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How to use Airdrop on iPhone and Mac

Apple users looking for the easiest way to transfer files on iOS. Can use the Apple AirDrop feature on iPhone, iPads and Mac to quickly send files and photographs from one Apple device to another. Once turned on, AirDrop allows you to quickly send a document, video or image from your phone to a MacBook of yours, a friend or colleagues and other Apple devices nearby.

AirDrop is easy-to-use and this quick guide will show you how to transfer between iOS phones, tablets and computers. One thing to remember is that AirDrop on iPhone uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to make the connection, so you’ll need to be on the same network or close enough for Bluetooth to connect with the device you would like to send your document or photograph.

If you are experiencing issues trying to connect to another Apple device using AirDrop, make sure the iPhone, iPad or Mac you are trying to send to has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled and is on the same network as your device. Another setting worth checking is that AirDrop may be set to only receive from contacts only but this quick guide will take you through turning on AirDrop and the entire transfer process and show you how to receive from everyone or turn off AirDrop completely.

Enter AirDrop Options screen

Turn on AirDrop

1. Swipe down from the top right corner on your iPhone or iPad screen
2. Hard press on the Airplane Mode, Mobile Data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth group as in the image below.
3. Select AirDrop in the bottom right of the 6 button
4. To turn on AirDrop select either ” Contacts Only ” or ” Everyone ”
5. To turn off Airdrop complete select ” Receiving Off ”

Turn on AirDrop

If you have turned on AirDrop to receive from “Contacts Only”on your iPhone recipient will need to have your Apple ID’s email address or mobile number in their contacts address book for AirDrop to work correctly. If you are not listed in their contacts, they will need to change the AirDrop receiving setting to “Everyone”.

To do this on Apple’s iPhone X or later, simply swipe down from the top right-hand corner of the screen to open and reveal the Control Centre. Or follow the same motion to open Control Centre on your iPad with iOS 12 or later or iPadOS. On an iPhone 8 or earlier and iPod touch devices, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

AirDrop iPhone Options Screen

Then open the network settings section in the top left-hand corner by hard pressing. Located down in the bottom left are the AirDrop settings. Tap the AirDrop icon and you will be presented with three options: Receiving Off, Contacts Only and Everyone. If Receiving Off is not turned on, you will not receive AirDrop requests from anyone.

Contacts Only, as explained previously, allows you to receive AirDrop documents from people listed in your contacts with an Apple ID email address and Everyone allows you to receive AirDrop documents from any nearby Apple device. The Contacts Only option will only show on Apple devices running iOS 10 and later, iPadOS, or macOS Sierra 10.12 and later.

Sending a file, photo or video

You can send a single or selection of photos, documents or videos via AirDrop. Simply select the documents you would like to share and press the Share button, a square with an upward pointing arrow as in the image below. Then select AirDrop from the options available. If the person you are transferring to also owns an iPhone 11 model or iPhone 12 model, simply point your iPhone toward theirs and tap their profile picture to start the transfer process.

If they aren’t in your contacts, you’ll see just their name without an image. A red numbered badge on the AirDrop button shows how many devices are available nearby to transfer documents or media to. This method can also transfer documents from one of your Apple devices to another, such as transferring photos from your iPhone to your laptop or tablet or vice versa.

Once the transfer is started the recipient will see an alert pop up on their iPhone or iPad screen with the heading AirDrop, allowing them to either “Accept” or “Decline” the AirDrop transfer. If you are transferring photos from one of your devices to another, you will not see the option to “Accept” or “Decline” it will just automatically send your chosen document directly to your device. One thing to remember when transferring documents from one of your devices to another is to make sure that both devices are signed in with the same Apple ID or else the process will not work.

If you experience problems using AirDrop on iPhone to another device, it might be worth adjusting your AirDrop settings to the “Everyone” option and trying this to start the process, this option can easily be disable after the transfer has completed and when AirDrop is not in use for security. For more information on using AirDrop with your Apple devices and trouble shooting, jump over to the official Apple Support site for more details and help.

Filed Under: Apple iPhone, Guides

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