This goes for both macOS (currently have 10.15.7) and iPadOS (currently have 15.1).

My Mac will constantly suggest whatever app I was using last on my iPhone or iPad when I press ⌘ + tab or look at the Dock. This is a minor annoyance, but if possible I'd like to get rid of it.

More serious is my iPad doing the same with apps from my iPhone or Mac. It replaces one of the three recently used apps on the right side of the Dock, but there's a delay, so I'll often see whatever recently used app is there, move my finger to press it, have it replaced by the Handoff suggestion from one of my other devices at the last moment, and accidentally open the Handoff-suggested app instead of the recently used app I wanted to open.

This is especially troublesome when the Handoff-suggested app is the same app as the recently used one (say, Numbers) but I was viewing different documents on my iPad and Mac, so the iPad closes the document I was viewing on it and opens the one from the Mac in its place. This I can't stand.

I love everything else about Handoff, so I don't want to turn it off (which I understand lets me, say, copy something on my Mac and paste it on my iPad, a feature I use a lot).

How do I stop the Dock (especially on iPad but preferably also on Mac) from suggesting a recently used app from another device without turning Handoff off outright?

Already checked this question, which asks a similar thing, but the OP was happy to turn off Handoff in that case, which I am not. It was also suggested there that the OP turn off specifically the suggested and recently used apps in the Dock, but I'd like to keep the recently used apps while turning off the suggested ones, if possible, so that doesn't answer my question. If I go to Settings > "Home screen and Dock" on my iPad, there's an option to turn both off, but not an option to turn only one off.

Thanks in advance for any help.

  • I've edited your question since Handoff is the feature that shows the icons, Airdrop is for file sharing
    – Ezekiel
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


You don’t need to be signed in to iCloud for AirDrop to work, but it’s easier so I recommend you keep that part.

Why not turn off handoff?

Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click General. Select “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.”

There’s really not an easy alternative but you could script an automation to enable amd disable handoff if you want to occasionally push handoff from macOS to iOS and then disable it again rapidly.

You are correct that Universal Clipboard needs handoff to function as part of the continuity suite of integrations.

  • 1
    As mentioned, I don’t want to lose universal clipboard. It saves me a considerable amount of time. Scripting a shortcut to toggle it would help with the iPad problem, though not really with the Mac problem. Thanks for the suggestion.
    – Rain
    Commented Jan 25, 2022 at 23:53
  • I hope someone is smarter than me - I do realize you want something I didn’t provide, but this may be the best you can do @Rain
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 3:16
  • At this point, I fear you might be right. Thanks, though!
    – Rain
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 1:45

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