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AirDrop not working as expected? If you are having issues with AirDrop not working on iPhone or iPad, you can follow the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article to fix the problem.
AirDrop is the easy-to-use instant file sharing protocol built into iOS, iPadOS and Mac OS X that allows you to send and receive things between iPhones, Macs, iPads and iPod touch. While AirDrop usually works flawlessly, sometimes there can be issues with AirDrop and in the worst cases, AirDrop won’t work at all.
If you discover that AirDrop is not working at all, read on for some troubleshooting procedures and tips On how to fix the problem so you can share files wirelessly and easily between iOS and iPadOS devices again.
Fix AirDrop Errors and AirDrop Not Working on iPhone or iPad
When AirDrop doesn’t work at all in iOS, the AirDrop button will often do nothing, or sometimes if the feature is turned on, the device will not be displayed to others nearby. In those situations, try the following solutions:
1: Update iOS / iPadOS on iPhone or iPad
First of all, make sure to update the iOS system software as the latest versions have bug fixes that can directly fix the issues you are experiencing with AirDrop. You can update iOS by backing upup to make up iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings> General> Software Update and choose to download and install an available update, if found.
2: AirDrop is not displayed Up? It probably isn’t turned on
Note that if AirDrop is not displayed up in iOS Control Center, this is usually because the feature is not enabled, but sometimes it is more complex than that in which case the troubleshooting methods below will help you fix the problem.
3: Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, reboot, try again
- Open Control Center and turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch (this is temporary)
- Restart the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch by pressing and holding the power button and Home buttons until you see the Apple logo on the screen
- When the device is turned on again up, open Control Center again, this time tap ‘AirDrop’ button
- Choose “Everyone” from the list of who you want to broadcast AirDrop to (you can choose AirDrop for Contacts only if you want and you can be sure that the person you want to use AirDrop with is in your contacts list, but using Everyone is much more reliable for troubleshooting) – this will automatically turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi back on
- Now try to use AirDrop again via Sharing, it should work fine
When you’re done using AirDrop, you’ll want to go back to the Control Center and open the feature off, or at least change it to Contacts, otherwise the device will remain available to anyone who happens to be looking for it (not turning off AirDrop for Everyone has led to some craziness at public coffee shops and libraries because I’m sure you can so it’s best to just turn off Contacts or return to Contacts when you’re done transferring with the protocol).
This toggle off, reboot and AirDrop Everyone trick has solved AirDrop sharing issues for iPhone and iPad for a long time, it is reliable and it almost always works assuming the iOS devices are running modern software versions, there are no hardware issues (i.e. iPhone doesn’t take a long bath in salt water), and assuming restrictions are not enabled for AirDrop.
Remember, if AirDrop just won’t show up, this is probably because it has been disabled in the settings. That also has an easy fix but is separate from the troubleshooting here.
AirDrop not working between iOS / iPadOS and Mac OS?
Using AirDrop between iOS and Mac OS X should work flawlessly as long as the devices (both the Mac and the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch) are all close together, running the current versions of iOS and MacOS X respectively , and assuming they all have the feature enabled.
If all of this is true and you still find that AirDrop is not working in iOS when you try to send or share with a Mac, try putting the Mac in AirDrop compatibility mode, which may fix the problem with certain hardware.
Likewise, if you regularly use compatibility mode, try to exit and return to normal AirDrop mode on the Mac to ensure a connection can be found. Sometimes it’s just a matter of trial and error when sharing between the two Apple operating systems.
Something else to keep in mind, although the devices enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the devices don’t really need to be on a Wi-Fi network for AirDrop to work. This is because there is no need for a network with AirDrop, as it instantly creates a temporary ad hoc network between, say, two iPhones, or an iPad and an iPhone, or an iPhone and a Mac with Mac OS X.
Do you have any other issues with AirDrop? Fixes for AirDrop Not Working as Intended? Some general questions or troubleshooting tips for AirDrop? Let us know in the comments.
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