Apple's AirDrop feature was first created in 2011 for file transfer and other information. It only appeared within platform: from iOS to iOS and macOS to macOS. Later versions can cross between iOS and macOS. It's useful for your own equipment, when you want to send a photo from your Mac to an iPhone, and as convenient as reading an article and sharing the URL with someone you know nearby.
AirDrop relies on proximity and requires both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on. It will also not work on an iPhone or iPad while you have Personal Hotspot enabled, as it depends on some Wi-Fi features that are switched for other purposes.
Readers often report that it is difficult to make AirDrop work properly and that may be for a number of factors. Here is a brief guide to the latest in AirDrop setup, limitation and troubleshooting.
As you share with
You control what AirDrop on your device will receive by choosing from All, Contacts Only, and Disabled. The last state is marked as receiving in iOS and none in macOS.
iOS: You can use the control center (on an iPhone X or later or on an iPad with iOS 12 or later, swipe down from the top right corner, on other devices, swipe up from the bottom edge of any one screen), and then hold down on the network area (box with the flight mode buttons, mobile data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth). Now press the AirDrop button at the bottom left. Alternatively, open Settings > General > AirDrop and select from the same options.
macOS: Switch to Finder and select Go > AirDrop (Command-Shift-R) to open the AirDrop window.
I recommend that most people leave AirDrop only for Contacts, as it is the safest and easiest way. Then anyone who has an email address or phone number in the contact list can send you files or other shared items. You can also send files to any device you own that is in range and logged into the same iCloud account.
A number of people have reported receiving unwanted files, often obscene in nature, when they leave AirDrop set to Everyone and are public places, such as subway stations. Although you sometimes need to switch to Everyone, I recommend that you switch back to Contacts only or completely disabled afterwards.
How to submit AirDrop
AirDrop makes it available through the sharing sheet in iOS and the sharing menu in macOS. No matter which item is displayed, such as a web page, photo, video, map location, Page file and so on can be shared. In MacOS, you can also use the Finder AirDrop window to drag and drop files onto the recipient's icon.
When selecting an item to share and select a recipient's device, it receives a message on the selected device with preview or other details, and the ability to accept or decline it. If you send an item to another of your own devices, it will be accepted without question.
In most cases, the received item opens in the correct app: A photo opens in Preview, a URL opens in Safari, and a map location opens in the Maps app.
When you can't see the receiver
It's a common problem with AirDrop that you want to send something to another device you have nearby or to someone who wants to receive it, but the proper device icon is not displayed in iOS or macOS as a destination.
This usually happens because the correct combination of functions is not enabled on the receiver. When you send, AirDrop gives a warning or error if the device cannot use it, or the option to use AirDrop does not appear in a Share sheet or menu.
If you try AirDrop something for yourself on another device and your device does not appear, try turning Bluetooth off and on again with both devices. It often empties the state. If it fails, replace the receiving device briefly with All so that you can send the file or item, and then switch it back to the default.
macOS original AirDrop flavor is not compatible with the later version supported by iOS and macOS. In macOS, click "Don't see who you are looking for" and then click Search for an older Mac to find Mac's multiple releases that can be accessed via AirDrop.
Parental Control over AirDrop
While macOS has granulated parental controls for many elements of the operating system, AirDrop is not one of them. However, iOS 12 has added AirDrop as something you can manage via screen time, and some parents (including your correspondent) use screen time with a password to provide access for their children.
In iOS 12, open Settings ]> Screen time > Contents and privacy Restriction s, press the switch to turn it on, and then press Allowed Apps . You can press AirDrop to disable it.
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