Do you have multiple Apple devices and need to quickly move a specific file between them? A friend sitting next to you asked you to send him the photo taken a moment ago, but you don’t have an Internet connection at your disposal to take advantage of the apps you usually use in this case and you don’t know how to do it? Well, if the answer to these and other similar questions is yes, I have good, indeed excellent news to give you: you can count on AirDrop. How do you say? Don’t you have the faintest idea what it is and above all how to exploit it? But you don’t have to worry! I’m here, ready to give you all the explanations you need and to show you in detail how AirDrop works .
Before providing you with all the explanations of the case, however, it seems only right to tell you what it is, exactly. In a nutshell, AirDrop is a tool available on iOS / iPadOS and on macOS thanks to which users with Apple devices and meeting specific requirements can share photos, videos, websites, locations and much more between nearby devices in a really great way. simple. AirDrop therefore assumes a role in some ways similar to the practice, so popular until a few years ago, of activating and using the Bluetooth module on mobile phones and computers to exchange photos, images and music without cables and various complications.
Having specified this, if you are therefore really willing to investigate the matter, I suggest you take a few minutes of fear free and concentrate carefully on reading this guide. I am sure that in the end you will be able to tell yourself more than satisfied with the notions learned and that you too, like many other users, will finally have clear ideas about how this fantastic tool works. Are you ready? Yes? Very well, let’s ban the chatter and proceed!
- Requirements for using AirDrop
- How AirDrop works on iPhone and iPad
- Activate and configure AirDrop
- Share with AirDrop
- How AirDrop works on Mac
- Activate and configure AirDrop
- Share with AirDrop
- Why AirDrop doesn’t work
Requirements for using AirDrop
To be able to understand how AirDrop works and to be able to use it you must first make sure that the device in your possession has the necessary requirements to be able to work with this tool. To share content with AirDrop you must have an i Phone, iPad or iPod Touch with iOS 7 or later or iPadOS or a Mac with OS X Yosemite or later or with macOS Sierra and later . In particular:
- MacBook Pro (late 2008 or newer), excluding the 17-inch late 2008 model
- MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 or newer), excluding the White Late 2008 MacBook
- iMac (early 2009 or newer)
- Mac mini (mid 2010 or newer)
- Mac Pro (early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card or mid 2010)
- iPhone (5 or later)
- iPad (4th generation or later)
- iPad mini (all models)
- iPad Pro (all models)
- iPod touch (5th generation or later)
Also note that to share files between a Mac and an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch you need the following devices and operating systems:
- Mac from 2012 or later (excluding Mac Pro Mid 2012) with OS X Yosemite or later
- iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 7 or iPadOS or later
If you are using a Mac, also make sure that on your computer the Go menu located at the top left of the screen includes the entry AirDrop .
If you are using an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch instead, access the center of Control Center by swiping from the top right corner of the screen downwards on devices with Face ID and from bottom to top on devices with Face ID. devices with Touch ID, press and hold the Wi-Fi icon (the one with the cleats ) and make sure there is the AirDrop button .
It is then necessary to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth , proceeding as I indicated in my specific guides on how to activate Wi-Fi and how to activate Bluetooth .
Also keep in mind that if you want to share content with your contacts it is essential that you also access your iCloud account , proceeding as I explained in my guide specifically dedicated to how to use iCloud .
How AirDrop works on iPhone and iPad
At this point I would say that here we are, we can finally get to the heart of the guide and, therefore, go and find out, in practice, how AirDrop works on iPhone and iPad . To find out more, keep reading, you will find everything explained in detail below.
Activate and configure AirDrop
If you are using an iOS / iPadOS device and want to activate and configure AirDrop, simply access the Control Center , swiping from the top right corner of the screen downwards on devices with Face ID or from bottom to top on devices with Touch ID, press the Wi-Fi icon (the one with the cleats ) and tap the AirDrop icon . From the menu that opens then choose whether to receive items from anyone ( Everyone ) or only from people included in your contacts ( Contacts only )
Alternatively, you can access the home screen and / or the iOS App Library, click on the Settings icon (the one with the gear ), select the General item , then the AirDrop item and make your choice from the next screen.
The choice of the option to share items with anyone or only with your contacts varies according to what are the needs of the moment. If you need to share content with a person who is not in the Contacts app, click on the first option, while if the person you want to share content with is among your contacts, select the second option.
Clearly, keep in mind that the option to share content with anyone who is nearby and meets AriDrop’s requirements is not exactly the best in security and confidentiality. By choosing this option, in fact, any user could have access to what you want to share. Therefore, I suggest you use this option only if strictly necessary.
Share with AirDrop
Let’s see, now, how to share content with AirDrop from iPhone and iPad. To do this, go to the screen for what you want to send and tap on the sharing icon (the one in the shape of a square with an upward arrow on it ) or on the Share item . Then select the AirDrop item and then the name of the user or Apple device nearby you want to interact with.
Once sharing has started, the other user will receive an alert with a preview of the content you want to share and can accept or decline. If the other user accepts and is using an iOS / iPadOS device, they will get the content in the app you sent it from. As a practical example, photos will appear in the Photos app and websites will open in Safari . If the other user accepts and is using a Mac, the item will be saved in the Downloads folder .
How AirDrop works on Mac
Now let’s move on to the Mac side and let’s find out how AirDrop works on the computers of the “bitten apple”. Find all the explanations you need right below.
Activate and configure AirDrop
If you have a Mac and it is your intention to activate and configure AirDrop, click on the Go menu located in the upper left part of the screen and click on the AirDrop item . Once this is done, you will be shown a Finder window . If Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on, you can start using AirDrop right away. If, on the other hand, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi are turned off, you will be shown a button to enable them. If so, click on it.
If you need to receive files from people not included in the Contacts app, use the Allow Find Me To setting at the bottom of the AirDrop window.
Also with regard to the Mac side, I would like to point out that the option to share content with anyone who is nearby and meets the requirements of AriDrop is not to be preferred and should be used only if strictly necessary. By choosing this option, in fact, any user is able to have access to what you intend to share.
Share with AirDrop
At this point, I would say that you are finally ready to start sharing your content using this special feature from Apple on macOS.
All you have to do is drag the item or items you want to share onto the recipient image in the Finder window labeled as AirDrop . That’s all!
As an alternative to the procedure just indicated, you can share content using AirDrop on Mac also simply by clicking with the right mouse button on the file you want to send, choosing the Share item attached to the displayed menu and then pressing on AirDrop . If you are using an app that supports AirDrop, you can also click on the Share icon (the one in the shape of a square with an up arrow on it ) and choose AirDrop from the menu that appears. Then select a recipient from the AirDrop sheet and then click on the Finish item .
Even on macOS, once sharing is started, the other user will receive a warning with a preview of the content you want to share and can accept or decline. If the other user accepts and is using an iOS / iPadOS device, they will get the content in the app you sent it from.
Why AirDrop doesn’t work
Are you wondering why AirDrop doesn’t work and why can’t you see the recipient in the AirDrop window or sheet? Try to put into practice the directions you find below, in order to try to cope with it.
- Make sure that on both devices you intend to use to exchange files using AirDrop the function in question is active and that the distance between the devices does not exceed 9 meters.
- If you are sending an item to an iPhone or iPad please note that the personal hotspot function must be deactivated on the latter. To do this, simply go to the iOS / iPadOS Settingssection , select the Personal Hotspot option and make sure that the switch next to the wording Allow others to access is set to OFF .
- If you’re sending an item to a 2012 or older Mac, click the item Don’t find who you’re looking for? present in the AirDrop share window or sheet of the sending computer then click Search for an older Mac .
- Check if the Block all incoming connections settingis active on your Mac. If so, disable it as it prevents the computer from receiving items via AirDrop. To check if the function is active on Mac, access System Preferences , click on Security and Privacy , select Firewall , click on the padlock located at the bottom and type the password for your user account and then click on the Firewall Options button .
If you need more details, I suggest you consult the section of the Apple website dedicated to support , more precisely the one focused on AirDrop on iPhone and iPad and on Mac .
If you continue to experience problems, I suggest you get in direct contact with Apple ‘s assistance . You can do this in various ways, namely: by phone, via chat, by going to the Apple Store in person, etc. For more details, see my tutorial dedicated specifically to contacting Apple .