transfer is interrupted it will start again on its own. If it has stopped and has not started again, you would want to start the data transfer over again.
What about using Sidecar with my iPhone?
Sidecar is only designed for iPads, and at this time, cannot be used with iPhones. Sidecar is meant to provide a second screen for your Mac work, and iPhones aren’t quite big enough to be very useful here. Likewise, Universal Control is designed to work with iPads or MacBooks.
If you own an iPhone and a Mac and are looking to connect one with another, this article should help you get it done without using a USB cable. Although now that you know how to connect iPhone to Macbook without USB, don’t just throw your cable away, it’s still a useful accessory.