How to use AirDrop on an iPhone or iPad or Mac

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Last updated on August 4th, 2019

AirDrop is quick, secure and easy and it is one of native features to iOS and MacOS. You can AirDrop photos, videos, contacts, Passbook passes, Voice Memos, Map location, and any and everything else that appears on a Share sheet. Here is how to Airdrop files from your iPhone or iPad or Mac.

It is useful when you are close in proximity to the person you would like to send your files to, as AirDrop only works when users are near one another. AirDrop is safer to use than both email and text.

How to turn AirDrop on or off for iPhone or iPad

You can enable AirDrop for your contacts or for everyone. “Contacts” requires more work, as you and the person you want to AirDrop with both have to be logged into iCloud and be in each other’s Contacts. “Everyone” is easier but means random people you don’t know can send you prank AirDrops.


  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to reveal the Control Center. If using an iPhone X, swipe down from the upper-right corner of the display.
  2. Press firmly (iPhone 6s or newer) or press and hold (iPads or older iPhones) on the wireless control box on the upper left side of Control Center.
  3. This will expand the box, and reveal additional controls like AirDrop.
  4. Tap on AirDrop.
  5. Choose who can send things to you through AirDrop by tapping Receiving OffContacts Only, or Everyone.
  • Receiving Off: This blocks your device from receiving any and all AirDrop requests.
  • Contacts Only: This makes it so only your contacts can see your device.
  • Everyone: This allows all nearby iOS users who are using AirDrop to share files with you.

How to AirDrop files from your iPhone or iPad

Once you turn on AirDrop, follow these steps below to share files, photos, and other content:


  1. Go to the file, photo, or other piece of content you’d like to share.
  2. Tap the share button. It looks like a box with an arrow pointing up, or sometimes just the word “Share”.
  3. Tap the intended recipient’s avatar when it appears in the AirDrop row.
  4. Once accepted, “sent” will appear under the device name.

Note: If you’re trying to AirDrop to someone with multiple devices, you could see their picture multiple times in the Sheet. You will see their device name, however, which should make sure you pick the right one.

How to turn on (or off) AirDrop for Mac

  1. Launch the Finder on your Macs.
  2. Click on AirDrop in the left navigation.
  3. Select Off to disable AirDrop, Contacts Only to enable only your contacts to AirDrop you, or Everyone to let everyone AirDrop you.

How to AirDrop files from your Mac

There are three ways that can be used to share files from your Mac by using AirDrop.

1. Using the drag and drop

The fastest way to grab some files and quickly throw them into AirDrop is using Drag and Drop.

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Find the files you want to AirDrop.
  3. Drag the files over AirDrop in the sidebar.
  4. Hover there until the Finder changes to the AirDrop window.
  5. Drop the files onto the picture of the contact you want to share them with.

2. Using the context menu

You can access AirDrop by doing control/right-click on your Mac.

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Find the file you want to share.
  3. Control/right click on the file and then choose Share from the menu.
  4. Choose AirDrop from the sub-menu.
  5. Click on the picture of the person you want to share with.

3. Using the share sheet

You can also AirDrop files using the Share sheet on macOS, including from the Finder and Safari.

  1. Click on the Share button, typically at the top right.
  2. Select AirDrop.
  3. Click on the picture of the person you want to share with.