Fix Handoff couldn’t be completed error on Mac running macOS Mojave

This post tackles a problem with Handoff on Mac. Read on to learn how to deal with the “handoff couldn’t be completed” error on your macOS Mojave device.

Handoff is one of the key Continuity features of Apple devices. It allows you to send app’s data seamlessly between devices so you can pick it up where you left off. Handoff works with multiple built-in apps including Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Maps, Messages, Notes, and more. For Handoff to work, your devices must use the same iCloud account and be on the same Wi-Fi network. The devices must also support Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and run on a later macOS version. To view if your Mac has Bluetooth LE support, click the white Apple icon in the menu bar and select About This Mac. In the new window, click System Report and then Bluetooth in the left column. You should then see Bluetooth Low Energy Support along with Yes or No value. If it says Yes, then Handoff will work on your Mac but if it says No, it won’t.

Aside from hardware requirements, you must also be signed into the same iCloud account across devices. To check on this on your Mac, go to System Preferences-> iCloud menu and make sure you are signed in with the same account as your other Apple device. Once you have confirmed that the same iCloud account is used on all your devices, you are all set to start using Handoff after enabling the feature.

What causes Handoff to fail on your Mac?

Several factors can cause Handoff file transfer to fail to work on your Mac. Among the possible culprits is device system incompatibility, software glitches, invalid or unsupported Bluetooth protocol, bad updates, misconfigured settings, and network problems. These are likewise the things that you need to consider ruling out whenever you would bump into some errors when using this Continuity feature on your Mac.

The methods I’ve lined up below can be used as possible solutions. Read further to learn what to do if you can’t use Handoff on your Mac and get a “Handoff couldn’t be completed” error instead.

Before troubleshooting, verify and ensure that your computer is running the latest macOS Mojave version available. To find out which macOS version your Mac is using, simply follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the corner of your screen.
  2. Select About This Mac.

On the next screen, you should see the macOS name your computer is running on, followed by its version number. You can click the version number to view the build number of your Mac operating system installed on your computer.

The latest macOS version available for Mac is macOS Mojave version 10.14. If your computer is still running on the earlier version, then you should consider updating the system first. If your Mac has stable Internet access, you can download and install the latest macOS Mojave version with these steps:

  1. Navigate to the macOS Mojave page on the App Store.
  2. Once you’re on the page, click the Get button to instigate downloading of the system update.
  3. Wait for the installer to open automatically when the download is complete.
  4. Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions to install the update file.

When the update is successfully installed, reboot your Mac to apply the recent system changes and to refresh your Mac’s apps and services.

Software updates are necessary to keep your computer apps and system secure. Updates also fix existing errors and likewise bring new new features. Typically, apps that you install on your computer receive regular updates. The same thing with your computer’s operating system. Apple rolls out period system updates for the same purpose of fixing system errors, removing bugs, providing new features, and keeping Mac programs optimized and secure. Thus, keeping your Mac system up-to-date is important.

Troubleshooting Handoff problems on your Mac

The first thing you should do is to check and ensure that Handoff is enabled for both your devices. So here’s what you should do first before ruling out other software-related factors:

  1. On your Mac, navigate to System Preferences-> General menu.
  2. Find the option that says “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices” and make sure that the checkbox is marked or checked. If it’s not, then click on the checkbox to enable the option.

With that setting, Handoff should be enabled across your devices for as long as they’re all connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is turned on.

Test Handoff connection on your Mac and other device

You can test the connection by navigating to any website using the Safari browser on your Mac or start composing a new email message to send and receive. Once the page is loaded or you start composing a new email, a small icon should appear in the lower left corner of your screen. Swipe up on this icon to unlock your device and automatically be brought to the respective app with the web page or email from your Mac loaded on your other device.

Aside from swiping on the lock screen, Handoff can also be activated by entering a multitasking view on your device. If you’re using a Handoff app on your iOS device and would like to move onto your Mac, find the Handoff icon at the far left or top portion of the Dock area and click it to open the app you were using on your iOS device.

Getting rid of Handoff errors on your Mac

If your Mac is already running on the latest version of macOS and your devices are enabled for Handoff but doesn’t work as intended, then you can use any of these subsequent methods to rule out other causing factors.

Note: Make sure that your devices are near to each other to ensure that they’re able to communicate in short distances over Bluetooth.

First solution: Toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off and on.

Minor flaws affecting Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functions are usually remedied by toggling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features off and on again. Thus, you may consider this among the first possible solutions to try. Here’s how it works:

  1. Click on the Wi-Fi menu on your Mac and choose the option Turn off Wi-Fi.
  2. While Wi-Fi is turned off, click on the Apple menu and select the option to Restart.

Your computer will then reboot. As soon as it boots up, turn on Wi-Fi. This should fix minor problems affecting wireless functions and services including Handoff.

Aside from Wi-Fi, you should also work on your Mac’s Bluetooth. To clear out minor Bluetooth errors affecting Bluetooth services like Handoff on your Mac, turning the feature off and on can help. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Apple menu, click on System Preferences.
  2. Then click Bluetooth.
  3. Then choose the option to disable the feature and enable it back.

Alternatively, you can just click on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and select the option to Turn Bluetooth Off. After a few seconds, turn it back on by click the option to Turn Bluetooth On.

Try and see if that fixes the Handoff error on your Mac. if that fails, then you must troubleshoot further.

Also consider turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features OFF and ON on your other device. On iOS devices, toggling the Airplane mode switch ON and OFF usually does the trick. Just head over to Settings-> Airplane Mode, then toggle the switch ON and then OFF again. This should give all wireless functions a quick restart and refresh.

Second solution: Reboot your Mac and other Apple device.

A lot of software-related errors can be corrected by restarting the device. That said shut your Mac system down and then restart it as usual. You can use any of the following methods to reboot your Mac and refresh its apps and operating system.

  1. Press the Power button or press Control + Eject keys on the keyboard when prompted with a dialog box. Then click the Restart button to instigate system restart.
  2. Click the Apple menu, then select the Restart command.
  3. Press Control + Command + Eject or Control + Command + Power button on the keyboard.

Allow your computer to finish booting up then try and see if Handoff is already working. Also consider restarting your other devices to clear out minor glitches affecting Handoff services.

Third solution: Turn Handoff off and on again on both devices.

Turning the feature off and on can help fix minor errors. That said, you can try this workaround on both devices and see if will yield to a positive outcome.

To see if Handoff is enabled on your other device, refer to these steps.

  1. On iOS, go to Settings-> General-> Handoff & Suggested Apps. Then toggle the Handoff slider towards the ON position, if it’s turned OFF. If it’s already turned on, toggle the switch to turn the feature OFF and then back ON again.
  2. On your Mac, go to System Preferences-> General section. Then check the box to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices. If it’s already checked, click on the box to remove the check and then click to check it again.

Fourth solution: Sign out and back into your Apple account on both devices.

To rule out account-related issues that might have caused Handoff error to occur on your Mac, sign out and sign back in using the same Apple ID on your Mac and other device. Basically, Apple uses common iCloud account between all devices you are using Handoff on. If the Apple ID is not signed in correctly or doesn’t match, Handoff won’t work. That said, double check and ensure that you are using the correct Apple ID or sign out and sign in manually on both devices. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. On iOS, go to Settings-> select your Apple ID profile, then choose the option to Sign Out.
  2. On Mac, go to System Preferences-> iCloud menu. Then click on the Sign Out button.

Restart your devices and head back to the same settings to Sign In to your account again. Be sure to use the same Apple ID when signing into your account on both your devices.

Fifth solution: Update your device software to the latest version available.

Software errors and system issues can also be rectified by an update. Software updates not only bring in new features but also offer fix patches to get rid of existing problems and errors inflicted by system bugs. That said, it’s recommended to keep your device system updated. To check for new updates, refer to these steps.

  1. On iOS, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu. If a new update is available, you will see a notification containing the key information. Simply refer to the onscreen instructions to update your device.
  2. On Mac, open the App Store app then navigate to the Updates tab. If an update is available, click the option to Download Update and Install.

Restart your devices are updating to ensure that all new system changes are properly implemented. Then test to see if Handoff is already working properly again.

What to do if the “Handoff couldn’t be completed” error continues?

If you’re having trouble using AirDrop or getting the same AirDrop error due to network connectivity issues on your Mac, then you may contact your Internet service provider so they can help you configure the Internet settings on your computer. You might need to configure your TCP/IP settings, change or assign some DNS addresses or use public DNS addresses.

If your computer is experiencing slow browsing or internet access on your computer is very slow, verify if your network supports the correct Wi-Fi standards. For fastest Wi-Fi speeds, use the 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol.

  • To check on this, press and hold the Option key while clicking the Wi-Fi menu on your Mac.

Alternatively, you can ask more help from your router’s manufacturer or Internet service provider in configuring Internet protocol and Wi-Fi settings of your router.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

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