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Why is My AirDrop Not Working? Causes And Solutions

AirDrop is among the most impressive iOS capabilities, allowing users to transmit files between two iOS devices quickly. However, AirDrop, as amazing as it is, is not resistant to problems and failures, and finding solutions to those becomes important. 

The amazing creation of AirDrop saw the light of the world when it was introduced in Mac Once iOS 7 for the first time in 2008. Since then, AirDrop services have been expanded for various Apple devices. 

As a result, sharing data, files, and information from one technological gadget to another has become easier and faster.

AirDrop is pretty simple to use. You must first enable Bluetooth for connectivity, and then WiFi is utilized to transport the data. The transmission is efficient and takes as little time as possible, based on the scale of the information.

However, like with all good things, AirDrop has a negative side! AirDrop not working can be a huge issue at times, and getting it back up and running can be difficult. 

There can be many reasons corresponding to this, and this article will cover the most common reasons your AirDrop isn’t working and the best fixes.

Reasons why AirDrop not Working

As already mentioned above, no matter how good of a feature AirDrop is, it isn’t all invincible. Often, people may inadvertently update some settings or turn on some features that impact AirDrop’s functionality. 

Therefore, before troubleshooting, let’s double-check the AirDrop requirements and omit these issues.

  • Unlock the device of the receiver
  • The iPad, iPhone, and Mac must be unlocked for AirDrop to work. Additionally, make sure that the two devices are within a range of 9 meters or 30 feet from one another.
  • The personal hotspot should be turned off.
  • When Personal Hotspot is enabled, AirDrop and WiFi are deactivated. As a result, before continuing, switch off the setting.
  • Unsuited devices 
  • Devices running iOS 7 include iPad mini, iPod touch 5th generation,  iPhone 5, iPad 4th generation, and later.
  • Macs: AirDrop is available on any Macs released after 2012 that run OS X Yosemite or more.
  • However, AirDrop is also supported by some Macs released before 2012.
  • Bluetooth and WiFi are turned off.
  • Ensure both devices’ Bluetooth and WiFi are powered on.
  • On both the iPad and iPhone open the Control Center and check that the WiFi and Bluetooth icons are both blue. 
  • If you don’t see the blue, tap WiFi, turn it on, and turn on the Bluetooth by tapping the respective icon.
  • On Mac turn on WiFi by clicking the icon in the menu bar. Also, enable Bluetooth by clicking the symbol.

Note: While AirDrop works well even if devices are linked to different WiFi networks, sharing between Mac and iOS benefits from being on the same network.

Make “AirDrop working” on iPhone and iPad

Check AirDrop settings before everything

You can’t transfer files between your iPhone and other devices if AirDrop is set to “Receiving Off.” “Receiving Off,” “Contacts Only,” and “Everyone” are the three settings of AirDrop. To verify that AirDrop works, switch to the “Everyone” option.

  1. To access the Control Center, swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone X.
  2. Select the AirDrop contacts to transmit files by tapping the AirDrop button.
  3. Select “Everyone” to send files to all of your contacts.

Note that “Everyone” implies that anyone with an Apple device within range may see your device, whereas “Contacts Only” indicates that only the contacts in your phone can locate it.

Ensure WiFi and Bluetooth are turned on

Since AirDrop is linked to both Bluetooth and WiFi networks, you’ll need to enable both choices on your iPhone or iPad. To fix AirDrop not working, you have to switch off AirPlay.

  1. To reach the Control Center, swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone.
  2. Turn on the WiFi and Bluetooth connections.

Disable the personal hotspot

When you set Personal Hotspot to Discoverable mode, it will take over your device’s WiFi connection. When Personal Hotspot is turned on, it’s why AirDrop isn’t working.

  1. Use the same way to get to the iPhone’s Control Center.
  2. On the iPhone, toggle Personal Hotspot off to disable the feature.
  3. Reopen AirDrop and give it another shot.

Exit the “Do Not Disturb” setting

The AirDrop alert is disabled in “Do Not Disturb” mode, and the device remains untraceable. In iOS 13/14 and iOS 12, new features to “Do Not Disturb” include setting this state for 60 minutes to a full day.

  1. With iPhone X, reveal the iPhone Control Center with 3D Touch.
  2. Use the moon icon to check the “Do Not Disturb” settings.
  3. To make your smartphone discoverable via AirDrop again, exit the “Do Not Disturb” mode.

Clear your network settings

Amongst the most common causes of AirDrop not working is a bad WiFi network. In this scenario, resetting the iPhone’s network settings is an effective technique to resolve the issue.

  1. Select “General” > “Reset” > “Reset Network Settings” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Confirm the passcode by tapping “Reset Network Settings.”
  3. Restart the iPhone to see whether AirDrop now works.

Log out of your iCloud account

There are several iCloud limits for AirDrop in “Contacts Only” mode. Whether you don’t want to use AirDrop’s “Everyone” option, check the following points to assess if AirDrop isn’t working.

  1. From “Settings”> “iCloud” on the iPhone and the receiving device, sign in to iCloud.
  2. The receiving device should save the Apple ID-associated email address or phone number.
  3. To confirm, tap “Sign Out” and enter your Apple ID password.
  4. Return to “Settings” and sign in with your Apple ID; check AirDrop again if it’s working now or not.

Bring your devices closer together

The maximum distance for sending files with AirDrop is less than 30 feet (9 meters). You can get two devices closer together to address the AirDrop not working issue.

Fix AirDrop not working on MacBook

Opening AirDrop in the Finder app

Amongst the many reasons AirDrop not working on Mac is that they set the devices far apart, as already said in the iPhone and iPad section. Therefore, even for Mac, keeping your devices close at all times helps.

Also, use the ‘Finder’ app to launch the AirDrop. The ‘AirDrop’ option is located on the left side of the app window. 

You can also choose the discoverability option that best suits your needs; for example, if you’re having problems connecting with other Apple devices, ‘Everyone’ will be appropriate.

Use the same WiFi network

It’s best to connect to the same WiFi or internet source once you’ve made sure the device you’re exchanging files with is close to your Mac. 

This will facilitate the uninterrupted flow of data from one device to another. This will improve the odds of the other device being discovered as well.

Update your Mac’s operating system

AirDrop’s performance will be affected by obsolete hardware or an outdated operating system. Because of its limited performance, the device will not recognize other iOS devices.

From the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, then Software Update. It’s great if there are no unattended software updates, but if there are, install them right away to fix any flaws, incompatibilities, or issues.

Certain settings and visibility

When you open AirDrop in Finder after changing the visibility to ‘everyone’ in the options, you should check if certain settings prevent the AirDrop from working. 

For example, the setting that blocks all incoming connections can prevent AirDropping—select System settings from the Apple menu. Then opt for privacy and security. A lock icon appears when you select the Firewall option.

Select that option and type in the administrator password. Untick or uncheck the option ‘Block all incoming connections and save the settings if it is checked.

After that, manually turn off Bluetooth and WiFi and turn them back on. This will renew them, allowing new devices to connect to WiFi and pair with nearby Bluetooth devices.

Use the terminal command to turn off Bluetooth

If your Mac device has numerous pairings, you should use the terminal command to turn Bluetooth off. You must install Blueutil before using physical commands. This will make connecting and disconnecting Bluetooth devices much easier.

You can use commands like blueutil —disconnect to disconnect from the internet (physical address of the device). This will resume Bluetooth without causing any disruption to the paired or connected devices.

Resetting the Bluetooth connectivity 

To increase connectivity, go to the menu bar and reset all Bluetooth devices. When you select the Bluetooth option, press Shift and Alt simultaneously. 

Then go to debug and uncheck all of the devices in the settings. Then go back to the menu settings and select debug. The Bluetooth module will be completely reset after this.

Restart your Mac

You may restart your Mac to relaunch all applications, which is a convenient approach to terminate all processes and start over. Select restart from the Apple menu. 

If you don’t want the currently running apps’ windows to reopen when you log back in, uncheck the “Reopen windows upon logging back in” option. This allows you to use an AirDrop without being interrupted by other processes.

Professional solutions for your AirDrop not working

Although the above lists contain every action you can take to correct a malfunctioning AirDrop, there can be cases when the problem persists even after doing the above.

The best action, in that case, will be to take your Apple devices to the professionals. 

AppleCare+ is your ideal option in this case since who knows apple products better than Apple itself! 

The other option you have with you are your local iPhone repair companies. Make sure to check the repair service’s reviews, working style, offers, and other aspects before selecting any. 

Simply Fixable is a repair service that makes client satisfaction their priority. We have a well-thought-out working system, and all their technicians are included in the United States’ top 5. 

We ensure to repair your devices in a short duration of 30 minutes, and all of that is done without any additional fees.

Check out their website to know their pricing structures and contact us to solve your AirDrop not working issue today!