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Home / Tips and Tricks / If you're not already using AirDrop on your iPhone, be sure to miss it

If you're not already using AirDrop on your iPhone, be sure to miss it

If you continue to email files to nearby people or, God forbid, use a USB flash drive to transfer some photos, stop. If you're using an iPhone, iPad or Mac, you can use AirDrop instead. It's fast, safe and easy to set up. I will guide you through the use of AirDrop to wirelessly transfer files, photos and more with your Apple devices.

AirDrop only works between Apple devices. We're sorry for Android and PC users, but we live in a divided technology world. You can use AirDrop photos, documents, videos, audio recordings, contacts, website links, notes, and more. And as far as I can tell, there is no limit to the file size you use in AirDrop. The larger the file, the longer the transfer takes.

If you want to set up and use AirDrop step by step, watch the video at the top of the story: How to set up and use AirDrop on your Apple devices.


AirDrop lets you quickly and easily transfer files, photos, videos, and more from one Apple device to another.

Charles Wagner / CNET

Using AirDrop on an iOS device

To use AirDrop, both you and the person sending files must have Apple devices with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled. (You can even send files from another Apple device, see below for more information.) If any of you have a personal hotspot enabled, disable it. Otherwise AirDrop will not work. The same applies if you use a VPN. I can not find the exact reason, but I guess it has something to do with how a VPN encrypts your Internet connection.

Also, you do not necessarily need to be connected to a specific Wi-Fi network, or even the same network where the recipient's device is located. When the WLAN antenna is turned on, AirDrop works.

Open the Control Center and hold the symbol of a square with Wireless Link until it becomes a wireless link rectangle. Now tap AirDrop and select Receive Contacts only or Each . You can also find these exact controls by going to Settings then General and then AirDrop .

If the person you send to has AirDrop If you choose Contacts Only, the Contacts app must have a contact card that contains either your email address or phone number for AirDrop to work , If you are not in their contacts, let them pick Everyone to get your file.

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With all of this, whenever you see a Sharing button, you can select the rectangle icon with an up arrow AirDrop . When you do this, you will see all Apple devices near where AirDrop is enabled. Touch the device to which you want to send photos or files.

Next, a window warning will appear on the recipient's phone with a preview of the content you have shared. You have the option to accept or to reject . Once you tap Accept the photos or files you select will be transferred. Pictures and videos are stored in the photo app on the recipient's phone. Documents ask the recipient to choose in which app he wants to save them. Web links are automatically opened in Safari.

When transferring AirDrop content from one device to another, such as For example, if you're signed in from your iPhone to your Mac, and both devices are signed in with the same Apple ID, there's no option to accept or decline.

Setting up AirDrop on a Mac

To start, make sure both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on on your Mac, and then open a Finder window.

Click AirDrop in the sidebar. A window with a radar-like graphic opens. Anyone in the area where AirDrop is enabled will be shown as an AirDrop group in this window. At the bottom of the window, you can choose who can send you content: Nobody Contacts or Everyone .

Sharing on a Mac Simply drag and drop a file into the AirDrop group of people you want to send it to.

Charles Wagner / CNET

To share a file, simply drag it to the AirDrop group of people you want to send it to. As with iOS you can access AirDrop at any time by seeing the Sharing button.

If you have trouble sending a file via AirDrop from a Mac, click The button at the bottom of the AirDrop Finder window will not be displayed. Then click the button to search for an older Mac that is displayed.

After mastering the art of AirDrop, watch our video on how to set up and use Apple Pay.

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