AirDrop Not Working? Here are The Best Troubleshooting Tips You Should Know

Lisa Ou

Nov 25, 2019 09:00 / Posted by Lisa Ou

In order to sync the photos, videos and other files between your iPhone and a MacBook, AirDrop is one of the best choices. But you might find the AirDrop not working or fail to AirDrop files to your Mac. What should be the problems and how to sync the files via AirDrop? Just learn more details about the AirDrop troubleshooting from the article now.

AirDrop Not Working

Part 1: Why AirDrop Not Working

Can Your Mac or iOS Device Use AirDrop

Here is a list of Apple devices that support the AirDrop feature. As for the iPhones, you only have to update to the latest iOS versions to fix AirDrop not working.

AirDrop is compatible with the following Mac computers:

  1. MacBook Pro (late 2008 or newer)
  2. MacBook Air (late 2010 or newer)
  3. MacBook (late 2008 or newer)
  4. iMac (early 2009 or newer)
  5. Mac mini (mid-2010 or newer)
  6. Mac Pro (early 2009 with AirPort Extreme or newer)
  7. AirDrop is compatible with iOS devices that:
  8. Run iOS 7 or later

Check the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

  • Turn on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for iPhone, Mac and other iOS devices you want to share the files.
  • Make sure the devices are within 30 feet of each other, if necessary, move the device closer together.
  • It is recommended to use the same Wi-Fi network for the devices for AirDrop to work.

Do Not Disturb of iPhone is On

When your iPhone is in a Do Not Disturb status, you might not receive notifications. In order to disable Do Not Disturb mode, you can go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. You can also toggle the Do Not Disturb icon in Control Center.

Personal Hotspot or VPN is On

Disable the Personal Hotspot to ensure you can take full advantage of the Wi-Fi service on your iPhone. Of course, you can also disable the VPN service in order to transfer the files with AirDrop smoothly.

Make Sure Your iPhone is Awake and Unlocked

The iPhone needs to be awake and unlocked in order to receive the notifications. As for the case, you have to make sure the iPhone is awake, unlocked and ready to receive. It is the simplest AirDrop troubleshooting to fix the AirDrop not working on iPhone.

Check the Settings for AirDrop

Make sure you have turned on and enable the AirDrop option on the Apple devices you want to share. Even if you enable the AirDrop features, you might still find the AirDrop not sharing or working. It is recommended to enable the Everyone as the share option on your iPhone or other Apple devices.

Other Settings on iPhone and Mac

If you still cannot locate the problems for AirDrop not working, you can simply restart the iPhone and Mac as AirDrop troubleshooting. Restart iPhone or Mac is one of the most efficient methods to solve some basic problems, including the AirDrop ones.

Part 2: Where Do AirDrop Files Go on Mac/iPhone

When you sync the files between your iPhone and a Mac via AirDrop, such as the contacts, photos, videos, eBooks and other such files, you can learn more about the destination folder where do AirDrop files go.

AirDrop synced files on your Mac: Once you have transferred the files from your iPhone to a Mac, you can find and download the files within the Downloads folder.

AirDrop synced files on your iPhone: Usually the files open in the app that they were sent from. If you do not have the app installed on your iPhone, you will be directed to the App Store to download the app.

app store download

Part 3: How to Turn on/off AirDrop

Just as mentioned, when you need to transfer the files between iPhone and Mac via AirDrop, you should turn on the AirDrop beforehand. Here is the detailed process that you can turn on/off AirDrop.

Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen to reveal the Control Center on your iPhone.

Tap the AirDrop option and choose from the Off, Contacts Only and Everyone options.

Choose the Everyone to share the files for all and the Contacts Only for the ones of your Contacts only.

Turn on/off AirDrop

Part 4: How to Transfer Files to iPhone/Mac with AirDrop

If you have already enabled the AirDrop on your iPhone or Mac, how to transfer files from iPhone to Mac with AirDrop? You can learn more details about the process as below.

Choose the files you want to share from your iPhone. Tap the Share button to share the files.

Tap the name of the person to share the files with. Make sure the receiver has enabled the AirDrop.

There will be an alert with a preview of the content you want to share, tap the Save button to save the files shared by iPhone.

Transfer Files to iPhone/Mac with AirDrop

Part 5: How to Transfer Data with FoneTrans

When you need to transfer a large file or multiple files between your iPhone and a Mac, FoneTrans for iOS is always the best alternative when AirDrop not working. It is the easy and fast method to transfer files from iTunes Library, computer and iOS device, and vice versa.

  1. Transfer photos, videos, music, messages, PDF and more others with ease.
  2. Backup, export, import, add, delete, edit and manage files of iOS devices.
  3. Recover the lost and deleted files directly from iPhone and iTunes backup.
  4. Compatible with the latest iOS 14 or earlier and all the iOS devices.

Download and install the FoneTrans for iOS, you can launch the program on your computer. Connect the iPhone to your Mac via the original USB cable. The program is able to detect the iPhone automatically.

fonetrans for ios interface

Choose the files from your iPhone, such as Photos, Music, Videos, Contacts and more others. Select the files from your iPhone, click the Export to PC to transfer files from your iPhone to a MacBook.

trnasfer data with fonetrans

When you need to transfer files from your Mac to an iPhone, you can click the + icon to select the files from your MacBook, you can add the files directly to iPhone when AirDrop not working.

add data and transfer


What should you do if AirDrop does not work to sync the files between iOS and Mac? The article shares not only the methods to fix the problems, but also the standard process to sync the files via AirDrop. Any more queries about AirDrop troubleshooting, you can leave a comment in the article.

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