airdropAirDrop is Apple's ad-hoc service that lets users discover nearby Macs and iOS devices and securely transfer files between them over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

When using AirDrop between Macs and iOS devices, you can send and receive photos, videos, documents, contacts, passwords and anything else that can be transferred from a Share Sheet. Keep reading to learn how to use it.

AirDrop Device Compatibility

iPhone and iPad: To use AirDrop on iOS, you'll need an iPhone 5 or later, iPad 4 or later, iPad mini, or fifth-generation iPod touch.

Mac: All Mac models released in 2012 and later and running OS X Yosemite or later support AirDrop. You can confirm that your Mac is compatible with AirDrop by clicking the Finder icon in the Dock and selecting Go in the menu bar. If AirDrop is not listed as an option, then your Mac is not compatible with the feature.

How to Adjust AirDrop Settings on iPhone and iPad

There are two active settings for AirDrop: You can set it to accept shares from anyone, or only from people whose email address or mobile number appears in your contacts. Alternatively, you can disable the feature completely. These settings can also be used to ensure that you don't become the victim of an unsolicited AirDrop share.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Scroll down and tap General.
    how to protect yourself from AirDrop harassment 2

  3. Tap AirDrop.
    airdrop

  4. Tap Contacts Only or Receiving Off.

How to Adjust AirDrop Settings via Control Center

You can also set your AirDrop options in Control Center. Here's how:

  1. Open Control Center on your device in the following way: On an ‌iPad‌ with a Home button, double-tap the Home button; on ‌iPhone‌ 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen; and on a 2018 iPad Pro or ‌iPhone‌ X or later, swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen.
    how to protect yourself from airdrop harassment

  2. Press firmly or touch and hold the network settings card in the upper-left corner.
  3. Tap AirDrop.
  4. Tap Contacts Only or Receiving Off.

How to AirDrop Files on iPhone and iPad

You can share files within iOS wherever you come across the Share Sheet icon (a little square with an arrow pointing out of it). Here's how it works.

  1. Choose a file that you'd like to send over AirDrop. In our example, we're sharing a photo from the Photos app.
  2. Tap the Share Sheet icon in the corner of the screen.
    airdrop

  3. From the top row of the Share Sheet, tap the person or device nearby that you want to share the file with. Note that if the person you're sharing content with is in your Contacts, you'll see an image with their name. If they aren’t in your Contacts, you'll see just their name without an image. You may need to tap the AirDrop icon itself to see all of the AirDrop options.

How to Share Passwords Over AirDrop

There are lots of reasons you might want to share a password, and Apple has made it much easier in iOS 12 or later. Now, you can share passwords with other people directly from the iOS Password Manager via AirDrop.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Tap Website & App Passwords.
  3. Select a login.
    passwordsios12

  4. Tap the Password field and select AirDrop... from the popup menu.
  5. From the AirDrop menu, tap the person nearby that you'd like to share the password with.

Users on both devices are required to authenticate via Touch ID or Face ID (or a regular old password, depending on which Mac you have) before the password can be sent or saved.

Using AirDrop on iPhones With a U1 Chip

If you own an iPhone 11, ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max, your device includes Apple's new "U1" ultra wideband chip, which means it's spatially aware. In other words, you can point your ‌iPhone 11‌ towards someone else's and AirDrop will prioritize that device in the list of possible AirDrop recipients.

airdrop
The feature requires iOS 13.1 or later to work. You can check that you're ‌iPhone‌ software is up-to-date by launching Settings and going to General -> Software Update.

How to AirDrop Files on Mac

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Find the file(s) that you want to share and drag them over AirDrop in the Finder window sidebar. Let them hover there until the AirDrop window appears.
    airdrop

  3. Drop the file(s) onto the profile picture of the person you want to share them with.

If it's easier, you can also AirDrop files by right-clicking (or Ctrl-clicking) them and selecting Share -> AirDrop from the contextual menu, or by clicking the Share icon in the Finder window's toolbar and selecting AirDrop from there.

How to Adjust AirDrop Settings on Mac

  1. Open a Finder window on your Mac.
  2. Select AirDrop from the Finder sidebar (if AirDrop isn't listed, use the keyboard combination Command-Shift-R to open it.
    how to protect yourself from airdrop harassment 3

  3. Click the setting prefaced with Allow me to be discovered by: and select Contacts Only, Everyone or No one from the drop-down menu.

If you're a regular user of AirDrop in macOS and regularly open it in Finder, consider adding an AirDrop shortcut to your Dock for one-click access to it from any screen.

Tag: AirDrop

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
it home ecommerce app iphone 13

iPhone 13 to Launch on September 17, AirPods 3 on September 30, Claims Report

Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:42 am PDT by
Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 13 on Friday, September 17 and third-generation AirPods on Thursday, September 30, according to an image of an e-commerce app discovered by Chinese language site IT Home. The screenshot, originally posted by Weibo account @PandaIsBald, suggests all four iPhone 13 models will go on sale on September 17, followed by the AirPods 3 on September 30....
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
ulysses Blog Publishing

Ulysses 22 Brings New Blogging Options and Visual Customizations

Monday March 22, 2021 5:24 am PDT by
Popular writing app Ulysses today received its 22nd major release, introducing new publishing features and additional options for users to customize the visual appearance of their writing environment. As well as providing a focused writing environment, Ulysses offers ways to publish texts from within the app to various blogging platforms. Version 22 adds the ability to publish to Micro.blog, ...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...