I've enabled handoff on Macs (mine is 2011 era) that don't officially support it, but with El Capitan changes, Apple has really tried to put the handcuffs on more tightly so users can't muck with any system files

Specifically, El Capitan enabled System Integrity Protection, which is causing a lot of grief by it's defense in depth addition to restricting many system filesystem locations. Also, you may have noticed that the 0xED app no longer works in El Capitan - you for some reason can't search and edit anymore. Grrrrr....

Is it possible to get handoff (continuity) working for a 2011 Mac that's running El Capitan?


2011 MacBook Pros can support Handoff/Continuity 

 After doing some research for the past few hours there might still be chance for the 2011 macbook pros to get the features that require bluetooth 4.0 / LE

As it turns out the 2011 MacBook Pro can use the same Airport/Bluetooth card as the mid 2012 Macbook pro and its user replaceable so by replacing the 2011 macbook pro Airport/Bluetooth card you should have the ability to use Handoff/continuity

After replacing your bluetooth card with a Bluetooth LE/4 card: Make sure the Bluetooth card is BCM94331PCIEBT4CAX (if it doesn't have the C then its a Bluetooth 2 card which wouldn't work)

And away we go!

  1. on your desktop press command+shift+g
  2. type: /system/library/extensions/
  3. find: IO80211Family.kext in the extensions folder and copy it to your desktop
  4. on the new copy, do show package contents > Contents > PlugIns > AirPortBrcm4360.kext > show package contents > Contents > MacOS > open AirPortBrcm4360 with HexFiend
  5. Text search Mac- it should be followed by a number
  6. type the below code in terminal this will show your board id example early 2011 macbook pro is Mac-94245B3640C91C81

    ioreg -l | grep "board-id" | awk -F\" '{print $4}' ->  94245B3640C91C81 for mine
  7. replace the first number in your kext with the number u get in terminal

  8. save it

  9. Restart your Mac and hold Cmd-R to boot in recovery mode

  10. Once rebooted, open terminal and type in the following code: csrutil disable

  11. Restart your Mac in normal mode

  12. go to terminal and paste:

    sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1"
  13. delete the original IO80211Family.kext in system>library>extensions

  14. restart
  15. your wifi will not be working after restart
  16. use kextdrop to install the modified kext
  17. restart
  18. your wifi should start working again after installing the kext and restarting

  19. Restart your Mac in recovery mode again (holding Cmd-R when you reboot)

  20. Open terminal and type: csrutil enable

  21. Restart your Mac

  22. go to system preferences > general and there should be an option to enable handoff

These are the exact steps I performed with OS X El Capitan on a 13 inch early 2011 macbook pro and got handoff working with my iPhone 6 running iOS 9.1

Good luck!

  • 1
    Great idea seeing if a hardware swap would enable what Apple didn't expect. Well done! This is truly snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. – bmike Oct 31 '15 at 16:00
  • 1
    Great stuff! What is kextdrop mentioned in step 16? – nohillside Oct 31 '15 at 16:11
  • Also, how do you test that the card is exactly a BCM94331PCIEBT4CAX ? I can't find that anywhere in About this Mac/Blutooth or WiFi. Closest i can see is Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x111) Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 ( This was a replacement card in a Mac Pro 4,1/5,1 hybrid. BTLE & Handoff show as supported, but I haven't got it working yet. – Tetsujin Nov 1 '15 at 9:10

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