Although Airdrop is a handy feature that makes transfers between devices super easy, many users have reported problems with Airdrop.Some were able to send data to only limited contacts. However, others couldn’t send or receive anything at all via Airdrop.
Moreover, for some users with the iOS 9 and Mac OS X El Capitan, Airdrop does not seem to be working. The number of times that Airdrop does not work is just mind-boggling. AirDrop is one of those features that need some more work on the part of Apple to make it a more smoother and trouble free experience before it can be widely used.
If you have not used the Airdrop feature, we suggest that you look at our handy guide on Airdrop.
- 1 No Time? Take A Look At Our Video!
- 2 Upgrade to the Latest macOS or Mac OS X
- 3 Troubleshoot via the Basic Settings
- 4 Turning OFF/ON the Airdrop
- 5 Soft Reset your iPhone
- 6 Or Try a Hard Reset (Forced Restart)
- 7 Temporarily Disconnect Wi-Fi on your MacBook
- 8 Explore your Mac FireWall Settings
- 9 Airdrop between New Mac to older iMac
- 10 Missing AirDrop on MacBook, Here is How-To Fix
No Time? Take A Look At Our Video!
A short video guide highlighting the various tips has been made available below for you. Please take a look and let us know your comments.
Accessing Airdrop has changed somewhat with iOS 11. If you have updated your iPad or iPhone to the latest upgrade, please click below to see how you can find and use Airdrop with iOS11.
RELATED: Where is Airdrop in iOS 11
Here are some Suggestions and Tips for you to get this feature to work. Please make sure that the devices that you are using have Airdrop turned on and at least 20 feet from each other. The iOS device will need to have the ‘Personal Hotspot’ turned off. Please check your Settings > Cellular to make sure that this setting has been taken care of.
If AirDrop on the receiving device is set up to receive items from contacts only, make sure that you sign in on both devices with your Apple ID and iCloud. Also, make sure that the email address or phone number associated with your Apple ID is in the Contacts app on the receiving device.
If you are having issues with Airdrop with your iOS devices, we suggest that you check the Do Not Disturb setting on your device. With DND enabled on your devices, Airdrop didn’t doesn’t seem to cooperate. Turn off the Do not Disturb setting and then try the Airdrop feature.
Upgrade to the Latest macOS or Mac OS X
The Airdrop features are pretty sensitive to the different operating system updates on the devices. If you are using iOS 9.2+ on your iDevice, please make sure to upgrade your Mac to El Capitan’s latest release.
Software updates of OS X El Capitan 10.11.1(15B42) resolved the issues for many users that were on iOS 9.1 (13B143). If you are already using El Capitan without significant problems, we suggest that you update it to the latest version and ensure that your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 9.2 or higher.
Troubleshoot via the Basic Settings
- Bluetooth: Make sure that the Bluetooth on your iPhone is switched on and working properly on your iPhone. Go to Settings and click on You can also turn on the Bluetooth from the control center. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone to reveal the control center.
- Wi-Fi: AirDrop also needs Wi-Fi, although it is not necessary to connect to a Wi-Fi network. However, you should turn on the Wi-Fi on your iPhone. Go to Settings and click on Wi-Fi. Just like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi settings can also be toggled from control center. Swipe from the bottom of the screen on your iPhone or iPad.
- AirDrop: AirDrop is located in the control center of your iPhone. From the Home screen of your iPhone, Swipe from bottom to top, and it shows you the AirDrop. For iOS 11, AirDrop is little more hidden. Deep press or 3D Touch on the tile showing AirPlane Mode to reveal an additional menu with AirDrop as an option.
When you tap on the AirDrop, you will see three options; one is off, second is contacts, and the third is everyone. The Contacts option will let you send the data to nearby friends who have Apple ID. We suggest that you select the Everyone option.
Turning OFF/ON the Airdrop
Soft Reset your iPhone
If the simple switching on and off method didn’t work for you, you should try a soft reset on your iPhone. Press the power button for some time and slide off. Wait 10-20 seconds and power back on.
Or Try a Hard Reset (Forced Restart)
If the soft reset didn’t work, it’s time to try the more drastic forced restart. Options for doing this differ by iPhone model. But for iPads and iPod Touch, it’s always press Home and Power at the same time until you see the Apple Logo, then release.
How-To Perform a Forced Restart on iPhone models
- On an iPhone 6S or below plus all iPads & iPod Touches, press Home and Power at the same time until you see the Apple logo
- For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo
- On an iPhone X or iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and immediately release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo
Temporarily Disconnect Wi-Fi on your MacBook
The other trick that works well when your Airdrop doesn’t cooperate between your MacBook and iDevice is around the Wi-Fi connection on your MacBook.
Temporarily disconnect your Wi-Fi. Do not Turn it off.
To do so, press down on the Option key on your MacBook keyboard and click on the Wi-fi icon on the upper right corner and choose disconnect.
Wait for a few mins and then connect back to your Wi-Fi. Test out your Airdrop feature.
Explore your Mac FireWall Settings
Some users use the built-in FireWall on the Mac. If you do use the Firewall, please go to
Top Left Apple Menu > System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Firewall. If your Firewall is turned on, Please click on the Firewall Options…and make sure that you are not blocking incoming connections.
Airdrop between New Mac to older iMac
The first order of business is to make sure that the Macs in question are located reasonably close to each other. Also, make sure to check for the “Older Mac” by clicking on “Don’t see what you are looking for” in the Airdrop screen.
Try to deactivate your iCloud drive and then reactivate it on your Mac. This option seems to work for some users.
If none of those methods work for you, it might relate to issues with your Bluetooth preferences file on your Mac. First, switch off the Bluetooth on your Mac. Delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.Bluetooth.plist and then turn back your Bluetooth.
Missing AirDrop on MacBook, Here is How-To Fix
One of the other issues that some readers have experienced after upgrading their macOS is that the Airdrop feature vanishes. If you are having Airdrop issues on your MacBook, open up Terminal utility in the Applications folder.
First, disable Airdrop by entering this line after the prompt:
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser DisableAirDrop -bool YES
Then activate it again :
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser DisableAirDrop -bool NO
Restart your MacBook and check if you can access and use AirDrop.
We hope that you found these features helpful.