Airdrop not working on iPhone or MacBook? – How to fix it

AirDrop, the popular file-sharing feature on iOS and macOS devices, has revolutionized the way we transfer photos, videos, documents, and more. Its seamless and quick transfer capabilities have made it a go-to method for Apple users around the world. However, like any technology, AirDrop can sometimes encounter issues that hinder its smooth functionality. If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of AirDrop not working when you need it the most, fear not! In this comprehensive troubleshooting guide, we will explore various tips and techniques to help you resolve common AirDrop issues. Whether you’re trying to send files from your iPhone to a friend’s iPad or from your Mac to an iPhone, these troubleshooting tips will empower you to regain control of your AirDrop and enjoy seamless file sharing once again. So, let’s dive in and discover how to troubleshoot AirDrop and get it back to working flawlessly!

How to fix AirDrop not working on iPhone

Tip 1: Make Sure the Receiving iPhone is Unlocked

Ensure that both iPhones are powered on and unlocked when attempting to AirDrop a photo or video to a friend or receiving an AirDrop request. A locked iPhone will not be visible to others, and if you receive the request while your phone is locked, you won’t see the notification pop-up.

Important Tip: Ensure that both the iPhones, or iPhone to iPad, or vice versa, are in close proximity to each other.

Tip 2: Disable Check Do Not Disturb

Ensure that Do Not Disturb mode is turned off on both devices, as it can interfere with AirDrop functionality.

Tip 3: Keep devices in close Proximity

Make sure the devices you are trying to AirDrop to are within close proximity to each other, preferably within 30 feet (9 meters).

Tip 4: Check AirDrop Settings

Ensure that your AirDrop Receiving is not turned off, as this setting will prevent anyone from sharing anything with your iPhone. Instead, make sure that your AirDrop is set to either “Contacts Only” or “Everyone” for a duration of 10 minutes to allow seamless sharing.

How to Adjust Airdrop Settings on iPhone and iPad

  1. Click on Settings on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌
  2. Scroll down and tap General
  3. Tap AirDrop
  4. Select Everyone for 10 Minutes

How to Adjust AirDrop Settings on Mac

  1. Navigate to the top menu options and Click on ‘Go’
  2. Select AirDrop or use the keyboard combination Command-Shift-R to open it.
  3. Click the setting prefaced with Allow me to be discovered by and select Everyone from the drop-down menu.

Important Tip: In the latest iOS version, if you have enabled receiving from everyone, Apple has automatically set the duration to 10 minutes by default. This measure is in place to protect you from becoming a victim of unsolicited AirDrop shares.

Tip 5: Turn Off Your Wi-Fi Hotspot

There is a possibility that you and your friend are using the Personal Hotspot connection on your iPhone to share internet access over Wi-Fi. However, it’s essential to be aware that enabling the Personal Hotspot will automatically disable the AirDrop functionality, making it unavailable. To successfully AirDrop a file to another iPhone, ensure that your Personal Hotspot is disabled.

Tip 6: Restart Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Have you ever wondered how AirDrop works on your iOS devices? It utilizes both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to transfer files over the air. If you encounter any issues with sharing files through AirDrop, try disabling both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and then re-enable them. Doing so increases the likelihood that your AirDrop will function properly again.

Tip 7: Reset Network Settings

Often, iPhone users attempt to fix the “AirDrop not working” problem by restarting Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but they still encounter the issue. If you are facing Wi-Fi connection problems, one method you can try is to reset the network settings on your device.

Steps To Reset Network Settings

  • Step 1: Open “Settings” and Click “General”
  • Step 2: Choose “Reset” and tap on “Reset Network Settings”

Tip 8: Re-Sign in iCloud

If your AirDrop is not functioning correctly, try resolving the issue by signing out and back into your iCloud account. To do this, open the “Settings”, tap on your name, and navigate to “iCloud.” First, sign out from your iCloud account, then sign back in again. This process may help fix the problem with AirDrop.

Tip 9: Restart Your Device

“If nothing works – Restart” – If none of the previously mentioned solutions have resolved the issue, it’s worth considering a restart of your devices. A restart can be necessary, particularly if you recently made changes to your settings, encountered an intermittent glitch, or experienced a recent update that might be causing the AirDrop problem.

  • To perform a restart on your iPhone, simply turn the device off and then switch it on again.
  • You can also restart your iPad or your Mac to potentially resolve any AirDrop issues and get your device running smoothly.

Tip 10: Update the iOS Version

There is a possibility that one of your iPhones or iOS devices is an older model and not compatible with AirDrop for file transfer. In such a case, ensure that both devices are updated with the latest iOS version. To update to the latest version, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Settings
  • Select General
  • Tap on “Software Update’ to get the latest iOS version.

AirDrop not working on Mac – Here’s How to Fix It

Tip 1: Check the Firewall settings on your Mac

If you are attempting to AirDrop files to a Mac but it doesn’t appear as an option on the sending device, it could be due to the strictness of your Mac’s firewall settings. In this case, consider adjusting the firewall settings on your Mac to allow AirDrop connections. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click on ‘Apple Menu’
  2. Open “System Preferences”
  3. Click on “Security & Privacy.”
  4. Go to the “Firewall” tab.
  5. Click on the lock icon and enter your administrator password to make changes.
  6. Check the “Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections” option is enabled.
  7. Additionally, you can temporarily turn off the firewall by clicking the “Turn Off Firewall” button, but remember to turn it back on later for security purposes.

Tip 2: Hard Reset Your Device

If none of the above solutions have successfully resolved the AirDrop issues on your iOS device, it may be time to perform a hard reset on your device. After the hard reset, set up the device again and then try the AirDrop sharing once more. This process can help reset any lingering settings or configurations that might be causing the problem with AirDrop. However, before proceeding with a hard reset, make sure to back up your data to avoid any potential data loss during the process.

What to do if AirDrop is still Not Working

If you’ve tried all the aforementioned steps and your AirDrop issue persists, it’s possible that there might be an underlying Bluetooth or Wi-Fi hardware problem. In such cases, it’s best to seek assistance from Apple Support or visit your nearest Apple Service. Their expert technicians can run a thorough diagnostic check on your device to identify and address any hardware-related issues affecting AirDrop functionality. Remember, seeking professional help from Apple experts ensures a precise diagnosis and tailored solutions, giving you the best chance to get your AirDrop up and running flawlessly once again. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support, as resolving any hardware concerns promptly can save you time and frustration in the long run.


AirDrop is a convenient and powerful feature that allows seamless file sharing between Apple devices. However, users may encounter issues where AirDrop refuses to cooperate. Fortunately, there are several effective tips and troubleshooting steps to resolve these problems and get AirDrop working smoothly again. Remember that AirDrop works best when all devices are running the latest software and are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Additionally, AirDrop between iOS devices requires Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, while AirDrop between a Mac and iOS device requires a compatible Mac and OS X Yosemite or later.


How do I fix AirDrop on my iPhone?

To resolve AirDrop issues on your device, start by checking its compatibility. AirDrop will only function if your device is compatible with the feature. Next, review your AirDrop settings to ensure it is properly configured. Verify that both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on your device, as AirDrop relies on both technologies for seamless file sharing. Additionally, disable the Personal Hotspot feature, as it can interfere with AirDrop functionality. If the problem persists, consider performing a hard reset on your device, which can help reset any lingering settings causing the issue. Following these steps can help you get AirDrop working smoothly and effortlessly on your iPhone or other Apple devices.

Why is my AirDrop stuck on waiting?

It could be because Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on one of the devices is not turned on, or the personal hotspot is still enabled. These simple things can cause AirDrop to get stuck on waiting or prevent files from being shared. So, always make sure to check that both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are on and that the personal hotspot is disabled to ensure smooth and hassle-free AirDrop file sharing.

Why do my airdrops keep failing?

AirDrop issues can sometimes be caused by minor glitches or bugs in your iOS device or Mac. To troubleshoot these errors quickly, the best approach is to restart both your iPhone and Mac. Once they have been restarted, try sending the files again through AirDrop, and with any luck, the problem should be resolved, and AirDrop will function smoothly. Restarting your devices is a simple yet effective way to tackle such issues and get back to seamless file sharing using AirDrop.

Why can’t my AirDrop find anyone?

Well, it might be because the recipient’s device is set to only accept AirDrop from contacts, and unfortunately, you are not listed in their Contacts app. In such cases, you won’t be able to see their device as an option for AirDrop. The good news is, you can still send them a request to be added to their Contacts list and once accepted, AirDrop should work seamlessly between your devices.

Why is iPhone declining AirDrop?

It could occur due to a minor glitch or bug in either your iOS device or Mac can be why AirDrop declined.

How far does AirDrop work?

Phones that have AirDrop enabled can effortlessly share files with each other even from a distance of up to 30 feet, regardless of whether they are in each other’s contact lists. This feature allows seamless and convenient file sharing between devices without the need for any prior contact information exchange.

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