AirDrop on Mac not working? Try these Tips & Tricks


AirDrop on Mac, not Working: AirDrop is a peer-to-peer technology for wireless content exchange across iOS and OS X devices. Also, it is universally criticized as one of those features that don’t “just work”.

But things are not quite easy. Also, it turns out, more often than not AirDrop problems that people encounter can be solved quite easily. Because you shouldn’t give up on AirDrop yet in case it’s acting up. However, there’s most likely a good explanation, also an easy solution, for the AirDrop hiccups you’ve been experiencing.

AirDrop can save you lots of time so here’s hoping that our troubleshooting tips will cause you to give this cool feature another chance. However, if AirDrop can’t working properly for you then read how you can do some basic troubleshooting.

About AirDrop

Launched in Mac OS X Lion and iOS 7. AirDrop uses a low-latency, high-speed peer-to-peer protocol to share data over the air. Also, It works between nearby devices over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. So both of you switched on on your Mac, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Your Mac doesn’t require to be attached to the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or other Mac to take benefit of AirDrop. Furthermore, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are automatically switched on when AirDrop is activated. However, switching Wi-Fi and Bluetooth automatically allow AirDrop.

iCloud don’t need AirDrop unless you like to AirDrop with your contacts. In this situation, both parties must be signed in to iCloud. Also, there is no restriction on the size of the document that AirDrop will take.

For privacy, AirDrop also encrypts content as it travels through the air.

AirDrop sharing works between iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices that run iOS 7 or later. Between Macs running OS X Mavericks and later, also across OS X Yosemite Macs and iPhone. However, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 8 or later.

Airdrop on Mac, not Working – Troubleshooting AirDrop

Is your AirDrop device discoverable?

An AirDrop manually allows in Control Center on iOS devices and Mac’s Finder for it to work. However, On iOS, just swipe up to bring up Control Center and click AirDrop to choose your discoverability mode.

To control whom you can send content with. Just use the following AirDrop options:

  • Off—no one can view your device but you can still AirDrop items to others.
  • Contacts Only—Only contacts in your address book can view your device as an AirDrop destination. However, both devices signed in to iCloud and the email address associated with your Apple ID. Make sure it must be in the Contacts app of the receiving device. This choice is good for added security as it’ll secure AirDrop requests coming in from random or unknown users.
  • Everyone—All nearby devices using AirDrop can view your device. This is a recommended choice for most users.

I suggest you use the Everyone option to avoid discoverability issues.

On OS X, choose AirDrop in the Finder’s Go menu. Also, press Command (⌘) – Shift (⇧) – R. You can also open the latest Finder window and tap AirDrop in the sidebar.

Adjust AirDrop visibility by tapping the link next to ”Allow me to be discovered by” in the AirDrop window. Also, select between OffContacts Only and Everyone. Again, choosing Everyone is the best way to secure difficulties arising from limiting AirDrop to the more private “Contacts Only” option.

Are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on?

The AirDrop protocol requires Bluetooth to check if the devices are close to one another. Also, want Wi-Fi to share data. Once current information is built. However, Content is beamed via Wi-Fi. Make sure if Wi-Fi is on and Bluetooth is off, AirDrop can’t work.

On the Mac, the AirDrop window gives a button to allow Wi-Fi or Bluetooth if they’re disabled. So you don’t need to manually connect to a Wi-Fi network and allow Bluetooth through Mac’s menu bar.

This best option can’t accessible via the AirDrop share sheet. For some reason, if you disable Bluetooth and then try to AirDrop a web link through Safari’s Share sheet. However,  you’ll welcome with a message saying, “To use AirDrop, turn on Bluetooth”.

On the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, you can just click the AirDrop icon in the AirDrop menu. Just to automatically turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in case both are disabled.

Are your devices within 30 feet of each other?

Firstly check the distance between your devices. However, AirDrop uses Bluetooth discovery so remember the device you’re trying to AirDrop to is within 30 feet of yours. Also, if necessary, just move the devices closer together to improve the Bluetooth reception. However, Bluetooth is especially liable to physical obstacles like concrete walls.

Is the receiving device’s screen on?

AirDrop is only available when the receiving iOS device’s screen is on. However, on the Mac, AirDrop works when the screen sleeps as long as the PC itself has not entered sleep mode. AirDrop sharing requests seem as notifications on the iOS Lock screen. Just swipe to accept the items. On the Mac, AirDrop notifications get delivered to the OS X login screen also if your Mac’s display is sleeping.

AirDrop blocks to function when the receiving device goes to sleep. Either automatically or manually. Until your device wakes from sleep, its icon can’t appear as an AirDrop destination on other devices.

On the Mac, the common failure point for AirDrop is enabling the PC to go to sleep. However, to counter this behavior, mark the box next to “Prevent PC from sleeping automatically when the display is off” in System Preferences → Energy Saver. You can also do this separately when the Mac is attached to power or using its inbuilt battery.

Want to activate Airplane Mode?

Airplane Mode also turns down all wireless radios in your iOS device. However, AirDrop needs both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to be on. To exit Airplane Mode, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen and unmark the Airplane Mode icon in Control Center. Also, toggle the switch in Settings → Airplane Mode.

If the Mirror iPhone choice is enabling in the Watch companion app. Then enable Airplane Mode on your watch will cause it to kick in on your iPhone, and vice versa.

Are you in Do Not Disturb mode?

You are allowed to AirDrop stuff to others whilst your device is in Do Not Disturb mode. The opposite, however, isn’t true. That’s due to Do Not Disturb mode suppresses the AirDrop alert also it renders the device undiscoverable. This applies to both iOS and OS X. Regardless of whether AirDrop devices are signed in to the same iCloud account or not.

Certainly, the sender might view your DND device in their AirDrop menu just to welcome with a “Waiting” message after attempting to share something. However, AirDrop tries to maintain a connection with the other device in DND mode. Also, it will give up after a minute or two and produce a “Fail” message.

Exit Do Not Disturb mode make your device discoverable again via AirDrop.

On iOS, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen and unmark Do Not Disturb icon in Control Center. On your Mac, swipe from the right edge of the trackpad, or tap the Notification Center icon in the menu bar. Also, tap Notifications, scroll down to uncover the Do Not Disturb switch and set it to the OFF position.

Setting a schedule for Do Not Disturb prevents AirDrop from receiving items during a period defined in Settings → Do Not Disturb → Scheduled or System Preferences → Notifications → Do Not Disturb → Turn on Do Not Disturb (OS X).

Is Personal Hotspot enable?

Personal Hotspot clashes with AirDrop due to both features need Wi-Fi for themselves. On iOS devices, a message in the AirDrop menu will warn you that “AirDrop is not available when using Personal Hotspot”.

To switch off the hotspot feature on iOS, just flip the Personal Hotspot switch in Settings → Personal Hotspot to the OFF position. If applicable, on your Mac tap the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and pick the choice to disconnect from the Personal Hotspot.

Want to set AirDrop Contacts Only?

However, Setting AirDrop on the receiving device to Contacts Only is not a convenient way to use the feature. Also, it elevates your privacy by minimizing AirDrop to people who are in your address book. While setting up AirDrop to the Contacts Only mode, both the sending and the receiving device must be signed in to their iCloud account.

Furthermore, the email address also stores somewhere in the Contacts app of the receiving device. It stores for the sender just to recognized in this mode. Don’t know which addresses or phone numbers are associated with your Apple ID? Just log in to the My Apple ID webpage in a desktop browser and look under the Reachable At heading in the Account section.

However, one email address or phone number is seen there. It must be stored in the receiving device’s Contacts app. However, it appears in the list of available AirDrop destinations on the receiving device. However, It doesn’t matter if the recipient’s address is in the sender’s contacts aside from allowing the recipient’s contact name and profile picture to display up in the AirDrop menu.

AirDrop can’t recognize any email address which associates with your Apple ID. But it doesn’t display in the system. To check the email address after adding it to your Apple ID. Just check your mailbox for a message from Apple having a verification link.

Lastly, make sure that your card is defined in Contacts. If not, just launch Contacts on your Mac. Also, choose a contact card and select Card → Make This My Contact Card. To set the My Info card on iOS, move to Settings → Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Now scroll down and click My Info under the Contacts heading and select the required card from your Contacts.

Does your app support AirDrop?

The majority of 3rd party apps provide access to AirDrop through the system-wide Share menu. But some do not. Just check your app’s App Store description or get in contact with the developer to confirm that it supports AirDrop. Some apps disable AirDrop for copyright reasons. For instance, you cannot send music or video files through AirDrop from the native Apple apps like Videos and Music.

Is AirDrop enable on both ends?

It sounds like a stupid question. But if both devices disable then AirDrop can’t work. And you’ll view a warning message to switch Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on.

Are AirDrop devices on the same Wi-Fi network

Your Mac doesn’t require to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iOS devices for AirDrop to work. But it helps if they are. To ensures your devices are on the same network, head over to Settings → Wi-Fi and compare the network names. Do the same on your Macs by tapping the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.

Airdrop on mac still not working? Try these tips & tricks!

If the above-mentioned tips didn’t fix your AirDrop woes, try these:

  • Sign out of iCloud on your devices and then again sign-in
  • Restart your iOS and Mac devices
  • Again restart an iOS device by holding the Sleep/Wake and Home button
  • Again start your Wi-Fi router
  • Enable and Disable Wi-Fi and then Bluetooth
  • Also, enter in Airplane Mode on an iOS device just for 30 seconds, then exit
  • Reset your SMC and Mac’s PRAM
  • Set IPv6 to the Automatic configuration state in iOS and OS X
  • Certainly disabling and then re-enabling iCloud Drive looks to do the trick
  • Don’t use uppercase characters in your Apple ID login
  • Alt-tap the Mac’s Wi-Fi icon and then disconnect and re-connect to your network
  • Toggle Bluetooth off and on again
  • Try unplugging the Ethernet cable so your Mac can’t connect to any wired network
  • Rearrange services in System Preferences → Network so that Wi-Fi is at the top
  • Update to iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan for a more reliable and better network performance
  • And the mother of all iOS troubleshooting tips -> reinstall iOS and OS X


Here’s all about “Airdrop on mac not working”. Is this article helpful? Is your Airdrop on Mac working or not? Let us know in the comments section below!

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