Where Do AirDrop Files Go? Locating AirDrop Files on Mac and iOS

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AirDrop is the excellent wireless file transfer feature available for Mac, iPhone and iPad, it allows you to easily and quickly transfer images, movies, documents and whatever between any iOS or Mac OS device. On the receiving end of AirDrop, have you wondered where AirDrop files end up on a Mac or on an iPhone or iPad? No more wondering, we’ll show you exactly where AirDrop files are stored and how to access their location in iOS and Mac OS.

Obviously, you must have received an AirDrop file on a Mac or iPhone or iPad to be able to find out where AirDropped files are going and located, so if you want to try this for yourself, you probably want to get an AirDrop file to yourself from another device. Otherwise, read on so you know where to look in the future for data transferred by AirDrop to Mac OS or iOS.

Where AirDrop files go on Mac

Using AirDrop to move files between Macs is quick and easy, entirely through Finder, but have you ever wondered where those AirDrop files are stored? It turns out that AirDrop files on a Mac go to the user’s Downloads folder by default.

So if someone sends you a file to your Mac via AirDrop, you’ll want to look in your Downloads folder. There are multiple ways to access the Downloads folder on a Mac. Perhaps the fastest way for most users is to use the Dock or the Finder.

AirDrop files go to Downloads folder on Mac

This applies to all file types transferred to Mac by AirDrop, whatever they are, be it movies, photos, Word documents, texts, presentations, pdf files, images, you name it, all files from AirDrop go to the ~ / Downloads folder.

Where AirDrop files go on iPhone, iPad

Using AirDrop to move files and pictures to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is also super easy and accessible from the Control Center, Photos app, and sharing features. However, since iOS does not have an official user-accessible file system, the AirDropped files go to different locations depending on the file type being transferred. This may sound a bit confusing given that there is no central location for AirDrop files in iOS, but the way it is presented to the user is quite simple.

Where AirDrop photos, videos, images and movies are stored in iOS

Photos and videos transferred to an iPhone or iPad via AirDrop appear in the Photos app and your camera roll.

Photos iOS icon

Where Other AirDrop File Types Go in iOS

Other files, such as pdf, doc file, text, etc., will bring up a small menu of various options available on the iPhone or iPad to open and save the AirDropped file.

AirDrop files go to various apps in iOS

Once you put an AirDrop file on an iOS device, all you have to do is choose an app to open it, and the file will then be copied and available to that app. If the file is a PDF or similar, iBooks is probably the best location for it, while other files may be better stored in DropBox or some other similar app that mimics file system access. Maybe AirDrop in iOS will enable saving files received in iCloud Drive in the future?

AirDrop icon in iOS

Due to the way iOS handles AirDrop files, some users may think that it doesn’t work properly when in reality (btw, if you really have a problem with the feature we have two excellent guides on how to troubleshoot AirDrop not working in iOS here and here if AirDrop not showing up all the way in iOS). Just remember that photos, videos, movies, and images go to the Photos app by default, while other file types pop up.up menu to show where the user wants to send the file.

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Where Do AirDrop Files Go? Locating AirDrop Files on Mac and iOS: FAQ

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The time to complete the Where Do AirDrop Files Go? Locating AirDrop Files on Mac and iOS tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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