How To Fix Apple AirDrop Not Working Problems – Common iPhone, iPad & Mac Issues

Have you been a part of the Apple Ecosystem where you have a habit of frequently transferring files between your devices? If the answer is yes, then you might have already used the AirDrop service which is Apple’s file-sharing service that allows you to easily transfer files between your Apple devices. In this article, we will be talking about the common issues you face with this service and the solutions on how to fix the same.

First of all, let’s understand How AirDrop works?

AirDrop is a service that works by using peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to exchange data between devices. The sender device needs only be in the proximity of the receiver’s AirDrop window and if they are both running iOS, macOS or watchOS then it will automatically function without any issue. But there are instances when you may face different issues.

Second, the AirDrop service only works with devices that have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled in them. If you want to share content using AirDrop from your iPhone or iPad, both these switches need to be ON whereas for Macs, it’s just a matter of checking if Bluetooth is turned on.

Thirdly, the distance also matters and your devices need to be close enough to be within the range of AirDrop. The maximum distance that an iPhone can send data is 30 ft and all other Apple devices have a similar function but with their own limitations.


Now let’s take a look at the common problems you might face using this service and the solutions for the same.

Problem #01: AirDrop fails on a Mac computer that has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned ON but doesn’t show any nearby devices when scanning for them.
Solution – It might be because of the Finder settings that need to be changed to fix this issue. Just open the Spotlight Search & search for AirDrop App. Once found, go to the Finder and click on Preferences. You might see an option that says “Do Not Show AirDrop in the Sidebar”. Change it to “Show AirDrop in the Sidebar” & then close out of Finder preferences. Now you’ll be able to find other nearby devices if they are within range for AirDrop usage!

Problem #02: When you try to connect to your Devices that are in the same network, the AirDrop is not showing.
Solution – To fix this problem you need to have your Device that you are trying to connect from, open the AirDrop app on both devices. Once done so then go back and try again on both devices. Make sure that you have enabled the option of “Share with Everyone” selected that will give the app access from all the other Apple devices. Following this, you need to select the file you wish to transfer and drop it on the destination device’s name that’s visible now on the AirDrop app.

Problem #03: When sending a file over using AirDrop it doesn’t show up in Messages or Mail App.
Solution – To fix this problem, you need to make sure that when transferring files through Airdrop, the Bluetooth needs to be turned ON for both Devices & also ensure that they’re within close proximity of one another during transfer. If those two conditions aren’t met then there’s no way for the other device will receive the transferred file!

Problem #04: I have tried all the basic troubleshooting and still unable to use the app’s functionality, I’m using Hotspot to connect to the internet, is that an issue?
Solution – To fix this, you will have to make sure that all your personal hotspots have been turned off, then restart the application again and try transferring files through Airdrop. This is because we do not want any interference with the connection between two devices.

Problem #05: My MacBook Air M1 does not allow me to transfer files to my iPhone running on iOS14. What could be the issue?
Solution – If you are using the latest MacBook Air powered with Apple’s own M1 chipset, you might face a few issues because of the latest hardware and compatibility issues. Though the general suggestion would be to make sure you have tried all the solutions mentioned above and if that does not work, you should be restarting your devices once and make sure are on the same WiFi network. Also, we would suggest you Update your iOS or macOS to the latest version to resolve any compatibility issues.

Frequently Asked Questions on AirDrop

  • Which devices does AirDrop work on?
    AirDrop can be used on iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 12.x and later. You will need Mac OS Mojave build 18A366a (or newer) to use AirDrop wirelessly from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to a nearby MacBook Pro.
  • Can you share photos & videos from AirDrop App?
    Yes, you can transfer photos and videos from AirDrop App on iPhone/iPad to your Mac or vice versa.
  • Can we block AirDrop with Screen Time?
    You can use the Screen Time feature that is available for iOS 12.x and later to block AirDrop on your device. Head over to Settings > Screen Time > Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps, and then deselecting AirDrop

If you have any other issues concerning AirDrop in your Apple device, please feel free to contact us below! We will be happy to help with your problem any time of the day!

Hope this tutorial helps out everyone who’s having a difficult time using AirDrop on their iPhone or iPad!

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