Home Tutorials Hack app How to use Airdrop to copy files between iPhones and Macs

How to use Airdrop to copy files between iPhones and Macs

4
SHARE


AirDrop is a quick and easy way to send photos and video, and copy files, PDF, or other file types from your iPhone to your Mac, your Mac to your iPhone, from your iPhone to a friend’s iPhone, or any scenario including an iPhone, iPad and a Mac. It’s faster and neater than sending files via email, and won’t use up any of your data alowance like sending via text message might.

You can even use AirDrop to send a link to a webpage to a colleague, share a location on a map, share a contact, and much more.

AirDrop also allows you to share music from iTunes, Passbook passes, and apps with AirDrop (just press and hold the app icon on the Home screen until you see an option to Share).

You can even share Notes or Pages documents via AirDrop (but remember that you can also add other people to collaborate from the apps themselves).

If you are sharing between two iPhones or iPads you only need to be close enough for Bluetooth to work. If you are sharing to or from a Mac you will need Wi-Fi enabled on the Mac (AirDrop won’t work if you are using the Wi-Fi to share your wired connection to other devices) and Bluetooth turned on.

Not all Apple devices are able to use AirDrop – we have a list of Apple devices that are capable of AirDrop at the bottom of this page.

How to AirDrop from iPhone to iPhone/iPad

On both the sending and receiving iPhone or iPad it used to be the case that you needed to turn on AirDrop. Since iOS 11 AirDrop is on by default – as long as you have Wi-Fi turned on, or Bluetooth (within range of the other person), you should be able to send the file to the other iPhone or iPad using AirDrop.

On the sending iPhone or iPad…

  1. Check that Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is on: open Control Centre by swiping upwards and make sure the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons are blue.
  2. On the device you are sending from, locate the thing you want to share with your friend. e.g. To share a photo you’d open the Photos app and find that image, if it’s a contact you are sharing, open the Contacts file and find the relevant entry.
  3. Once you have selected the photo or file, tap on the Share icon (it’s a square with an arrow pointing upwards, you’ll see it in most apps although sometimes you will just see the word ‘share’).
  4. A page will open with various sharing options (Message, Mail, etc). Above that row you’ll initially see the AirDrop icon, but after a few seconds (sometimes minutes) this should be replaced by icons representing people and devices you can share with (it will indicate if it’s an iPhone, iPad or Mac, for example).
  5. Tap on the icon for the person you want to share with and your photo or file will be shared with them – as long as they accept the transfer.

  6. You can send as many files or photos as you like and send them to multiple contacts at the same time.
  7. After sending the photo or file you will see the word ‘Sent’ under the person’s device in your AirDrop row.

On the receiving iPhone or iPad…

  1. As above, check that Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is on: open Control Centre by swiping upwards and make sure the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons are blue.
  2. When your friend attempts to shares the content with you an alert will appear on your device asking if you wish to Accept or Decline.
  3. Choose Accept and the content will start to download.
  4. If you are AirDropping between your own devices you won’t see an option to accept or decline,  as long as both devices are signed into the same Apple ID.
  5. The content will appear in the relevant app – photos in the Photos app, location information in Maps, etc.

What if your iPhone/iPad can’t see/be seen for AirDrop?

If iPad or iPhone you are sharing to isn’t showing up in the list of potential AirDrop destinations there are a couple of possibilities. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi may be off. AirDrop itself may be turned off. Or your ‘friend’ may have it set to only receive from a Contact (and inexplicably don’t have your details).

  1. To establish if one of the above is the case, start by swiping up on the iPhone or iPad that won’t receive to confirm that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are on. (Double check the same on the sending device).
  2. Now check that AirDrop isn’t turned off: Swipe up on Control Centre and press and hold on the area where you can see the icons for AirPlane mode, WiF, and Bluetooth.
  3. This will take you to a second screen where you gain AirDrop and Personal Hotspot options. AirDrop should be on by default but if it isn’t, tap that icon (you should now find that you have fixed the problem).
  4. However, it’s possible that AirDrop is on but that the device is set to only receive from Contacts. In which case, tap the AirDrop icon and switch from Contacts to Everyone (your friend may want to switch back to Contacts later on if they want to avoid being AirDropped by people they don’t know.)
  5. If the iPhone or iPad still isn’t showing up, and you’ve checked all the usual suspects: turned it off and on again, checked the software is up to date, and made sure that the phone is actually capable of AirDrop (check our compatibility list below), there may be another issue at fault such as your Wi-Fi connection.

Once you are done transferring files, you may want to turn off AirDrop on your iPhone or iPad, we show you how to do that here. LINK

How to AirDrop from iPhone to Mac

Setting up your iPhone for AirDropping files to a Mac is a similar process to that described above.

On the sending iPhone or iPad…

  1. Check that Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is on: open Control Centre by swiping upwards and make sure the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons are blue.
  2. On the device you are sending from, locate the thing you want to share to the Mac. e.g. To share a photo you’d open the Photos app and find that image, if it’s a contact you are sharing, open the Contacts file and find the relevant entry.
  3. Once you have selected the photo or file, tap on the Share icon (it’s a square with an arrow pointing upwards, you’ll see it in most apps although sometimes you will just see the word ‘share’).
  4. A page will open with various sharing options (Message, Mail, etc). Above that row you’ll initially see the AirDrop icon, but after a few seconds (sometimes minutes) this should be replaced by icons representing people and devices you can share with (it will indicate if it’s an iPhone, iPad or Mac, for example).
  5. Tap on the icon that represents the Mac you want to share with and your photo or file will be shared with that device – as long as the transfer is accepted. (If you are sending files from your own iPhone to your own Mac this way you won’t have to accept the transfer, it will happen automatically.)
  6. The transferred file will download into the Downloads file (which you can find in the Dock).
  7. After sending the photo or file you will see the word Sent under the person’s device in your AirDrop row.

On the receiving Mac…

In older versions of macOS it was necessary to activate AirDrop by opening a Finder window, but this is no longer necessary. You should only need to make sure Wi-Fi is on.

  1. Ensure that Wi-Fi is turned on on your Mac. This should be apparent if the curved Wi-Fi icon in the menu at the top right of the screen is black. If it isn’t, click on this icon and choose Turn Wi-Fi On. (Alternatively, open System Preferences > Network and check that Wi-Fi is connected. If it isn’t click on the Wi-Fi tab and choose Turn Wi-Fi On).
  2. When the file is ready to be sent you should receive an alert on the Mac asking you to approve that a file is being shared. (If you are sharing a file to your Mac from your iPhone then you won’t see the alert, the transfer will happen automatically).
  3. Approve the transfer and the file should appear in your Downloads folder (which you can find in the Dock).
  4. If it’s your Mac, using the same Apple ID as the iPhone, you won’t see an alert but the file will automatically transfer to your Downloads folder.

All files sent to a Mac using AirDrop land in the Downloads folder, unlike on the iPhone or iPad where they would automatically appear in the relevant app. For this reason, you may still want to move photos sent this way to Photos and so on.

What if the Mac can’t see/be seen for AirDrop?

There are a few possibilities if the Mac you are attempting to send to isn’t showing up for AirDrop.

  1. Check that Internet Sharing isn’t turned on. (We explain how to check this, and how to turn it off below).
  2. Make sure both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Turn on Bluetooth.
  4. Sometimes just opening a Finder window and choosing AirDrop tab is enough to ‘wake up’ AirDrop.
  5. Open a Finder window and click on the AirDrop tab under Favourites. You will see the option ‘Allow me to be discovered by’ and the choice of Everyone, Contacts Only, or No One. Choose Contacts Only or Everyone. (Everyone is probably best if you want to make sure your Mac is seen in this instance).

How to turn off Internet sharing

The Mac could be sharing its internet connection via Wi-Fi, in which case you would see an Arrow pointing upwards where you would normally see the Wi-Fi symbol. (We have a tutorial on sharing your connection to the internet from your Mac to your iPhone if you’d like to know how).

If you are sharing your connection from the Mac to your iPhone or iPad you will have to stop doing this and log both devices onto the same Wi-Fi network. To do so, go to System Preferences > Sharing and turn Internet Sharing off by deselecting the box beside that option. 

How to AirDrop from Mac to iPhone/iPad

AirDropping from a Mac used to only be possible via the Finder, but it is now possible to select AirDrop as a Share option. We’ll show you how.

On the sending Mac…

Here’s how to AirDrop via the Finder.

  1. Make sure your Mac has Wi-Fi on. (If you are sharing your internet connection from the Mac to an iPhone or iPad you will have to stop doing this and log both devices onto the same Wi-Fi network as we explained above.)
  2. Open a Finder window and select AirDrop from the options on the left.
  3. Check that either ‘Everyone’ or ‘Contacts Only’ appears beside ‘Allow me to be discovered by’. If the option ‘No one’ appears here click on it and choose an option that will make your Mac visible. (To increase the chances of your Mac seeing your devices and vice versa we suggest making sure you can be seen by Everyone.)
  4. As long as the iPhone or iPad has AirDrop turned on, and isn’t asleep, you should see it appear in the AirDrop window in the Finder on the Mac.
  5. Drag and drop the image or file onto the icon representing the iPhone.
  6. A blue ring will appear and circle the iPhone icon as the file is transferred.
  7. After sending the photo or file you will see the word Sent appear under the device icon

Alternatively, you might like to share the file or photo from within an app, by right/control-clicking on it, or by using Quick Look to preview a file and then clicking the Share icon (to Quick Look, click on a file and press the Space Bar). To share from your Mac, follow these instructions:

  1. Look for the Share icon (a square with an arrow pointing out). You’ll see this in the top right of a Quick Look preview, a Safari page, and the Photos app, while in Preview you’ll see it on the left. Click this icon and then from the list that appears choose AirDrop.
  2. If you don’t see the Share icon, it’s likely that there will be an option to ‘Share’ or ‘Collaborate’. Click on this and you should also see AirDrop as an option. 
  3. A screen will open that will list the available devices. Just click on the one you wish to share with and wait for the file to transfer.

On the receiving iPhone/iPad…

  1. As above, you’ll need to ensure that Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is turned on.
  2. When the Mac user shares the file or photo you should see an alert asking for your approval of the transfer before it copies over (unless you are sharing to your iPhone from your Mac and they are both logged in using the same Apple ID).
  3. Accept the alert and the file will transfer.
  4. You will see an alert that a file is incoming.
  5. If you were sent an image you will find it in your Photos app on the iPhone. Other file types should end up in the relevant app, unless it’s not obvious what app they should go to. For example, we sent a PDF to our iPhone and were given the option of opening it in nine different apps.

If you have any problems with the iPhone or iPad not receiving the file take a look at our advice above.

How to AirDrop from Mac to Mac

AirDropping from a Mac to another Mac is very similar to Airdropping from a Mac to an iPad or iPhone. As above you can either share your files by dragging them into an AirDrop Finder window, or you can select AirDrop as a Share option.

However, there are a few differences in the way AirDrop works on older Macs, which we will address below.

On the sending Mac…

Follow our advice above for AirDropping from a Mac via the Finder or using the Share option.

On the receiving Mac…

  1. Make sure that Wi-Fi is on and you are connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the other Mac.
  2. Check that Bluetooth is on (open System Preferences > Bluetooth).
  3. When the file is sent from the other Mac you should see a pop-up to inform you that a file is being shared.
  4. Click Save to accept the transfer (or click Decline).

We address what to do if another Mac or iOS device can’t see you above, but to recap:

  1. If the other Mac can’t see you, open a Finder window and select AirDrop.
  2. In the Finder window you will see the option ‘Allow me to be discovered by’ and the choice of Everyone, Contacts Only, or No One. Make sure that you are discoverable by choosing a suitable option. To increase the chances of your Mac seeing your devices and vice versa we suggest making sure you can be seen by Everyone

How to send files via AirDrop to an older Mac

As we mentioned above, there are a few differences in the process when sending to or from an older Mac.

On the sending Mac…

  1. Click ‘Don’t see who you’re looking for’ in the AirDrop window.
  2. Select the option to Search for an Older Mac.
  3. You should see the Mac you are trying to share with in the AirDrop window, drag the file you wish to share onto it.

Troubleshooting AirDrop on a Mac

  1. Check your Mac supports AirDrop, see the list below.
  2. Make sure you are using Wi-Fi – you can’t use AirDrop if you are sharing your Wi-Fi connection from your Mac.
  3. Try turning Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off and on again.
  4. If you are set to share with Contacts Only, try changing to Everyone.
  5. According to Apple, AirDrop is designed to work within a range of approximately 9 meters so try moving the devices closer.
  6. Ensure you’re up-to-date on your Mac’s software.
  7. Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth see if you can pair with the other Mac there.
  8. Make sure you have the right kind of Bluetooth on your Mac. To check you have the right version of Bluetooth,  click the Apple menu > About This Mac > System Report > Bluetooth > LMP Version and check that LMP Version says 0x6. Anything lower than that is an older version of Bluetooth.
  9. Disable the Firewall. To do this go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall > Turn Off Firewall. Also check that ‘Block all incoming connections’ isn’t turned on in Firewall.
  10. Sign in and out of iCloud on both devices.
  11. Try using an 802.11ac network if one is available.

Troubleshooting AirDrop on an iPhone or iPad

  1. Check the iPhone or iPad supports AirDrop, see the list below.
  2. Try turning Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off and on again (or just turn Airplane Mode on and off as that will do the same thing)
  3. If you are set to share with Contacts Only, try changing to Everyone.
  4. Make sure the iPhone/iPad hasn’t gone to sleep. Our iPhone showed up in AirDrop on our Mac but it seemed to be intermittent, disappearing and reappearing from time to time. It turned out that the link was disappearing when our iPhone went to sleep and waking it up would make it visible again.
  5. According to Apple AirDrop is designed to work within a range of approximately 9 meters so try moving the devices closer.
  6. Ensure your iOS software is up-to-date.
  7. Kick start Bluetooth by going to Settings > Bluetooth on the iPhone/iPad and looking for the device you are trying to share with.
  8. Sign in and out of iCloud on both devices.

Compatible Macs, iPhones and iPads

AirDrop won’t work on all Macs and all iOS devices, so it may not be a feature you can take advantage of. AirDrop is (apparently) supported by the following Mac models:
       

  • MacBook Pro (Late 2008) or later, excluding the MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2008)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2010) or later
  • MacBook (Late 2008) or later, excluding the white MacBook (Late 2008)
  • iMac (Early 2009) or later
  • Mac Mini (Mid 2010) or later
  • Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010)
  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad (4th generation or later)
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch (5th generation)
  • iPad Pro



Source link

READ  How to Ping on a Mac

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here