If you have multiple Apple devices, then you need to know how to connect your iPhone to your Mac. Connecting these devices not only ensures they have the same data, but also opens up some interesting performance tricks. You might think that all you need to get connected is a cable, but there are more powerful and flexible options out there.

This article focuses on iPhones running iOS 11 and iOS 12 as well as a Mac running macOS 10.13 and 10.14 .

How to Connect iPhone to Mac Using iTunes

One of the easiest ways to connect iPhone to Mac is iTunes. Syncing devices with iTunes allows you to move music, videos, books, files, and other content. There are two ways to sync using iTunes:

  • Connect iPhone to Mac with a cable. Simply take the cable that came with your iPhone, plug one end into your phone and the other into a USB port on your Mac. Then you can sync your iPhone with your computer .
  • Sync iPhone to Mac via Wi-Fi . This is a simple alternative to using a cable. If your Mac and iPhones connected to the same Wi-Fi network they can sync wirelessly. Learn how to set up and use this option in the section How to sync iPhone over Wi-Fi .
IPhone and Mac laptop on the table.
Image Credit: heshphoto / Image Source / Getty Images

How to connect iPhone to Mac using iCloud

If you prefer wireless sync, cut iTunes out of the equation and just use iCloud . Just make sure your Mac and iPhone are signed into the same iCloud account and have the same sync settings. Then any data change on one device will be synced to iCloud and then to the other device, so they always sync.

Sign in to iCloud using your Apple ID . You probably did it when set up your iPhone and Mac but if you haven’t, follow these steps.

Sign in to iCloud on iPhone

  1. Go to settings .

  2. Tap your name at the top of the screen.

  3. Click iCloud .

  4. Sign in with your Apple ID username and password

Sign in to iCloud on Mac

  1. Click apple menu in the top left corner.

  2. Click System settings .

  3. Click iCloud .

  4. Sign in with your Apple ID username and password.

  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to set up iCloud.

iCloud sync options

Data that can be synced using iCloud includes Apple News calendars, contacts email, data homekit notes, reminders, Safari bookmarks and files, Siri data, stocks, and usernames and passwords from your chains for keys . (You also need to use pre-installed Apple apps for these data types.)

Once both devices are signed in to iCloud, give them the same sync settings. For example, to use iCloud to sync contacts, follow the first three steps above, check the » Contacts» on Mac and move slider » Contacts» to the position « enabled» / green on iPhone.

iCloud can also sync photos between your devices and enable Photo Stream and iCloud for photo sharing . This is great, but the photo sync options are more complicated than for other data types.

How to connect iPhone to Mac using Continuity

One of the great things about Apple devices is how well they work together. Functions Apple Continuity allow you to do things like answer iPhone calls with your Mac, or write an email on your Mac and send it from your iPhone.

Transfer in iOS 8
Image Copyright Apple Inc.

To use Continuity you need:

  1. Sign in to the same iCloud account on all devices.

  2. All devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

  3. Turn on Bluetooth on both devices.

  4. Turn on Hand off on both devices. On a Mac, go to » System Settings» > » Main» > check the box » Allow handover» between this Mac and iCloud devices .

  5. On iPhone go to » Settings» > » Main» > » Transfer» > move slider » Forwarding» in position » included / green».

Features of continuity

Three of the coolest Continuity features that connect iPhone to Mac are:

Continuity and Handoff work for iOS 8 and above, and macOS 10.10 Yosemite and above. Universal Clipboard requires macOS 10.12 Sierra or later.

Other ways to connect iPhone and Mac

Sync isn’t the only way to connect iPhone and Mac. Both devices have features for sharing services and content to make your digital life easier. Here are some examples:

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