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If you own a recent iPhone and a MacBook or Apple desktop computer and you want to add a great webcam, I have news for you: You may already own one. Apple’s Continuity Camera feature lets your Mac automatically sense the presence of a nearby compatible iPhone and connect to it wirelessly or wired, using the video feed from its main rear camera as your webcam. It’s a fantastic replacement for the webcam on even Apple’s most high-end laptops and displays, and even beats dedicated cameras that cost hundreds of dollars.

Of course, Continuity Camera doesn’t work with every iPhone and Apple computer. To get started, you’ll need any iPhone manufactured in 2018 or later, running iOS 16, and a Mac compatible with macOS Ventura or later, that is, macOS 13 and higher.

How to start Continuity Camera

Assuming your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on and your settings are appropriately configured, all you need to do to get going is lock your iPhone’s screen, mount it on something with the rear camera facing you, and start a video call. In most cases, you’ll hear a chime on the phone and the video feed will switch to the iPhone, showing your face in crystal-clear, high-resolution goodness.

Your Mac will typically automatically make the switch, but if it doesn’t, there are a few steps you can take to get it up and running.

Check your settings

The first thing you need to verify is that your iPhone is locked and stationary — otherwise, your computer assumes you’re actively using it and won’t take it over. You may need to select your iPhone from the video menu of your chosen app. If it’s still not working after you’ve taken those steps, it’s time to check your software and settings. For Continuity Camera to work, your Mac needs to be running macOS Ventura, and your iPhone must be on iOS 16. Take the below steps to make sure.

• Click the Apple logo at the top left of your screen (for iPhone, skip to the next step).
• Select System Settings (or open Settings on your iPhone).
• Select General.
• Select Software Update.

If you’re up to date, your Mac should say you’re running Ventura 13 or higher, and your iPhone should say you’re on iOS 16 or higher. If not and your device is eligible to receive either update, it should prompt you to do so. Go ahead and do it, I’ll wait.

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Once you’ve done this, make sure your iPhone is locked, with the camera pointing at you. If Continuity Camera still won’t work, make sure you have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on for both devices.

On your Mac

• Open System Settings using the above steps.
• Select Wi-Fi in the sidebar on the left side of the window.
• Verify it’s toggled on (the circle inside the indicator should be in the right position).
• Repeat this step using the Bluetooth option from the sidebar.

On your iPhone

• Open Settings.
• Tap Wi-Fi.
• Verify it’s toggled on.
• Tap Settings in the top left to go back, or swipe from the left edge of your screen.
• Repeat with the Bluetooth option.

After verifying your phone is locked with the rear camera facing you, if it’s still not working, take a look at your Handoff settings, which enable Continuity Camera and several other seamless interactions between your Apple devices. Further, you’ll need to specifically turn on Continuity Camera for the iPhone.

On your Mac

• Open System Settings.
• Select General.
• Select AirDrop & Handoff.
• Check that Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices is toggled on. If not, turn it on.

On your iPhone

• Open Settings.
• Select General.
• Select AirPlay & Handoff
• Check that Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices is toggled on. If not, turn it on.
• At the bottom, verify that Continuity Camera is toggled on. If not, turn it on.


And that’s it! If you’ve followed all of the above steps, Continuity Camera should work — again, so long as you check that your phone is locked and stationary.

Go wired

Once you’ve run through all of the steps above, if Continuity Camera still isn’t working, you have one last recourse: good old-fashioned wires. Use your Apple Lightning-to-USB (or USB-C) cable to connect your iPhone to a port on your desktop or laptop, and your computer ought to find it. If plugging it in doesn’t work, try another port on your computer, then repeat this step with another Lightning-to-USB cable, if you have one available to you. If it’s still not working, it’s probably time to contact Apple support.

The best Continuity Camera Mounts

Best Continuity Camera mount for MacBooks

Belkin was the first company to debut a proper MagSafe Continuity Camera mount for the iPhone and MacBook, and it’s a nice design. It’s small, with a swing-out catch to hold it on your laptop’s display, and it even has a little fold-out ring that lets it pull double-duty as a phone kickstand or pop socket stand-in when you’re not securing it to the laptop. It’s sturdy and covered in a soft-touch material, and flat enough not to be obtrusive in your pocket.

Best Continuity Camera mount for desktop users

The Belkin Continuity Camera mount for desktops lets you attach your iPhone to just about any display — curved back or not — or camera tripod. The only issue I’ve had with it is that there’s no way to fix it in place, so you have to hold it firmly on the display while you detach your phone from the MagSafe magnet, but it’s otherwise a nice, lightweight and cheap way to add a webcam to your Mac.

Best budget Continuity Camera mount for desktop monitors

Capstone’s Continuity Camera Mount is arguably better than Belkin’s in some ways, but only if you have a flat-backed monitor. Instead of hooking onto the display and bracing against the back, it clamps on. It’s not great for monitors with a taper — trust me, I tried. But the more forward posture of the magnetic mount makes it easier to keep the top edge of your display out of view, and the clamp makes it less prone to falling off if you jostle it. It sticks up higher, too, which could be nice if you prefer a downward angle or like to keep your monitor closer to your desk surface.

Best budget Continuity Camera mount for laptop users

Stouchi makes a nice little mount that’s nearly identical to the more-expensive Belkin laptop mount above, and it’s a great budget buy alternative. It has its issues, of course — the metal finish may scuff your MacBook, and the stand isn’t quite as stiff, so it may not hold your phone up at quite as extreme an angle as the Belkin option. It’s also a touch heavier, and if you’ve used Continuity Camera on, say, a 2022 MacBook Air, you’ll have noticed that it slowly leans away when you’ve got the phone mounted and the screen angled back too far. The extra weight doesn’t have a big effect, but it does change the tipping point ever so slightly.

Best Continuity Camera mount for non-Magsafe phones

Of course, not every iPhone that can use Continuity Camera has MagSafe built in. Unfortunately, there are scant few options available online to solve this problem. Unlike the others listed here, I haven’t used this one personally. That said, based on my experience with other mounts, this Powrig Continuity Camera mount one looks like your best bet for a non-MagSafe iPhone, whether you’re putting it on a desktop display or a laptop. Atop the mount sits a clamp like you’d find on a smartphone tripod, letting you keep the phone firmly in place while on video calls. My only real concern is weight — it’s probable that this wouldn’t give much flexibility for the angle of your laptop screen, given its apparent all-metal construction. But apart from using a separate stand, there just aren’t other better options.

Best smartphone stand for Continuity Camera

Finally, if you just don’t want to mount your phone to your monitor, or you’d rather your phone sit at a lower angle, this Ubeesize smartphone tripod stand is a fantastic option that’s cheaper than everything on this list. I’ve used one for over two years, and in some ways, it’s the best option on this list. Its sturdy, flexible legs allow you to set your phone at a great variety of angles. I’ve used it to attach my phone to poles, desk edges and even my bike’s handlebars, turning my iPhone into an action cam in a pinch. The clamp is firm and has never actually dropped my phone on a bike ride, but all the same, you should probably make sure it’s in a bomb-proof case if you’re using it this way.