What is AirDrop? - A Definitive Guide to Turn on AirDrop and Use AirDrop on iPhone, iPad and Mac

by Shannon |Aug 19,2016..

Want to send a photo, video, location, contact, or more to another iPhone, iPad, or Mac? AirDrop makes it absolutely more convenient!

To start with, we should know what is AirDrop?

AirDrop allows you to transfer files between iPhones, iPads, and Macs both quickly and easily. Why? Because it relies on Bluetooth LE to broadcast, discover, and negotiate connections, and point-to-point Wi-Fi to transfer data, which makes the transmission procedure fast, power-efficient, and secure. What’s more, when you use AirDrop between iPhones and iPads, you will find it incredibly handy in that you can AirDrop photos, videos, contacts, Passbook passes, Voice Memos, Map locations, and anything that appears on a Share sheet.

How to turn on AirDrop on iPad or iPhone

AirDrop provides you choices on enabling it for just your contacts or for everyone. On one hand, "Contacts" requires more work, as you and the person you want to AirDrop with both have to have logged into iCloud and be in each other's Contacts. On the other hand, "Everyone" is somewhat easier but it means strangers are able to send you prank AirDrops.

To Turn on AirDrop on iPad and iPhone, you need to follow the steps below:

Step 1: Launch Control Center by swiping up from the bottom bezel of your iPhone or iPad.

Step 2: Confirm that both the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are active. So if they're not, please initiate them by tapping them. (Actually you don't really have to be on a Wi-Fi network. What you need is just to switch the Wi-Fi button on so that you can transfer things).

Step 3: Tap on "AirDrop".

Step 4: On the user’s interface of AirDrop you can choose how visible your device is when sharing files through AirDrop:

l  Tap "Off" if you do not want people to be able to share files with you.

l  Tap "Contacts Only" to only share files with your contacts.

l  Tap "Everyone" to share files with anyone.

AirDrop.PNG

 How to AirDrop files from your iPhone or iPad

Get an iPhone or iPad app that includes the built-in Share sheet, which allows you to AirDrop files to any devices that show up in the Share sheet.

1.       Pinpoint the file you'd like to send by AirDrop(i.e. a photo).

2.       Tap the "Share" button, which looks like a box with an arrow sticking out of the top, on the bottom right of your screen.

3.       Tap the person(their device name showed on your list) you want to share with.


share photos with airdrop.PNG

Note: If you choose "Contacts Only", make sure you’ve logged into iCloud. Apple won't share your contacts with any other devices to get a match; it'll check the iCloud accounts of both you and your contact instead. So if there’s a match, it'll notify you by showing your own version of the contact on your own device. Thus no data get leaked that way.

Furthermore, if you select "Everyone", even though your device is highly visible to other devices, you will always be prompted when someone is trying to share files with you through AirDrop. Besides, if you don't recognize the sender, or do not want to receive the files, you can always choose not to accept them.

Files sent through AirDrop will be stored in corresponding apps. For instance, photos will show up in Photos

How to block AirDrop with restrictions for iPhone and iPad

1.       Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

2.       Tap "General".

3.       Tap "Restrictions".

4.       Tap "Enable Restrictions" at the top if you haven’t turned them on yet. But if you did, skip down to step 6.

5.       Enter a passcode which is used to enable and disable apps.

6.       Switch AirDrop off

restrictions airdrop.jpg

How to turn on(and off) AirDrop on Mac

To use AirDrop on Mac, you need to start with the following settings:

1.       Launch the Finder on your Mac, check if AirDrop is listed in the sidebar, if yes, then AirDrop is already enabled.

2.       Open a Terminal session.

   Type "Terminal" in the search bar at the upper right corner, click Terminal application in the search result.

open terminal session.jpg

To turn off AirDrop, copy the following text and paste it into Terminal session, and press "Enter".

     defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser DisableAirDrop -bool YES

To turn on AirDrop, copy the following text and paste it into Terminal session, and press "Enter".

     defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser DisableAirDrop -bool NO

1.       Restart your Mac.

    Open Finder after restarting. If AirDrop disappears from the sidebar, it has been turned off.

How to AriDrop from your Mac using the drag and drop

If you’d like to add some files into AirDrop on your Mac, the fastest way of doing this is to use the drag and drop.

1.       Launch Finder on your Mac.

2.       Find the files you want to AirDrop.

3.       Drag the files over AirDrop in the sidebar.

4.       Stick there until it changes from the Finder to the AirDrop.

5.       Drop the files onto the picture of the contact you want to share with.

How to AirDrop from your Mac using the context menu

If you prefer to control/right-click on your Mac, you can access AirDrop this way as well.

1.       Launch Finder on your Mac.

2.       Find the file you want to share.

3.       Control/right click on the file and then choose "Share" from the menu.

4.       Choose AirDrop from the sub-menu.

5.       Click on the picture of the person you want to share with.

How to AirDrop from your Mac using the Share sheet

If you don’t like other means, you can also AirDrop files by using the Share sheet on OS X

1.       Launch Finder on your Mac.

2.       Find the file you want to share.

3.       Click on the file to select it.

4.       Click on the "Share" button at the top right.

5.       Select AirDrop

6.       Click on the picture of the person you want to share with.

share picure by AirDrop.jpg

That includes Airdrop web links in Safari:

1.       Launch Safari on your Mac.

2.       Copy the link you want to share.

3.       Click on the "Share" button at the top right.

4.       Click on the "Share" button.

5.       Select AirDrop

6.       Click on the picture of the person you want to share with.

7.       Click "Done" on your Mac.

How to troubleshoot AirDrop on on Mac

Try these solutions, in order, when your contacts didn't show up on the AirDrop interface.

l  Toggle Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi off and back on to reset the connections.

l  Turn off Instant Hotspot to free up the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.

l  Temporarily switch to "Everyone" to remove contact mismatch of any chance.

More AirDrop tips you may want to know:

Troubleshoot AirDrop Not Working Problem

How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac - iCloud Photo Library, AirDrop, iPhoto, Photos App and IOTransfer


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