How to activate AirDrop on your iPhone, iPad and Mac

AirDrop is a handy feature that lets you quickly send and receive photos, videos, documents, locations, or other content wirelessly between multiple nearby iOS devices. You can use it with an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

iPhone and iPad: Enable AirDrop and Send Content to Nearby Devices

The AirDrop feature uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology to transmit the items you want to share with your contacts. On iPhone and iPad, AirDrop is accessible with iOS 7, iPadOS 13, and higher versions.

Steps to take before you start using AirDrop on iPhone and iPad

To use AirDrop, you must be signed in to your Apple account, and verify the following:

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are activated on your smartphone and that of the person to whom you want to send content,
  • the AirDrop reception settings have been defined on the 2 devices: General > AirDrop > contacts only Where Everyone.

Good to know: once the operation is complete, you can deactivate the option by selecting Reception disabled in your phone settings.

Send an item to another nearby iPhone or iPad with AirDrop

Just follow the steps below:

  • Open the item you want to share,
  • Press the share icon located at the bottom left of the screen,
  • Select the blue AirDrop icon in the sharing options,
  • Point the iPhone in the direction of the device with which you want to share your content,
  • Choose the corresponding iPhone or iPad user from the list of proposed AirDrop users.

Note that if the person who will receive your content is in your contacts, you will be able to see their image with their name, to select them more easily. If it is not there, only its name will appear, without an image.

Enable AirDrop on Mac and Share Documents to Other Nearby Devices

There’s another way to go if you want to activate and send items to contacts near you from a Mac.

Steps to take before you start using AirDrop on Mac

To activate the AirDrop feature on Mac, all you have to do is:

  • Open the Finder on your computer’s desktop,
  • In the Go menu (at the top of your screen), choose AirDrop,
  • In the dedicated window, activate the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection, if it is deactivated.
  • And click on Allow me to be detected by for the user who will receive your content.

Note that the two devices must be within 9 meters of each other, and use OS X 10.10 and higher versions.

Send an item to another nearby Apple device with AirDrop

Once the settings have been defined, the procedure is then as follows:

  • Open the item to send on your Mac,
  • Click on the button To share in your application window,
  • Choose AirDrop from the sharing options offered,
  • Select the recipient in the window that appears.
© Apple

If your file is in the Finder, you also have the option of selecting AirDrop from the sidebar (or by going to Go > AirDrop from the menu bar). In the AirDrop window, you will see the icons of nearby detected users. All you have to do is drag your content to the recipient of your choice.

macos-ventura-finder-airdrop-people-nearby
© Apple

Your contact will receive a notification to let them know when your content has been sent. All he has to do is click on Accept to save the file to its Downloads folder.

airdrop-mac-receive
© Apple

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How to activate AirDrop on your iPhone, iPad and Mac


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