AirDrop on iPhone and Mac

How to Use AirDrop on iPhone and Mac

Sharing content from one device to another can be a tedious process. For non-apple users, it means sending emails back and forth to themselves or using Google Drive or Dropbox. In short, it can be extremely inconvenient.

Apple makes this whole process much simpler with the introduction of Airdrop. If you are within the ‘Apple ecosystem,’ then you have the ability to use airdrop. You can send files of any size to and from your Apple devices. With this feature: sharing files, photos and videos are easier than ever before.

Airdrop makes use of Bluetooth and WiFi to send your files across.
Additionally, you can even send these files to anyone who uses Apple devices. Meaning you are not limited to your own gadgets in that aspect.

The whole process is incredibly easy if you are within the range.


Things to note before using Airdrop

People often ask, “Why doesn’t my airdrop work?” or “Why won’t airdrop work?”

The answer is pretty simple; it is mostly that they are not aware of the settings that need to be in place before you can Airdrop content.

Before using Airdrop, it is important to note a few things that may cause an issue when sharing content from one device to another:

1. Distance

Airdrop works within a certain range. Hence, it is essential that the two devices are within that range. This range is usually around 30 feet. Thus, you have to ensure that your Mac, iPhone, or iPad is within the required range. This helps ensure seamless transmission of files.


2. Network

Even Airdrop has some limitations. These limitations come from AirDrop’s necessity of both devices being connected to the WiFi. Additionally, both devices should have their Bluetooth on too.

Furthermore, it is wise to check whether or not the device you are sending from or to is not connected to a private hotspot. The reasoning behind this is that the personal hotspot feature disables the Airdrop feature.

Thus, when transferring content, you must ensure that both devices are connected to the Wi-Fi. Having Bluetooth on is also a must.

3. AirDrop settings

How to use AirDrop on iPhone and Mac

Often without us knowing, the Airdrop on our devices is set to receive Airdrop messages and files from only those in our contacts. This may send many into a frenzy of looking up ‘airdrop settings iPhone’ to resolve the issue.

This setting usually does not cause a problem when we are Airdropping data to our own devices. However, when you are receiving data from someone else, you have to make sure of one of two things:

Either you have your Airdrop settings turned on to ‘Everyone.’ Meaning, anyone can send you anything from photos to files.


You have your Apple ID’s mobile number and email address listed in your contact in the other person’s phone.

To change these settings, you can either go to Settings then, General then Airdrop. There you can see all the discovery options. You can also go to the control center that you can access by swiping down from the top right and pressing down on the Airdrop icon.

4. Size of the file

When transmitting data through Airdrop, it is essential that you only choose important data. Sending repeats and unnecessary data will only clog the entire process. The more data you send, the more time it will take to send it.

Thus, before you start sending over photos and files, declutter them so that the process is as efficient as possible.

5. The model of your device and the iOS

The model of your device and the iOS

Before you attempt to enable Airdrop, make sure that if you are using an iPad or iPhone that it is updated to iOS 7 or above.

If you are using a Mac, ensure that the Mac is from 2012 or later. Additionally that it is using OS X Yosemite or later

How do you turn on Airdrop?

How do you turn on Airdrop

How to turn on Airdrop on iPhone

When first learning about Airdrop, many people search “Airdrop turn on” or “turn on airdrop iPhone” to figure out how to enable this ingenious feature. Here is how you do it.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Tap “General”
  3.  On the General page, you will see “Airdrop.” Tap on it.
  4. There will be several options for your visibility. You can choose either “Contacts Only” or “Everyone” based on your preference.

Choosing between “Contacts only” and “Everyone” should be done based on who you want to receive content from. If you regularly have to receive files from different people, then the “Everyone” option is better. This is because then you don’t have to have everyone saved in your contact.

The “Contacts only” option is undoubtedly safer as it protects you from random files that strangers would be able to send if you have the other option turned on.

If you have your “Everyone” setting on, be sure that you are not accepting files from anyone and everyone. This is for your security. It is wise to only accept files from people you know.

How to turn on Airdrop on Mac

How to turn on Airdrop on Mac

If there are files on the Mac that you want to transfer over to another Apple device, the first step is to ensure that Airdrop is turned on for your Mac. Confused about how to do that? Follow these steps:

  1. Open “Finder”
  2.  On the left sidebar, there will be a tab that says “Airdrop.” Tap on it. The Airdrop window will open up.
  3.  There will be an option that says “Allow me to be discovered by” at the bottom of the screen. There will be a drop-down menu underneath it this option. Here you will have the option to select either “Everyone” or “Contacts only.”

By following these steps, Airdrop should turn on for your Mac. Now you can begin transferring files with ease.

 How to Airdrop

How to Airdrop

How to Airdrop from iPhone

Airdropping files from iPhones is pretty simple, and all the google searches of “how to airdrop on iPhone 11” or “how to airdrop on iPhone 6” have the same solution.

Before proceeding on to sending files, ensure that Airdrop is enabled on both devices. If not, then the device won’t show up on your Airdrop window.

To start transferring your files, here is what you do:

  1. Open up the files, photos, or videos you want to transfer. If there are multiple files that you want to transfer, then choose all of them via the select option.
  2. Tap the share icon that is shaped like an arrow coming out from a box in the bottom left corner.
  3. Choose the AirDrop option.
  4. A menu will pop up. From here, you have to choose the device that you want to transfer your files to.
  5.  The icon with the device you are sending it to will have a blue circle around it. Underneath it, the words “Waiting” will show up. This is the part that will take the most time.
  6. The “Waiting” will turn into “Sending.”
  7.  The “Sending” will turn into “Sent.”
  8. Now you have to press the “Done” button.

By following these steps, you can transfer your files from one device to another without a hitch.

How to accept an Airdrop on an iPhone

How to accept an Airdrop on an iPhone

When you receive an Airdrop, first and foremost, you should check who it is from. iPhone also provides an option to preview the Airdropped message. This feature helps ensure that you aren’t receiving unwanted files from someone. This scenario usually happens when you have your settings turned on to “Everyone,” whereby anyone can send you files via Airdrop.

When the alert pops up on your phone, you can either accept the Airdrop or decline it.

If you accept it, your phone will transfer the file to whichever app it originated. If you receive photos or videos, they will be automatically directed towards the ‘photos’ app and so on.

However, it is important to note that if you are sending a file to your device (which is logged-in with the same Apple ID), you won’t be given the option of accepting or declining the Airdrop. The files will automatically be accepted and open.

Removing the ‘accept’ and ‘decline’ options, in this case, helps create a seamless flow of data from one device to another. To enable this, you have to ensure that both devices are logged in via the same Apple ID.

How to Airdrop from Mac

If you want to transfer data from your Mac to any other Apple device, the process is fairly simple and easy to get the hang of.

Just follow these steps to transfer over whatever your heart desires from your Mac to any other Apple device:

  1. Open up the file that you want to send on your Mac.
  2.  Tap the share button that appears as an arrow exiting a box in the app window. Another option to share is to search the file on Finder, control-click it, and choose the share option from the shortcut menu. Both ways will have the same result.
  3.  Among the sharing options, there will be an option that states “Airdrop.” Tap on it.
  4.  A window will open up. It will list all the devices that you can send the selected file.
  5.  Choose the recipient of the file.

Another way to send files from a Mac is the drag and drop method. All you have to do is:

  1. Open “Finder”
  2.  From the left-hand side options, select “Airdrop.”
  3.  After the Airdrop window is open, you should see the available devices.
  4.  Open up Finder again
  5.  Drag the desired file into the Airdrop window right onto the device you want to send it to.
  6.  This method is much more intuitive and easy to do when in a rush.

How to receive files on a Mac

How to receive files on a Mac

When you receive a file on a Mac, a preview will pop up. This preview is a very nifty feature as you can check if the Airdrop message is from someone you know. To protect your privacy, it is essential that you only accept Airdropped files from people you may know.

However, this is not a concern if you have your settings turned on to “Contacts only.”

After the preview pops open, you can either accept it or Decline it.

Once you accept the file, it will automatically be saved onto your downloads folder. You can easily access it from there whenever you need it.

Benefits of Airdrop

Many benefits come with using AirDrop.

Firstly, this feature does not limit the file size of the item you send. You can send anything through Airdrop, whether photos, videos, documents, or even voice memos.

Secondly, it works via Bluetooth and WiFi. It does not need any wires, which means there is a certain ease to the whole process as it works wirelessly.

Thirdly, AirDrop helps create a seamless flow in your work since you can transfer files without much hassle. This is an invaluable benefit since it protects against data loss, mishandling of files, and in general, photos and videos losing their quality.

Airdropping from Your iPhone to Your Mac

Is it possible to AirDrop 1,000 images or the entire camera roll from my iPhone to my Mac?

Yes, theoretically. However, the rate of success of sharing pictures from iPhone to Mac via AirDrop is dependent on file size. The transmission may take longer than 20 minutes. It is advised that you do not use the iPhone or Mac during this time.

How do you AirDrop your iPhone’s full Camera Roll to your Mac?

  1. On your iPhone, open the Photos program and go to Library > All Photos.
  2. Click Select at the top of the screen > select the first picture > press and hold down on the image> drag your fingers further to select all photographs.
  3. Click the Share button at the bottom > AirDrop > the name of your Mac.
  4. Wait until the transmission is finished.
  5. On your smartphone, press the Done button.

Why doesn’t my Mac appear in AirDrop?

  1. In AirDrop, your Computer is not discoverable.
  2. You fail to turn on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on both devices.
  3. Your Computer is dozing off.
  4. Both sensors are approximately 30 feet apart.
  5. Your Mac’s firewall blocked the inbound connections.
  6. Online Sharing is disabled.
  7. Ascertain that both gadgets are linked to a single Wi-Fi network.

Why Doesn’t AirDrop Function on My Mac?

  1. Your Mac is running an old operating system that doesn’t support AirDrop.
  2. You have changed your Mac’s AirDrop settings to No One.
  3. Incorrect iPhone setup.
  4. When you set AirDrop to Contacts Only, the Computer is not in your contact directory.
  5. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are not working correctly.
  6. Both gadgets are too far apart from one another.
  7. One gadget has faults.

What Should You Do If AirDrop Doesn’t Work?

What if AirDrop abruptly stops working? Examine the following remedies to resolve the problem rapidly.

  1. Check to see if your gadgets are compatible with AirDrop.
  2. Everyone’s AirDrop options should be adjusted.
  3. Enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  4. Check that your devices are switched on.


Where is Airdrop on iPhone?

On an iPhone, you can access the Airdrop feature from either the control center or from the settings.

To access it from the control center, all you have to do is swipe down from the top right. Then tap on the airdrop button to open the menu.

Another way to access it is to go to the settings. Then tap on General. From the General menu, tap on the option that says “Airdrop,” and you are good to go.

Where do Airdrop photos go?

When you airdrop photos, they are automatically transferred to the photos app.

How to turn on Airdrop on iPhone 11?

Airdrop on the iPhone 11 can be turned on the same way as any other iPhone. You can do it either via the control center or settings.

Where is Airdrop?

You can access the airdrop feature through either the control center or the settings.


Knowing how to Airdrop files to and from Apple devices is something that every Apple user must know. It helps save time and makes working on different devices extremely easy and efficient. The Airdrop feature is a huge bonus for those who need to use multiple devices at once.

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.