How to fix ‘AirDrop not Working’ Issue?

AirDrop is Apple’s service that facilitates the wireless transfer of photos, files and other data between iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Mac devices. Sometimes, you found AirDrop not working when you need to use it.   If AirDrop is not working on your Mac or on an iOS device, read this blog to fix the issue.

Prerequisites to Transfer Files by Using AirDrop

  • Make sure that the iOS devices are running on iOS 7 or later version
  • Ensure that the Mac device is a 2012 or newer model running on OS X Yosemite or later version
  • Keep the devices within 30 feet of distance from each other
  • Make sure that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned ON and Personal Hotspot is turned OFF on both the devices

Some Quick Fixes

You can try below-given fixes to resolve minor issues that are causing the problem in sending/receiving files through AirDrop.

  • Unplug LAN cable connected to your Mac device (if connected).
  • Restart both sending and receiving devices.
  • Exit from Airplane mode (if enabled) as it turns OFF the wireless connectivity, preventing AirDrop to work.
  • If your device is in Do Not Disturb mode, it would be undiscoverable and would NOT be able to receive files. Hence, make sure that the device at receiving end is not in Do Not Disturb
  • A device in sleep mode is not visible to devices trying to send files. So, make sure that the recipient device is awake.
  • Re-enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your Mac or iOS devices.

 [FIXED]: AirDrop Is Not Working

Method 1: Check If the Receiving Device Is Discoverable

If you’re having trouble in receiving files via AirDrop, check the visibility settings of your device. There are three options on discovery settings that decide the visibility of your device:

Off: If you choose “Off” on your device’s visibility settings, no sender would be able to find your device and hence won’t be able to send to you files via AirDrop.

Contacts Only: If this option is enabled, only the senders who are added to “Contacts” in your iCloud account would be able to see your device as an AirDrop destination.

Everyone: Selecting this option makes your device visible to all the Apple devices.

Therefore, if you’re having issues in transferring files via Airdrop, ensure that the recipient is either set to be visible to “Contacts Only” or “Everyone”.


Let’s see how can we check and change the discoverability settings on Mac and iOS devices.

[IMPORTANT]: If the receiving Mac or iOS device is configured to be visible to “Contacts Only”, both the sender and receiver must be signed-in to iCloud to transfer files to the recipient. 

It’s recommended to set the device to receive files from “Everyone” to avoid issues with device visibility. After you’ve successfully transferred the files, you can change this setting if you wish to.

A.  Configure Discoverability Settings on Mac

If the receiver is a Mac, follow the given steps to set its visibility or discoverability:

Step 1. Click Go on Menu Bar

Step 2. Select AirDrop

This will open AirDrop app on your Mac.

Step 3. Click the arrow next to “Allow me to be discovered by:” and choose from Contacts Only or Everyone
Airdrop not working

B.   Configure Discoverability Settings on iOS

If the receiving device is an iPhone, iPad, or iPod, follow the below-given steps to set its discoverability:

Step 1. Swipe up on the iOS screen from the bottom

This opens Control Center on your iOS device

Step 2. Tap either on Contacts Only or Everyone to make the device visible to others

Method 2: Check If the Firewall Has Blocked Connections

Sometimes, the firewall blocks incoming connections on a Mac, resulting in the problem while transferring files via AirDrop. If the firewall is creating the issue, follow the steps given below to fix the issue:

Step 1. Click Apple’s icon at the top left corner on your Mac, and choose System Preferences
airdrop not working

Step 2. On System Preferences window, click Security and Privacy
airdrop not working

Step 3. On Security and Privacy window, choose the Firewall tab, and click the lock icon at the bottom-left corner of the window

airdrop not working

Step 4. Enter the Administrator password

This will make the Firewall Options button clickable.

Step 5. Click Firewall Options button

Step 6. Uncheck “Block all incoming connections”, and click OK to unblock the incoming connections

See if you’re able to receive files.

Method 3: Reset Network Settings

Sometimes, AirDrop not working problem may arise due to network settings issues. Resetting the network settings on iOS devices may help fix the issues. Let’s see how we can reset the network settings on iOS devices.

Step 1. Navigate to Settings

Step 2. Tap General and then choose Reset

Step 3. Select Reset Network Settings, and see if the issue is fixed

[NOTE]: Doing this would reset your iOS device’s network settings to factory defaults. To connect to a protected network, you’d need to re-enter the password of the network.

Hope, the troubleshooting methods and quick fixes mentioned in this blog should fix the ‘Airdrop not working issue’ on your Apple devices.

You can also read: Whats MacOS Catalina?

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