Top 7 Ways to Fix AirDrop Not Working on Mac

Top 7 Ways to Fix AirDrop Not Working on Mac

AirDrop is an integral part of the Apple ecosystem. With just one click, users can send large files from iPhone / iPad to Mac or vice versa. There is no need to use cables, cloud storage, or third-party services like Xender or Airdrop to send files and media. But what if things turn south? Airdrop not working on Mac can leave you with a headache as you won’t want to have to deal with a lightning cable to get things done.

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AirDrop uses Bluetooth 4.x for energy-efficient streaming and discovery, and peer-to-peer WiFi for fast transfer. If you’re having trouble transferring files using AirDrop from Mac, check the solutions to resolve the issue.

1. Check device compatibility

To use AirDrop successfully, your Mac must be running OS X Yosemite or a later version of macOS. You can find out which version of macOS your Mac is running by going to Apple menu> About This Mac. For updates, go to Apple menu> System Preferences> Software Update.

Also, the device you are trying to transfer files to must be an AirDrop compatible device.

When transferring files from Mac to iPhone, your iPhone must be iPhone 5 or later, running iOS 7 or later versions of iOS software.

If you are trying to use AirDrop from Mac to iPad or iPod, iPad must be iPad 4 or later and iPod must be 5th generation or newer.

2. Adjust the AirDrop settings on the iPhone

Apple offers a few sharing options to use the AirDrop feature on all devices safely. You need to check on your iPhone to make sure the device can receive files through AirDrop from anyone or contacts. Follow the steps below to make the changes.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone.

2nd step: Go to General> AirDrop.

Step 3: Select Contacts Only or Everyone from the next menu.

Airdrop menu on i Phone

Airdrop everyone

You can also swipe down from the top right corner (or the bottom of iPhone if you’re using an older model with a power button) and open Control Center.

Air Drop from the control center

Long press on the connectivity menu and activate the AirDrop option.

3. Check WiFi and Bluetooth

AirDrop relies on Bluetooth to find nearby devices and WiFi for effortless file transfer. Therefore, make sure that Bluetooth and WiFi are enabled on the sending Mac device.

Go to the Mac menu bar and click on the Bluetooth icon to activate the service. Likewise, follow the same routine for WiFi.

Activate bluetooth

You can also open Finder menu> AirDrop and it will show disabled connections on the Mac. You can also activate them from this menu.

Activate bluetooth

The receiving device must have at least Bluetooth enabled. Also, you just need to make sure that the AirDrop toggle is enabled for the device with the proper permission.

4. Allow AirDrop to everyone from Mac

You can be perfectly fine with the AirDrop Contacts only option on the Mac. But sometimes it can cause failure to send files from Mac to iPhone.

Therefore, follow the steps below to switch the sharing permission to Everyone in the AirDrop menu.

Step 1: Open the Finder menu on the Mac.

2nd step: Click AirDrop in the left pane. In the right pane, click Allow me to be discovered by and select Everyone from the drop-down menu.

Set permission for everyone for Air Drop

Again, let me remind you to turn on the Allow everyone option on the device you are transferring files to.

5. Sign in to iCloud on both devices

For security reasons, we recommend that you use the Contacts only option on AirDrop on Mac and iPhone. To do this, make sure the sending and receiving devices are signed in to iCloud.

The email id or mobile phone number associated with iCloud should also be available in the contact list on both devices.

6. Turn off do not disturb mode on Mac

If do not disturb mode is enabled on your Mac, you won’t be able to send files using the AirDrop feature.

Place the mouse pointer over the macOS menu bar and open Control Center. Disable DND mode from the drop-down menu.

Disable do not disturb

You can also disable DND from the System Preferences> Notifications menu.

Likewise, make sure that the device you are transferring files to is not placed in do not disturb mode.

7. Prevent Mac from going to sleep

Transferring large files via AirDrop takes time. AirDrop may fail if your Mac goes to sleep during the file transfer process. Follow the steps below to change the behavior.

Step 1: Open the System Preferences menu on the Mac.

2nd step: Go to the Battery> AC adapter menu.

Step 3: Activate the option “Prevent the computer from going to sleep automatically when the screen is turned off”.

Prevent the Mac from falling asleep

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Start sharing files via AirDrop

Transferring files using AirDrop to your various Apple devices is part of what makes using the Mac and iPhone / iPad combo so painless. Follow the steps above and fix all AirDrop related issues on Mac. Share which trick worked for you in the comments below.


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Last updated on March 26, 2021

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