Turn AirDrop On / Off – Apple iPhone.
If you’re using an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, AirDrop is the fastest way to share documents, photos, and links with nearby Apple devices. It’s built into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS so you don’t have to install anything to get started.
If you haven’t used AirDrop before, this guide will show you what you need to do to set up Apple’s proprietary file transfer service on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
AirDrop is available on all the latest iPhones, iPads and Macs. These include:
iPhone 5 and iPad (3rd generation) or later with iOS 7 or later. To check your iOS or iPadOS version, open the Settings app and go to General > Software Update. Any MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro 2012 (except 2012 Mac Pro) or later with OS X Yosemite or later. To find the make and year of your Mac, open the Apple menu and select About This Mac.
The sending and receiving devices must be compatible with AirDrop. For example, you can’t send a file from your iPhone to a 2011 or earlier Mac. Also, both devices must not be more than 9 feet apart.
Activate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
If you’re using an AirDrop-enabled iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you should start by making sure your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios are active. This also applies to the other device you want to share content with via AirDrop.
To check the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth status on an iPhone or iPad, start by scrolling down from the top right corner of the screen. Instead, double-click the Home button if your iPhone uses Touch ID. In the Control Center that appears, make sure both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are active. If not, click to activate them.
On a Mac, select the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth status icons and make sure both radios are active. If you’re using a Mac with macOS Big Sur or later installed, open the Control Center to display the status icons.
[02 – Mac Control Center]
Note. You don’t need to connect your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to a Wi-Fi network to enable AirDrop. Simply activate the Wi-Fi radio.
Set AirDrop Preferences
By activating Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you can instantly send documents, photos, and links to other Apple devices wirelessly. However, if you plan to receive items via AirDrop, you must adjust your AirDrop settings. They consist of the following:
Nobody/Receiving Disabled: Prevents your iPhone, iPad, or Mac from broadcasting itself as an AirDrop device. You can still send items via AirDrop to another device that has AirDrop set to Contacts Only or Everyone. Contacts Only. Restricts AirDrop receiving to contacts only – You will only appear as an AirDrop device if you appear as a contact on the sender’s device. However, the contact card must contain the email address or phone number associated with your Apple ID. Everyone: Your device is public. Use this option if you want to receive the item via AirDrop without including the sender as a contact. You may be receiving unsolicited AirDrop requests, so it’s best to revert back to Contacts Only or Nobody Accepts as soon as possible. Managing Airdrop Settings – iPhone and iPad
Method 1: Open the Settings app and go to General > AirDrop. Then choose between Receiving Disabled, Contacts Only, and Everyone.
Method 2: Press and hold any network icon in Control Center to open the AirDrop icon. Then press and hold the AirDrop icon and select AirDrop settings. You can also quickly tap the AirDrop icon to turn AirDrop receiving on or off.
Manage Airdrop Settings – Mac
Method 1: Open a new Finder window and select AirDrop from the sidebar. Then set the Allow Discovery option to Nobody, Contacts Only, or Everyone.
Method 2: On Mac computers with macOS Big Sur or later, you can open Control Center from the menu bar and expand AirDrop. Then use the AirDrop toggle to turn AirDrop receipt on or off, or choose between “Contacts Only” and “Everyone”.
Add or Edit Contacts
If AirDrop is set to Contacts Only, you must add the sender as a contact in the Contacts app to receive items. To add a contact, open the Contacts app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, tap the Add Contact icon, enter your details (must include an email address or phone number), and tap Done.
If the sender is already listed in the Contacts app, make sure the card contains the email address or phone number associated with the sender’s iCloud account. After that, it is recommended to sync contacts to iPhone and Mac or vice versa.
Send Files via AirDrop
AirDrop is accessed through a shared sheet in most native and third-party apps on iPadOS and iOS devices. For example, in the Photos app, select the photo or photos (tap the Select button in the top right corner of the screen) that you want to share and tap the Share icon (the box with the arrow coming out from the top). Then click AirDrop and select the person or device you want to send the items to.
Note. When sharing a web page through a browser, you don’t have to select anything. AirDrop will automatically capture the URL of the open tab.
The same goes for a Mac with standard apps like Photos, Safari, and Notes â€” find and click the Share button, then select AirDrop.
In the AirDrop pop-up that appears, select the device you want to share files or links with.
You can also transfer files and folders to macOS devices by dragging the items you want to the recipient’s portrait in the AirDrop window in the Finder.
Again, the recipient’s AirDrop settings must be set to Contacts Only or Everyone. If it’s the former, your name or email address must be present in their Contacts app. The recipient must also accept the transfer. If you’re sending AirDrop files to your devices, you don’t need to receive anything.
Receive Files via AirDrop
If you want to receive files via AirDrop, AirDrop settings must be set to Contacts Only or Everyone. When using the former, just be sure to include the sender’s email address or phone number in the Contacts app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
When a person transfers documents, photos, and links via AirDrop, your Apple device will alert you with a prompt or notificationâ€”just tap Accept.
On iPhone and iPad, incoming items usually open in the appropriate app (such as Photos, Notes, or Safari) or you’re asked to save them to a specific location in the Files app. On a Mac, the AirDrop transfer will appear in your Downloads folder. Again, if you’re receiving an AirDrop from a device you own, you don’t need to accept the transfer.
AirDrop Setup Complete
As you’ve just seen, AirDrop is ridiculously easy to use thanks to its own set of privacy restrictions. If you also have an Android device, you can learn about a similar service – Neighborhood Sharing.
However, if you encounter any problems with AirDrop, you should know how to troubleshoot the sending or receiving device. For example, activating Personal Hotspot on your iPhone or iPad may prevent you from sending or receiving files. For a complete list of possible causes and solutions, see our Troubleshooting Guide for AirDrop on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Turn AirDrop On / Off – Apple iPhone
Turn AirDrop On / Off – Apple iPhone