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How to Turn On AirDrop and Use It on an iPhone and Mac

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AirDrop makes it easy to wirelessly transfer files, photos, and videos from your iPhone or Mac. AirDrop can be used to share files with family and friends, provided they have an Apple device. This article will show you how to activate AirDrop and how it can be used to transfer files between an iPhone and a Mac.

What is AirDrop?

AirDrop uses Bluetooth to establish a WiFi network between two Apple devices. AirDrop requires two Apple devices to be within Bluetooth range (approximately 30 feet according to Apple).

Both devices must also have Bluetooth and WiFi on and AirDrop enabled.

How to turn on AirDrop for an iPhone

Open the Control Center and swipe up on older models of iPhones or iPads. Or, swipe down from the top-right corner for iPhone Xs or later to turn on AirDrop. Next, tap and hold on to the WiFi button. Select AirDrop and select who can send files.

  1. Open Control Center on your iPhone. On an iPhone X or a later model, you can open the Control Center by swiping from the top-right corner. You can also open the Control Center if you have an older iPhone by moving your finger up from the bottom.
  2. Next, tap and hold on to the WiFi button. The WiFi signal will appear as three lines of blue in the upper-left corner.
    Notable: This will tell you if both your WiFi and Bluetooth have been turned on. You can toggle them on or off by tapping the respective icons.
  3. Next tap AirDrop.
  4. Choose who can send files to your device. Contacts only will limit the people you can receive files from to your Contacts list. If you select Everyone any Apple device within range of your device can transfer files. Select Receiving Off to turn AirDrop off anytime.

Note: If Receiving Off is all you see and you don’t want to change it, go to Settings > screen time > Content and Privacy Restrictions. Select Allowed applications then tap the slider beside AirDrop. If it turns green, you will know that it is enabled.

How to Turn on AirDrop on a Mac

Right-click on any part of your desktop to turn on AirDrop. Next, click Go and then select from the drop-down menu. Next, click Allow Me to Be Identified at the bottom of the popup window. Choose who can send files directly to your Mac.

Notification: AirDrop requires that your Mac has Bluetooth and WiFi turned on in order to be used. Click the Apple icon at the top-left corner and choose System Preferences. Select Bluetooth > Make Bluetooth Available to or Network > Wi-Fi > Make Wi-Fi Available To.

  1. Right-click any place on your Mac desktop. You can also open the Finder window on Mac.
  2. Next, click In the Apple Menu Bar. This will appear at the top of your screen.
  3. Next, choose AirDrop. To skip the previous step, you can press the Command + Shift+ R keys simultaneously on your keyboard.
  4. Click To be found by. This will appear at the bottom of the pop-up window.
  5. Choose who can send files to your device. Contacts only will limit the people you can receive files from to your Contacts list. If you select Everyone any Apple device within range of your device can send files to your device via AirDrop. Select Receiving Off to turn AirDrop off anytime.

AirDrop from an iPhone to a Mac

AirDrop can be used to transfer files between an iPhone and another iPhone or Mac. Open the file you wish to share on your iPhone. Next, tap the share button. Finally, select AirDrop. Next, select the device to which you wish to send the file.

  1. Select a file from your iPhone to AirDrop. You can use the Camera or the Photos app to share a picture.
  2. Next, tap the Share button. This icon looks like a small box with an upward-pointing arrow. This icon can be found in various places on the screen depending on what you are trying to share. It can be found by tapping and holding the text or images button.
  3. Next tap AirDrop. This will appear in a row alongside other apps.
  4. Next, choose the device to which you wish to send the files. If you have the recipient’s name and photograph in your contacts, you will be able to see their device next to it. If not, you’ll only see a grey circle with the initials of the owner underneath it.
  5. The files will then be transferred to the Downloads folder of a Mac.

Notification: It depends on whom you are sending files, they may need to confirm AirDrop by tapping the Accept link in the pop-up message.

How to AirDrop from Mac to iPhone

Open a Finder window, select a file or folder and use AirDrop for file transfer from one Mac to another Mac. Next, click the Share icon in the top left corner of the Finder window. Select AirDrop. Next, select the device to which you wish to send files.

  1. Choose a file from your Mac to AirDrop.
  2. Next, click the Share link at the top right of the Finder window. This icon is the one with the arrow that points up from a box. This icon is grayed out. Make sure you select the file that you wish to AirDrop.
  3. Next, select AirDrop.
  4. Next, double-click the iPhone recipient in the list. If you share a photo or video with the iPhone, it will be sent directly to the Photos app.

You can also use the steps below to send files directly from Mac.

  1. Open a browser window.
  2. Next, select AirDrop in the left sidebar. You can also select Finder to see the Command + Comakeys option. Click the Sidebar tab, and then check the box next AirDrop.
  3. Drag a file onto your profile picture of the recipient to which you wish to send files .
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