Easy Fixes for AirDrop Not Working

By Lillian Lai in Common Errors Tags: AirDropiPhone

If you are using iOS device and Mac, AirDrop must be familiar to you. If AirDrop is not working on your iOS devices and Mac, it would be very disappointing because your can’t transfer wirelessly between these devices. But don’t be upset! This guideline summarizes the top fixes for AirDrop not working. Check the fixes below!

Method 1: Check if your device is discoverable
Method 2: Resign in your iCloud account
Method 3: Check the Bluetooth and WiFi to fix AirDrop not working
Method 4: Check Personal Hotspot to fix AirDrop not working
Method 5: Check Do Not Disturb Mode to fix AirDrop not working
Method 6: Check the WiFi network to fix AirDrop not working
Method 7: Check Firewall on Mac to fix AirDrop not working

What is AirDrop?

AiDrop is a super cool feature AirDrop that enables you to wirelessly transfer pictures, videos, files and more between iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch/Mac nearby. With iOS 10 and later, you can also share links to apps with AirDrop. It makes our life and work much more convenient.

AirDrop uses Bluetooth to enable a peer-to-peer WiFi network between devices nearby. Moreover, the connection and transferred data are encrypted, so you don’t need to worry about data being exposed.

Method 1: Check if your device is discoverable

If your AirDrop is not working in your device, you may need to check if you have make your device discoverable. AirDrop must be manually enabled in Control Center on iOS devices and in the Mac’s Finder for it to work. Check the following steps:

Note: All the screenshots below are shown on iOS 10, but the fixes apply to other iOS versions as well.

Step 1: Configure AirDrop settings correctly

On iOS devices:

1) Swipe up from the bottom of your device screen.

2) Tap AirDrop button to turn it on. 

3) You will see a popup list to configure your settings. It’s recommended to choose Everyone, so that your device can be discovered by whom is not your contact.

Receiving Off: You won’t receive AirDrop requests.
Contacts Only: Only your contacts can see your device.
Everyone: All nearby iOS devices using AirDrop can see your device.

 

On Mac OS:

1) On your Mac, go to Finder > Menu Bar.

2) Click Go > AirDrop, then click Allow me to be discovered by.

3) Choose Everyone.

airdrop on mac

Step 2: Make sure all the devices are within detected range

As mentioned, AirDrop works based on WiFi and Bluetooth, so your devices must be within the WiFi and Bluetooth range to be able to detected. You can’t AirDrop to users who are out of the defined range.

It’s recommended to be as closer as possible when using AirDrop, and do not beyond 20 feet (6 meters), which may make your device undiscoverable.

Step 3: Turn off your AirPlane mode

The Airplane mode cuts off your iPhone’s connection to all wireless networks, both cellular and Wi-Fi, so your AirDrop won’t be working if your AirPlane mode is on.

1) Swipe up from the bottom of your device screen.

2) Tap the Airplane button to turn it off. The button is grey if it’s turned off.

3) Try your AirDrop again to see if it works.

Step 4: Make sure your device screen is on when using AirDrop

If the iOS device screen is off when AirDrop items, you would fail to send/receive the items. So make sure your iOS device screen is on when using AirDrop.

As for Mac, you can use AirDrop when your Mac screen is off, but make sure it’s not in sleep mode. Sleep mode will stop AirDrop from working properly, too.

Step 5: Do not to transfer files of different types

For now, you can transfer many types of files by AirDrop, but you can’t transfer different types of files at one time with AirDrop. Please make sure you transfer the same type of file once a time.

Method 2: Resign in your iCloud account

The AirDrop not working issue can be caused by the iCloud issue. Signing out and Signing in again can solve the problem.

Note: Both the devices that using AirDrop need to be signed in the iCloud account.

1) Go to Settings, and tap your name to go to iCloud.

2) Tap Sign Out, and enter your Apple ID password to confirm.

3) Back in the Settings screen, tap Apple ID to sign in.

4) Enter your account and password to sign in.

5) Try your AirDrop again to see if it works.

Method 3: Check the Bluetooth and WiFi to fix AirDrop not working

As mentioned above, AirDrop can work properly when both the WiFi and Bluetooth perform well. If there is something wrong with your WiFi or Bluetooth, AirDrop may not work.

If you have turned on AirDrop, WiFi and Bluetooth will turn on automatically. You can try to turn off WiFi and Bluetooth and turn them on.

1) Go to Settings > WLAN.

2) Tap WLAN button to turn it off, and tap again to turn it on.

3) Back to Settings > Bluetooth.

4) Tap Bluetooth button to turn it off, and tap again to turn it on.

5) Try AirDrop again.

Tips: Please make sure your WiFi connection works well. Sometimes if your WiFi doesn’t work, your AirDrop can’t transfer items.

Method 4: Check Personal Hotspot to fix AirDrop not working

This is a step that people may forget to check: Personal Hotsopt. It lets you share the cellular data connection of your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) when you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network.

However, Personal Hotspot being used may stop AirDrop from working, because the Personal Hotspot feature is relied on WiFi, too. You can try to temporarily turn off Personal Hotspot.

1) Go to Settings > Personal Hotspot.

2) Tap the button next to Personal Hotspot to turn it off.

3) Reopen your AirDrop and try it again.

Method 5: Check Do Not Disturb Mode to fix AirDrop not working

The Do Not Disturb mode helps you to silence calls, alerts and notifications that you receive on your iOS devices. If you are in the Do Not Disturb mode, your AirDrop will not be working. You can try to temporarily disable the Do Not Disturb mode.

1) Swipe up from the bottom of the device screen.

2) Tap the moon icon to turn off Do Not Disturb mode. The button will be lit up if it’s on, and it becomes grey when it’s off.

3) Try AirDrop again to see if it works.

Method 6: Check the WiFi network to fix AirDrop not working

WiFi network is an important factor to have AirDrop to be working. Check your WiFi network by these steps:

Step 1: Make sure your WiFi works properly

If your WiFi is not working properly, it may prevent AirDrop from working properly. You can check your WiFi network on other device, or search something on your browser to see if it works normally.

If it doesn’t work well, try another WiFi then.

Step 2: Make sure the devices are in the same network

Please make sure that your iOS devices and Mac that are using AirDrop are in the same WiFi network, and that can help solve the problem, too.

Step 3: Reset network settings

You can try to reset your network to fix AirDrop not working.

Note: Resetting your network means that all the saved network settings will be erased, so please make sure you remember your WiFi network passwords. And you will need to enter your WiFi passwords after restarting your device.

1) Go to Settings > General > Reset.

2) Choose Reset Network Settings, then enter your Passcode to finish.

3) Select your WiFi, enter the password to connect again.

3) Try to use AirDrop again to see if it works.

Method 7: Check Firewall on Mac to fix AirDrop not working

If AirDrop is not working when transfer items to Mac, its’ possible that the Mac blocks AirDrop items. Check these steps:

1) On your Mac, go to System preference > Security & Privacy.

2) Click Firewall, and click Firewall Options.

3) Uncheck the box next to Block all incoming connections, then click OK.

4) Try to AirDrop items again.

These are the easy methods to fix AirDrop not working. Which method helps you out? Feel free to let us know if you have any questions, and we will see what more we can do to help.