Top 10 Ways to Fix MacBook Not Showing up in AirDrop.
Your friends want to send you files via AirDrop, but your Mac is not showing up on their devices. What are you doing? First, confirm if the problematic device is your Mac or another.
Try transferring files to your Mac from another device via AirDrop. If the device detects your Mac, then your friend’s device is the problem. However, if your Mac is not showing up on all Apple devices, your Mac is definitely the culprit. The troubleshooting in this guide should get AirDrop working on your Mac.
1. Re-Enable AirDrop and Check Discoverability Settings
Your Mac may not show up on other Apple devices if it’s not configured to receive AIrDrop requests. This may be because AirDrop is disabled or the sender is not a recognized contact. That is, their phone number or iCloud email address is not stored in the Contacts app.
First, make sure AirDrop is enabled on your Mac. Open your Mac’s Control Center and select AirDrop to turn it on.
Detection issues can also occur if there is a temporary glitch with the file transfer feature. In this case, disable AirDrop and enable it again. If the problem persists, check your AirDrop settings to make sure your Mac can be found by everyone, not just your contacts.
Open your Mac’s Control Center, tap the right-arrow icon next to AirDrop, and select Everyone in Discovery Options.
Alternatively, open a Finder window, select AirDrop in the sidebar, tap the Make me discoverable drop-down list, and select Everyone.
2. Check Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Status
To send and receive data via AirDrop, the sender and recipient must have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on. If your MacBook doesn’t show up in the AirDrop window of other Apple devices, make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on on your Mac.
AirDrop doesn’t require an internet connection, so you don’t need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network. Just turn on Wi-Fi.
Select the Wi-Fi icon from your Mac’s Status menu and make sure Wi-Fi is turned on.
If the Wi-Fi icon is not in the menu bar, go to System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi > and select Enable Wi-Fi.
Do the same for Bluetooth and check if that restores your Mac’s AirDrop visibility to other Apple devices.
Select the Bluetooth icon from the Status menu and enable Bluetooth.
If your Mac doesn’t have a Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and select Turn Bluetooth On.
3. Move Your Devices Closer
According to Apple, AirDrop works best when the sending and receiving devices are within 9 meters of each other. Move your Mac closer to the device (or vice versa) and wait a few seconds.
If your Mac still doesn’t show up on the sender’s device, turn off AirDrop, turn it back on, and check again. Make sure you still keep the recommended distance.
4. Confirm Device Compatibility
AirDrop will not work correctly if your devices do not meet the software and hardware requirements for this feature. First, AirDrop works on Mac models released in 2012 or later (excluding 2012 Mac Pros). Also, compatible Macs must be running OS X Yosemite (10.10.5) or later.
Open the Apple menu and select About This Mac to check your Mac’s software and hardware configuration.
If your Mac doesn’t show up in AirDrop despite meeting both requirements, check the compatibility of other devices. AirDrop is designed to work best on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 7 or later.
Go to Settings > General > About to check the software version of your iPhone or iPad.
Update your device if it’s not AirDrop compliant: Go to Settings > General > Software Update to install the iOS update.
5. Disable Do Not Disturb
There are reports that turning on Do Not Disturb may affect AirDrop’s ability to be detected on macOS. Turn off Do Not Disturb and see if your Mac shows up on other Apple devices.
Open Control Center and select Do Not Disturb to turn it off.
You can also disable this feature in your Mac’s notification settings. Go to System Preferences > Notifications & Focus > Focus > Do Not Disturb and turn off Do Not Disturb.
6. Check Firewall Settings
You won’t receive AirDrop requests if your Mac’s firewall is blocking all incoming connections. Check your firewall configuration and change the settings to allow all incoming connections or requests.
Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy and switch to the Firewall tab. Tap the padlock icon in the bottom left corner and unlock security and privacy settings with Touch ID or password.
Select firewall options.
Clear the Block all incoming connections check box and click OK.
Close System Preferences, disable AirDrop, enable it again, and check if your Mac is discoverable via AirDrop.
7. Reboot Your Mac
If all the troubleshooting steps so far haven’t solved the problem, turn off your Mac and turn it back on. Be sure to close all active applications so you don’t lose any unsaved data.
Select the Apple logo in your Mac’s menu bar and choose Restart from the Apple menu.
This will update macOS and possibly fix OS-related issues masking your Mac’s AirDrop visibility. You should also consider restarting other devices that won’t detect your Mac via AirDrop.
8. Update or Downgrade Your Mac
macOS updates come with bug fixes, new features, and performance improvements. If AirDrop is malfunctioning due to a bug in your Mac’s operating system, installing the latest macOS update should fix the issue.
Open System Preferences, select Software Update, and install any update available on the page.
macOS updates are also notorious for breaking certain Mac features when they are just released. If other devices stop detecting your Mac in AirDrop after installing a macOS update, please report the issue to Apple Support.
In the meantime, you can downgrade your Mac to a previous version and reinstall the update when Apple releases a stable version.
9. Reset Network Settings on Mac
Issues with your Mac’s Wi-Fi settings can affect AirDrop and other network-dependent features. Follow these steps to update Wi-Fi on Mac.
Go to System Preferences > Network, select Wi-Fi in the sidebar, and select the minus icon below the list.
Click Apply to save your changes.
Tap the plus sign to add Wi-Fi back to the connections list.
Select Wi-Fi from the “Interface” drop-down menu.
Click “Apply” to repair the Wi-Fi network module on your Mac.
10. Reset Your Macâ€™s Bluetooth
Bluetooth issues are sometimes the cause of AirDrop crashes. Resetting Bluetooth settings on Mac can fix Bluetooth and AirDrop issues.
Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities and double click Terminal.
Paste the sudo pkill bluetoothd command into the terminal console and press Return to execute the command.
Enter your Mac password and press Enter to continue.
This will disable all Bluetooth connections and devices, update your Mac’s Bluetooth, and possibly fix the problem with AirDrop.
Troubleshoot the Other Device
If your Mac still doesn’t show up in AirDrop when transferring from Mac to Mac, try these troubleshooting fixes on another Mac. For more solutions for iOS devices, see our guide to fix AirDrop issues from iPhone to Mac.
Top 10 Ways to Fix MacBook Not Showing up in AirDrop
Top 10 Ways to Fix MacBook Not Showing up in AirDrop