Why is my AirDrop Not Working

I think AirDrop is one of the most discussed iOS features. The AirDrop makes life easier for all iOS and macOS users to transfer files, contacts, photos, and other features on iOS and macOS devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. However, if the AirDrop feature isn’t working on either your iPhone or iPad or Mac you’d need to bank on a third-party app to transfer files between your iOS devices therefore, here in this article, we discuss and answer “Why is my AirDrop not working” on iPhone, iPad, and Mac and provide solutions to how to fix AirDrop not Working on the Apple devices.

What is AirDrop

AirDrop is unique Apple devices feature to transfer files, photos, passwords, documents, movies, mp4, and audio, just name it from one Apple product to the other provided the two devices are connected together via either WiFi or Bluetooth. You can transfer virtually anything between two Apple devices with Apple AirDrop.

However, since the AirDrop feature is made available on all Apple devices including iPad, iPhone, Mac and other products, the first step to take when the AirDrop is not working on your device is to find out whether the device supports it. If it does, then, you can always fix it but if the Apple device doesn’t support AirDrop you’d not be able to use the AirDrop feature to transfer files from or between the two Apple devices.

So, while we discuss AirDrop not working in this article, you’d need to be surreal that you have a device that supports the use of AirDrop otherwise you would need to wait until the next Apple OS update whether your device will be equipped with the AirDrop feature.airdrop not working

Why is my AirDrop Not Working

There are a few reasons why your Apple device is not working with AirDrop or why your Apple device’s AirDrop is not working. So, in this part of the article, we will take a look at some instances that could cause the AirDrop not to work on your device.

AirDrop not Working on iPhone

The first thing to consider when AirDrop is not working on your iPhone or iPad or Mac device is to check whether your device supported it or not.

So, for you to use Apple AirDrop on your device you’d need to have at least when talking about iPhone, you need to have at least iPhone 5 and above.

To check AirDrop on your iPhone 5 and above kindly follow the direction below.

  • Go to your iPhone Settings.
  • Scroll down and tap “General.”

If your iPhone has the AirDrop feature it should come up under the iPhone general settings just after “Software Update” and before “AirPlay & Handoff.”

AirDrop not Working on iPad

If you are using iPad, you can only have access to AirDrop on your iPad 4 and above or you are using an iPad mini, or from the fifth-generation iPod touch. By following the steps below you will be able to know whether your iPad supports AirDrop on not.

  • Go to your iPad settings.
  • Tap on “General.”

From the general menu, you would see the AirDrop feature if your device possesses the feature.

If your iPhone or iPad doesn’t fall in this category, AirDrop will not work on it. So, it is either you don’t AirDrop or upgrade to at least one of the Apple products in this category.

AirDrop not Working on Mac & MacBook Pro

AirDrop started to feature on Mac and MacBook Pro models that were released in 2012 running OS X Yosemite or later. However, if you are not sure whether the AirDrop feature is available on your Mac device you can check for confirmation by following the steps below.

  • Go to your Mac Dock
  • Click on the “Finder” icon.
  • Tap on “Go” on the menu.
  • AirDrop should be available on the drop menu.

However, if AirDrop is missing from the menu it means that your Mac is not compatible and AirDrop won’t work on it.

How to Fix AirDrop Not Working

If your iPhone or iPad or Mac device has the AirDrop feature but it’s not working we have decided to create the complete guide for you. Here in this article, we will take a look at all the troubleshooting tips to consider when your AirDrop is not working but your device has the feature built-in.

Restart your iDevice

This can be funny though but all you need to do to fix AirDrop not working could be as simple as restarting your device. So, if your iPhone or iPad AirDrop is not working then restart the device and try again.

Enable Bluetooth or WiFi

To use AirDrop iPhone or iPad or Mac you need to enable Bluetooth or WiFi on both devices and turn on the option to make your AirDrop discoverable by another device with the AirDrop feature.

Follow the steps below on your iPhone or iPad to enable your Bluetooth.

  • Go to your iPhone “Settings.”
  • Tap on “Bluetooth.”
  • Toggle “On” the Bluetooth grey icon.

If you are using WiFi as your means of connection kindly follow the steps below to turn on your iPhone WiFi to make it ready for AirDropping.

  • Go to your iPhone “Settings.”
  • Tap “WiFi.”
  • Click on the “grey” icon to enable “Wi-Fi.”

Once the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi function is turned on; on both devices, your AirDrop feature will be enabled and ready to share or transfer files between the two devices.

Summary: AirDrop won’t work if either your Bluetooth or WiFi is disabled depending on your means of connection.

Enable Everyone on AirDrop

To allow anyone iPhone or iPad or Mac users to search for your AirDrop and be able to use it you’d need to turn on the feature to allow everyone to identify your AirDrop otherwise it’d appear as if your AirDrop is not working because if you choose “Contact Only” your AirDrop will only be available for only iOS users on your contact.

Therefore, as a measure to fix Why AirDrop not Working we need to enable “Everyone” in the AirDrop settings.

  • Go to your iPhone Settings.
  • Tap on “General >> AirDrop.”
  • Choose “Everyone” or “Everyone for 10 Minutes.”

If you are using iOS16.6 or later you will see the feature to turn on your AirDrop for everyone for 10 minutes. However, if the feature is not available then you can choose “Everyone” and turn off the AirDrop once you are done sharing your files by following the same steps you followed to enable it.

Summary: AirDrop won’t work if you set it to contact only and the Apple device that is trying to connect to your AirDrop is not on your contact list.

Log Out and Log In to your iCloud Account

Logging out and logging in to your iCloud account is another troubleshooting tip to fix AirDrop not working on iPhone or iPad or Mac. So, just log out of your iCloud account and log into the same account again.

  • Go to your “iPhone Settings.”
  • Tap on your “Name.”
  • Tap “Sign Out” under your “Name and iPhone model.”

Now, follow the same steps to sign into your iCloud account again and see if your AirDrop will start working.

Summary: Excess cache can make your device malfunction and this can affect the AirDrop feature, so, if your AirDrop is not working you want to sign out and sign in to your iCloud account.

Make AirDrop Discoverable on Mac

If you are using Mac or MacBook Pro you need to make your AirDrop discoverable for it to work and for other Apple products with AirDrop to discover it and connect to it. So, we recommend that you should adjust your Mac AirDrop settings as shared below.

  • Open “Finder” on your “Mac.”
  • Click on “AirDrop” on the left pane.
  • Click on the “Control Center.”
  • Click on the “AirDrop Settings Prefaced.” You will see:
    • No One
    • Contact Only
    • Everyone
  • Choose “Contact” only if the other “AirDrop” device is on your contact or “Everyone” if the device is from a random person who isn’t on your contact list.

Disable iPhone or iPad Hotspot

If your AirDrop is still not working after all the above steps then try to disable your personal hotspot either on your iPhone or iPad depending on your device. So, by following the steps below you will learn how to disable your iPhone hotspot and how you can easily turn off the hotspot on your iPad.

iPhone or iPad

For iPhone users, kindly follow the steps below to learn how to disable your iPhone hotspot in an attempt to fix why is airdrop not working on your iPhone.

  • Go to your “iPhone Settings.”
  • Tap on “Personal Hotspot.”
  • Tap the grey button next to “Allow others to join” to disable your “iPhone hotspot.”

Unlock your iOS Device

You won’t be surprised that the “AirDrop” won’t work if your iPhone is locked. So, before you start using AirDrop on your device you first need to unlock your iPhone or iPad to make the AirDrop appear to other iOS users.

Unblock “All Incoming Connections” on your Mac

AirDrop may not work on your Mac device if you checked “all incoming connections” on your Mac. So, if AirDrop is not working on your Mac you need to check whether all incoming connections are blocked on the Mac Firewall as this can block your Mac from discovering AirDrop from a nearby Apple device.

So, with the steps below, you will learn how to unblock all incoming connections on your Mac to fix AirDrop not working on your Mac.

  • Click on the “Apple” symbol on the menu.
  • Choose “System Preferences…”
  • Click on “Security & Privacy” next to “Extension.”
  • Click on the “Padlock” and type your administrative detail or use your “Touch ID.”
  • Tap the “Firewall Options…”
  • Go to “Block all incoming connections” and “uncheck” the box next to it.
  • Scroll down and check the box beside “Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections.”
  • Click on the “OK.”

Once you are done making the changes above make an attempt to transfer files or data from your iPhone or iPad AirDrop to your Mac to see if it’d work. If this still doesn’t work then you want to check the next tip.

Summary: Your Mac firewall can block incoming connections from connection to your Mac AirDrop, so, be surreal to disable or turn off block incoming connections on your Mac Firewall settings.

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