Setting up AirDrop

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By Erric Buttlar

With AirDrop, you can easily transfer images, documents, and other files between two Apple devices. However, you do need to turn it on before you can use it.

When you use Apple AirDrop, you can easily transfer content between iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, and Macs. Users can also AirDrop website links, wallet passes, Apple Maps locations, and pretty much anything they would like to share via Share Sheet.

Follow these steps to enable AirDrop on your iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac.

iPhone and iPad AirDrop

On Apple mobile devices, the process of using AirDrop consists of just a few steps.

  1. Make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on both devices before you begin. Remove Personal Hotspot too.
  2. Setting up AirDrop
  3. In the upper-right corner of the screen, swipe down from the bottom of the screen or swipe up from the bottom to open the Control Center.
  4. When you hold the tray, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are accessible.
  5. You will see a drop-down menu with the AirDrop icon.
  6. Go to “Contacts Only”.
  7. You can now see the blue AirDrop button.
  8. You may not be able to send or receive content immediately via AirDrop depending on whether “Contacts Only” or “Everyone” was selected.

The first option requires both devices to be signed in to iCloud. It must have the same email addresses or phone numbers as the sending device.

The “Everyone” setting does not require any prerequisites. Therefore, it’s usually a good idea to leave that off.

Turn on AirDrop on Mac

A Mac can also be enabled for AirDrop, but you will need to enable WiFi and Bluetooth.

The top menu bar shows Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Click on the icons to turn them on.

You can, alternatively, select the Networks or Bluetooth options in the System Preferences menu to enable your connectivity settings if Bluetooth or Wi-Fi aren’t visible in the menu bar of the Mac.

  • Enable AirDrop after you’ve turned on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You can do that in Control Center on macOS Big Sur and later.
  • Enabling AirDrop in Mac OS X
  • On the top menu bar, click Control Center.
  • Press AirDrop.
  • Click the toggle to turn it on.
  • Turn AirDrop on or off.

Finder is the best place to enable AirDrop on older macOS versions without Control Center.

The AirDrop icon in Finder activates AirDrop

Launch Finder and create a new window.

There will be an option to drop items using AirDrop.

Select a search engine that suits your needs.

Please select the option “Contacts Only” or “Everyone”.

Sending and receiving files using AirDrop should now work without having to switch between Control Center and Finder. It is important to maintain in mind that the “Contacts Only” and “Everyone” settings function similarly on macOS and iOS.


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