How to use AirDrop on iPhone and Mac

The capability to AirDrop files seamlessly among your devices — and even the devices of other Apple users — are among the most powerful and helpful functions of Apple products. AirDrop helps you save time when transmitting huge files like movies and music.

As long as your devices’ settings are established appropriately, you can effortlessly AirDrop files from your Mac to your iPhone and vice versa. Here’s a step-by-step instruction to using AirDrop, as well as some troubleshooting tips.

Things to Consider

You should verify a few things before using AirDrop to ensure that you can easily transmit material. The first step is to ensure that the receiving device is nearby and within Bluetooth or Wi-Fi range, which means it must be switched on.  

You should also make sure the recipient’s device isn’t linked to a Personal Hotspot, as this will prevent AirDrop from working. Then, double-check that the device you’re transmitting is configured to receive AirDrop from Contacts Only.

If it does, and you’re in its Contacts, ensure your Apple ID’s email address or cell number is included in that device’s contact card for AirDrop to operate. If it doesn’t, the device’s AirDrop reception setting must be changed to Everyone to accept files.

First, you need to go to settings and select “General” and then AirDrop, where you’ll find all your discovery choices. This page is also accessible through the control center on an iPhone. Scroll down from the top right corner, press and hold the Bluetooth button, then press and hold the AirDrop button again.

AirDrop on iPhone

AirDrop on iPhone

The process for utilizing AirDrop on iPhone varies significantly depending on which iPhone generation you have, but solely on the shortcuts available on iPhone 11 and beyond.

To begin, launch an app and locate the material you wish to share. Then press the Share button, which is usually represented by a square box with an upward-pointing arrow extending from it. Swipe right or left to choose several photographs when sharing a photo from the Photos app.

After that, press the AirDrop button, which resembles a radar symbol. If your iPhone – and the device you wish to share it with – is a model newer than iPhone 11, just aim your iPhone in the location of the other iPhone to link it immediately (a giant arrow sign will appear at the top of the screen). To share your selected material, tap the user’s profile image on that device.  

Except for the increased feature of point-to-pair, the approach remains the same for iPhone generations previous to the iPhone 11.

If the AirDrop button has a red numbered badge, it suggests several devices around that you can connect with. Select the individual you wish to connect to by tapping the AirDrop button.

Accept AirDrop

If your device is searchable, you’ll receive notifications with a preview when someone uses AirDrop to share anything with you. You have the option to accept or decline.

If you approve the AirDrop, it will appear in the same app from which it was delivered. Pictures appear in the Photos app, and webpages open in Safari, for example. App links take you to the App Store, where you can download or buy apps for your device.

You won’t see a choice to Accept or Decline if you AirDrop something to yourself, such as a photo from your iPhone to your Mac, because it will be instantly transferred to your device. Simply ensure that both devices are signed in to the same account.

AirDrop on Mac

AirDrop on Mac

Things are simple and easy on the Mac. You can share to a Mac in the same way you can share to another iPhone if it has Bluetooth.

AirDropping material from a Mac to an iPhone is also simple. Open AirDrop in the Finder window by hitting the Finder icon or using the Search key to look for it. Once there, down the bottom of the window, you’ll see the same discovery choices as the iPhone (Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone).

AirDrop on macOS allows you to transfer things in two ways. The first one is a straightforward drag-and-drop process. Drag an icon into the AirDrop window from the Finder. Any accessible devices will display in the window, allowing you to easily drag the symbol to them.

Second, you can activate the Share button the same way you do on iOS. It’ll appear in the upper right corner of most applications, including Photos, and will allow you to select a device to send it to.

AirDropping More than 1000 Photos

AirDropping More than 1000 Photos

There is no mentioned limit to the number of photographs you can transfer via AirDrop. However, how vast your data are and how powerful both of your devices are will determine your success. You probably wouldn’t be able to use both devices while the data is being transferred, which might take up to 20 minutes.

Privacy and Screen Time

Your device’s privacy or screen time settings may prevent AirDrop from finding your device.

Go to Settings, Screen Time, and then Content & Privacy Restrictions if you see Receiving Off and can’t alter it. Check that AirDrop is enabled under Allowed Apps.

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