How to Use Apple's AirDrop​ on macOS and iOS

How to Use Apple's AirDrop​ on macOS and iOS

AirDrop is an effective feature of macOS amd iOS that helps to share content with other Apple devices. I’ll tell you how to use this feature on your iPhone or iPad, or Mac. You can read this article even for refreshing your knowledge. Let’s go!

This way of sharing files is really effective. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind when we need to share some info with other Apple users, but making it some sort of habit is a nice idea that will save you a plenty of time.

Let’s begin with checking if the AirDrop feature is turned on. Note, that you can skip this part, in case you want just to learn how to use it.

How to check whether AirDrop is on for your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Launch the Control center by swiping up your screen from its bottom.
  2. Choose ‘AirDrop’.
  3. Select ‘Everyone’ or ‘Contacts only’.
  4. Check whether your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on.

The ‘Contacts only’ option is more secure and private. It is the best one for you, if you don’t want to share some secret information with unknown people by accident. If you don’t care, you may choose ‘Everyone’.

Apple notes on the official website, that the recipient’s device should be logged in iCloud, and a sent file will be accepted and automatically saved there. If his device isn’t logged in to iCloud, he’ll be asked before accepting a file and saving it on the device.

As you already know, AirDrop requires turned on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, while your Personal hotspot has to be turned off.

Now, let’s turn AirDrop on for your Mac:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Tap on ‘Go’ in the menu and choose ‘AirDrop’.
  3. Check your ‘Allow me to be discovered by’ status at the Finder’s bottom. It can be whether ‘Contacts only’, or ‘Everyone’, like on mobile devices.
  4. Ensure that both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are on.

Bear in mind that a 2012 or later Mac is needed for getting full functionality of AirDrop (2012 Mac Pro is an exception from this rule). Anyway, you can search for other older Macs when clicking ‘Don’t see tho you are looking for?

use apple airdrop image4
If you don’t see the ‘AirDrop’ feature like on my picture above, your Mac doesn’t meet the requirements for it.

If your machine is matching the requirements and you’ve turned AirDrop on, let’s use it!


Using AirDrop on iPhone, iPad and Mac

There are several ways of sharing files from a Mac with the help of AirDrop. Firstly, we’ll learn how to do it by dragging items to the AirDrop Favorites in the sidebar of Finder.

Note, that you can skip this info, if you are interested in how to use AirDrop for iPhone or iPad.

Find a file you are going to share with others, drag this file over AirDrop in the sidebar of Finder under ‘Favorites’.

Hold until AirDrop opens and drag the necessary file to a someone’s device you need to share with.

In my example, I have shared a PDF file to my personal iPhone. Later, iOS can offer an application for opening a received file, depending of the file format.

On Macs, AirDrop saves received files to the ‘Downloads’ folder automatically.

You may open receive files by clicking the notification that appears in the top right corner, or by going to ‘Finder’ > ‘Downloads’.

An alternative way to send files from your Mac via AirDrop is highlighting all you need to send, and right clicking these files.

Click the ‘Share’ button and then the ‘AirDrop’ one.

Select the device you want to send your files to.

Remember that if you receive images to your iPhone or iPad, they will be received to the ‘Photos’ application automatically.

The pictures above show the way of sharing a file with AirDrop on iPhones and iPads. Just select a necessary photo, click the share button (with an arrow on its icon) in the left corner at the bottom, and finally, tap on a person you want to get your file with AirDrop.

You can send lots of files via AirDrop from the most iOS apps, like my images above show. Just find the share button and use it.

Congrats! Now you are able to use AirDrop like a pro and share files from your mobile and desktop Apple devices. I hope, my article was useful for you. Don’t hesitate to share it with your friends who likely will be glad to learn how to use this handy feature!