AirDrop is one of the best ways to share files between devices in the Apple ecosystem (iOS and macOS). We have detailed guides and explanations describing the technology and how it works. This time, we’ll walk you through some things to do if AirDrop is not working properly. If you have tried to send media files or documents from your iPhone to Macbook via AirDrop but failed, you should check out the troubleshooting fixes in this guide.
Of course, here we are assuming that you have fully functioning devices and that you have used AirDrop at least once before. If you are running beta versions of iOS 14, this may be a temporary issue. Restarting both devices (iPhone and Mac) is a great preliminary step that might help. If you’ve tried and nothing changes, continue with the solutions below.
1. Reactivate Bluetooth
AirDrop functionality requires sending and receiving devices to have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. If your iPhone isn’t sending files to your Mac, run a check on both devices to make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are on. If they’re on, but you still can’t transfer files through AirDrop, turn them off, then back on.
2. Move devices closer
Yes, as livid as it may sound, proximity plays a huge role in wireless file transfer. For AirDrop, Apple recommends that you have both devices within 9 meters (9 meters). So you can move your phone closer to the Mac or vice versa and try sending the files again.
3. Deactivate the personal hotspot
Personal Hotspot is another feature that makes AirDrop unusable. If you share your iPhone cellular data with other devices, you should temporarily turn off Personal Hotspot. Otherwise, you will not be able to transfer or receive files via AirDrop. You can deactivate the personal hotspot from your iPhone’s control center or from the Settings menu (Settings> Personal hotspot> deactivate “Allow others to join”.
4. Turn off Do Not Disturb on Mac
When you have AirDrop files on your Macbook from iPhone, macOS should show you a notification prompt to accept or reject the incoming file (s). If you have enabled “Do not disturb”, you can disable / hide this notification. Here’s how to check and turn off Do Not Disturb on your computer.
Step 1: Tap the Action Center icon in the upper right corner of the menu bar.
2nd step: Scroll down (up) to show hidden options and turn “Do Not Disturb” off.
4. Change the AirDrop detectability of the Macbook
You also want to verify that your Macbook’s AirDrop is set up to receive requests from the iPhone.
Step 1: Tap the Finder icon in the menu bar (upper right corner of the screen) and type AirDrop in the search bar.
2nd step: Double click on AirDrop to open the AirDrop console.
You can also quickly launch the AirDrop menu by tapping Go on the Apple desktop menu and selecting AirDrop.
Step 3: Tap the drop-down button next to the “Let me be discovered by” option and select Everyone.
If your AirDrop visibility is set to Contacts only, iPhone must be signed in to iCloud. Additionally, the phone number or email address associated with your iPhone’s Apple ID must be saved in the Contacts app on your Macbook. That’s a lot of conditions to be fulfilled; ergo setting up your Macbook’s AirDrop to be discoverable by all devices is a much better and faster option.
5. Unblock incoming connections on Mac
Another thing you should check is your Macbook’s firewall configuration. Transferring files from your iPhone to your PC via AirDrop may not be possible if your Macbook’s firewall is blocking incoming connections. Go to your Macbook’s firewall settings and verify that all incoming connections are allowed.
Step 1: Tap the Apple menu icon and select System Preferences.
2nd step: Select “Security and Privacy”.
Step 3: Go to the Firewall tab.
Step 4: Tap the lock icon in the lower left corner of the page.
You will be prompted to enter your device password to continue.
Step 5: Now press the Firewall Options button.
Step 6: Finally, uncheck or deselect the “Block all incoming connections” option at the top of the menu. Click OK to save the changes.
Reset the AirDrop connection from your iPhone and check if your Macbook is now receiving transfer requests.
6. Check device compatibility
AirDrop has a minimum operating system requirement for iPhone, iPad, Macbook, and all other compatible devices. For iPhone, AirDrop will only work on devices running iOS 7 or newer. Macbooks, on the other hand, must be running OS X Yosemite or later to use AirDrop. Follow the steps below to check if the affected Macbook supports AirDrop.
Step 1: Tap the Apple menu icon and select “About This Mac”.
2nd step: Then select System Report.
Step 3: In the menu on the right, select Wi-Fi in the Network section.
Step 4: On the Wi-Fi info page, find AirDrop and verify that it is marked as supported.
7. Update iOS or macOS
In addition to having an AirDrop compatible Macbook, Apple also recommends that you regularly update your devices’ operating system to the latest version. This helps to fix some software related bugs causing AirDrop to malfunction. To update your iPhone, go to Settings> General> Software Update and select “Download and Install”.
Just as easy is updating macOS. Tap the Apple menu icon> About This Mac> Software Update and tap the Upgrade Now button.
If you are a new Apple user wondering what separates AirDrop and AirPlay, the explanation below will enlighten you quickly and easily.
Last updated Sep 5, 2020
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