How ToiPhone

How to Fix AirDrop Not Working in iPhone

3 Mins read
How to Fix AirDrop Not Working in iPhone

AirDrop serves as an invaluable tool for Apple users, facilitating seamless file transfers between devices. However, glitches in its functionality are not uncommon. Here’s a detailed guide to help troubleshoot and resolve airdrop not working issues effectively.

Introduction to AirDrop

AirDrop simplifies file-sharing among Apple devices, utilizing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for swift and secure transfers. Despite its convenience, technical issues can hinder its performance, requiring specific troubleshooting steps for resolution.

1. Device Compatibility Check

Ensuring your devices support AirDrop is crucial. iPhones from the iPhone 5 onwards and iPads from the 4th generation onward generally support AirDrop. However, having compatible iOS/iPadOS versions is equally essential. iOS 7 or later for iPhones and iPadOS 13 or later are prerequisites, while continuing transfers over cellular requires iOS 17.1 or iPadOS 17.1 or later. Check for device compatibility if your airdrop not working.

2. Verifying AirDrop Settings if Airdrop Not Working

2. Verifying AirDrop Settings if Airdrop Not Working

For AirDrop, there are two active settings and one dormant setting: Receiving Off stops others from sending you anything via AirDrop; Contacts Only restricts shares to individuals whose email address or phone number is in your contacts; and Everyone for 10 Minutes momentarily allows shares from any sender (Note: The latter option is known as Everyone on previous versions of iOS and iPadOS). In order to protect consumers from falling prey to an unwanted AirDrop sharing, a 10-minute restriction was implemented.)

If it’s not already chosen, try switching to Everyone for 10 Minutes (or Everyone) if your airdrop not working .

Steps to Adjust Settings:

  • On iPhone/iPad: Navigate to Settings > General > AirDrop, and select ‘Everyone for 10 Minutes‘ or ‘Everyone.’
  • On Mac: Open Finder > AirDrop (Command-Shift-R if not listed) and select ‘Everyone‘ under ‘Allow me to be discovered by.’

3. Toggling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Toggling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Resetting the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections can resolve connectivity issues affecting AirDrop.

Steps to Toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth:

  • On iPhone/iPad: Access Settings > Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and toggle them off, then on.
  • On Mac: Use the Control Center to toggle off Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and toggle them on again.

4. Disabling Personal Hotspot

Airdrop not working if you’re using your iPhone as a Personal Hotspot to give another device internet access. Stopping the Personal Hotspot is the only way to solve the problem. The device that was utilising the hotspot will no longer be able to access the internet as a result, but you can always switch it back on after transferring files over AirDrop.

Apple removed the on/off switch from Settings -> Personal Hotspot in iOS 13.1 and later. The idea behind this modification is that your hotspot is constantly prepared to give your other devices internet access whenever they require it. In light of this, if there isn’t a Wi-Fi internet connection available, verified devices could connect to your local instant hotspot automatically.

Steps to Disable Personal Hotspot:

  • On iPhone: Open Control Center, long-press the Bluetooth icon, and tap to make Personal Hotspot ‘Not Discoverable.

5. Ensuring Device Unlock and Proximity

AirDrop requires devices to be unlocked and in close proximity for successful file transfers.

Steps to Ensure Device Unlock and Proximity:

  • Verify that your iPhone/iPad is unlocked and actively in use.
  • Ensure the devices you want to transfer files between are within the recommended Bluetooth range (approximately 33 feet or 10 meters).

6. Adjusting Mac Firewall Settings

Adjusting Mac Firewall Settings

Firewall settings on a Mac might prevent incoming connections, causing airdrop not working issues when sending files to it.

Steps to Adjust Firewall Settings on Mac:

  • Access System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall.
  • Click on ‘Firewall Options…‘ and modify settings to allow incoming connections.

7. Hard Resetting Devices if Airdrop Not Working

Performing a hard reset is a final resort to address persistent AirDrop issues.

Steps to Perform a Hard Reset:

  • Specific steps vary based on iPhone/iPad models. Consult Apple’s official support documentation for the correct procedure for your device. Check this guide on How to Reset Your iPhone.

8. Contacting Apple Support if Airdrop not Working

If all troubleshooting steps fail to resolve AirDrop issues, seeking assistance from Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store’s Genius Bar is recommended. Expert diagnostics can identify potential hardware-related problems.

More on Airdrop: How to Change Airdrop Name on iPhone


Following these detailed troubleshooting steps should effectively resolve most airdrop not working issues, ensuring smooth and hassle-free file sharing among your Apple devices. 

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About author
Howdy, I’m Varun Sharma. I’m an Engineer & Geek. I am a fan of technology, programming, and entrepreneurship. Also, an artist & full entertainer dose by nature.
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