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Home / Apple / What is Airdrop? How to share files between iOS and Mac

What is Airdrop? How to share files between iOS and Mac

Have you ever tried sending a picture to your friend, standing right next to you, just to get frustrated by slow upload time and file size limitations?

Or does this sound familiar: you want to send something to an acquaintance who has introduced himself many times, but then you realize that you do not have contact information?

For these situations and more, AirDrop is the lightning fast, intuitive, direct file transfer feature for MacOS and iOS devices. Here's what you need to know about it and how to get started.

What is AirDrop?

AirDrop uses Apple's Bonjour technology to create a closed wireless network via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for file transfer. Sounds cool, right? But what does it really mean?

That means you can quickly send files between Macs, iPhones and iPads within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It's perfect for sending the photo or video you just brought to your friends or transferring files between your own devices. Have you ever needed to move something from your phone to your computer just to realize you were leaving the Lightning Cable at home? AirDrop fixes it.

While you can technically do this via email or text, AirDrop has some unique advantages:

  1. It is encrypted: AirDrop creates a closed connection between two devices and uses a TLS encryption to transfer files. This makes it much safer than email or text.
  2. It's fast: Due to the fact that it's peer-to-peer and direct, AirDrop file transfers can use full speed on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Contrast this with email, which is prone to bottlenecks and delays caused by traffic on the network you are using. Nor are there any intermediaries like Google Drive or Dropbox to reduce the process.
  3. It's easy: When you get to put it on, moving a folder of pictures to someone sitting next to you, much more intuitive with AirDrop than with email. You do not even need the person's contact information to transfer.

Unlike email, there is virtually no maximum upload size with AirDrop. And unlike sharing your photos via iCloud, AirDrop doesn't trust a cloud-based middle manager.

The best advantage of using AirDrop, like most Apple services, is that it only works.

How to use the transfer process to its only necessities to provide you with the fastest and most hassle-free service. AirDrop on a Mac

To start, make sure you have both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. This must be the case on both your Mac and the device you want to transfer to.

Use AirDrop via Finder

Finder has a convenient AirDrop panel built right in. To exploit it:

  1. To send it to an iPhone, make sure it has the Personal Hotspot feature turned off. Open a new Finder window (for a shortcut to this, click your desktop, and then click Cmd + N ).
  2. On the left sidebar you should see a AirDrop tab. Select this.
    1. Note that by clicking and holding, you can move the position of AirDrop's entry on the sidebar. With a Ctrl + click you can completely remove it.
    2. Alternatively, press Cmd + Shift + R in the Finder to open AirDrop.
  3. Wait a few seconds and you will begin to see the names of devices within your area. If the recipient is not in your iCloud contacts, make sure you have set Allow me to be discovered by to All .
  4. When the device you want to send appears, just click and drag the file you want to transfer. Make sure you have a separate Finder window open with the file you want to upload.
  5. If you still don't see your recipient, click Don't see who you're looking for? in the bottom right and then Search for an older Mac to look for a Mac from 201
    2 or earlier.

 The AirDrop window on a Mac

Using the Share button

If you do not want to use the dedicated panel, you can also share any file directly from the Finder. In addition, all apps that have a Share button will contain AirDrop as one of the sharing options. To share from the Finder:

  1. Ctrl + Click the file you want to transfer.
  2. Select Share> AirDrop .
  3. A list of devices in your area should be displayed. Select the device you want to transfer to.

To receive with AirDrop

If you are on the receiving side of a file on Mac, you can do the following:

  1. In the upper right corner of your screen you will receive a notification that someone is trying to share data with you via AirDrop.
  2. Hit Accept and the file is transferred to the folder Downloads .

] How to use AirDrop on iPhone and iPad

Before you start, be sure to turn off the Personal Hostpot feature if enabled. As with Mac transfers, both you and the recipient must have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on and be within reach of each other.

Use the share button

This is the easiest way to share something with AirDrop on iPhone or iPad:

  1. Go to the image, video or file you want to transfer. Everything that can be shared is also eligible for transfer via AirDrop.
  2. Hit Share button.
  3. All available AirDrop contacts appear at the top. Press one to send the file to them.

Receiving with AirDrop

When someone nearby starts a file transfer, you will receive an alert telling you someone is trying to send you a file with AirDrop. You can hit Accept or Cancel . Once received, the data in that app opens (images are displayed in pictures, for example).

Adjust AirDrop Settings

You can control exactly who can see you in their AirDrop window. You can't feel comfortable with the idea that someone in your immediate vicinity can send you something, especially when they can AirDrop you NSFW images

Disable AirDrop to avoid a barrage of NSFW images

Disable AirDrop to avoid a barrage of NSFW Images

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Fortunately, you can turn off your availability or just show you your contacts. And don't worry, it's easy to turn on again. Here's how:

  1. Open Control Center. To do this, swipe up from the bottom of the screen (iPhone 8 and earlier) or swipe down from the top right corner (iPhone X and later).
  2. Press the Network Setting Group button with icons to display additional items
  3. Under AirDrop you can adjust your availability to All Contacts Only or Receiving .

Troubleshooting AirDrop

If you are having trouble seeing your intended recipient, make sure you are running a compatible operating system. AirDrop works on all Mac models from 2012 or later (except Mac Pro in mid-2012, which doesn't necessarily have Bluetooth) on Mac OS X Yosemite or later. All iOS devices running iOS 7 or later also work with AirDrop.

Still having problems? We have covered a number of AirDrop troubleshooting steps to try

AirDrop does not work? Troubleshoot your file transfer browsers

AirDrop doesn't work? Troubleshoot your file transfer usage

Having problems with AirDrop? We can go through all your available options.
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When the service does not work.

Transfer Files Between All Your Devices

Now that you rely on AirDrop's fast transfer speed, how do you achieve the same ends when the receiver does not? Do I not have a Mac? No problem. Take a look at the fastest file transfer methods between any device

The fastest file transfer methods between PCs and mobile devices

The fastest file transfer method between PCs and mobile devices

Do you transfer data between devices using the fastest methods? Here are the best ways to make file transfers across a device.
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computer or mobile.

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