What Is AirDrop

AirDrop is the built-in file-sharing service on Apple devices that allows you to transfer videos, photos, contacts, locations, and more between two AirDrop-supported devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac. It runs on WiFi and Bluetooth and thus enables you to share data wirelessly.

Whether you want to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone or send videos from iPhone to Mac, AirDrop works well to get it done.

How to Turn on AirDrop on iPhone

It's actually quite easy to enable AirDrop on iPhone. But the steps to turn on AirDrop slightly varies, depending on the iPhone model you are using. Specify your iPhone model and follow the corresponding guide to turn AirDrop on within seconds.

Turn on AirDrop on iPhone X or Later:

Step 1. Swipe down from the upper-right corner of your iPhone screen to open "Control Center".

Step 2. Press and hold the network settings card.

Step 3. Tap to turn on both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Afterward, touch and hold the AirDrop icon and choose "Contacts Only" > "Everyone". ("Contacts Only" means only your contacts can see your device. "Everyone" means all nearby Apple devices using AirDrop can see your device.)

Turn on AirDrop on iPhone 8 or Earlier:

Step 1. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen to open "Control Center".

Step 2. Press the network settings card.

Step 3. Tap to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Then press and hold the AirDrop button. Choose "Contacts Only" or "Everyone" according to your needs.

How to turn on AirDrop on iPhone from Control Center

Other than Control Center, you can also enable or disable AirDrop from the Settings app:

Step 1. Go to "Settings" and tap "General".

Step 2. Tap "AirDrop" and choose "Contacts Only" or "Everyone".

How to turn on AirDrop on iPhone via Settings

If you want to turn off AirDrop on your Apple device, choose "Receive Off" among the options.

How to Use AirDrop on iPhone

After you turn on AirDrop on both the source device and target device, you can now use it to share files between the devices. (Make sure the person you are sending to is nearby and within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range.)

Step 1. On the source device, open the app that contains the item you'd like to share.

Step 2. Select the file or files and then tap the "Share" button.

Step 3. Choose "AirDrop" and tap the AirDrop user you want to share files with.

Step 4. On the target device, click "Accept" in the prompt to start receiving the files.

How to use AirDrop on iPhone

If AirDrop is not working on your iPhone, go to the related article to see how can you fix it yourself.

How to Turn on AirDrop on Mac

Since Mac also supports AirDrop, you can turn on AirDrop on Mac to share files between your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Mac.

To turn on and use AirDrop on Mac:

Step 1. Open "Finder" and choose "AirDrop".

Step 2. In the AirDrop window, set the option "Allow me to be discovered by" as "Contacts Only" or "Everyone".

Step 3. To AirDrop from your Mac, you can click the "Share" button in an app, choose "AirDrop" and select the recipient, or drop the files you want to transfer to the recipient shown in the AirDrop window.

How to turn on AirDrop on Mac

Bonus Tip: How to Transfer Files Without AirDrop

It's true that using AirDrop is quite convenient to share files between two Apple devices wirelessly. But it's also undeniable that it has some drawbacks. For example, it doesn't allow you to send music files or share multiple contacts at once. Given that, I'd like to recommend the iPhone transfer software - EaseUS MobiMover for you.

Like AirDrop, EaseUS MobiMover also supports the data transfer between two iDevices or between an iPhone/iPad/iPod and a Mac. But it can do more than that. In addition to Mac, this iOS data transfer tool is also compatible with PC. Besides, this tool transfers photos, videos, music, ringtones, voice memos, contacts, books, and more.

Other than being an iPhone transfer tool, EaseUS MobiMover also serves the function of a video & audio downloader that enables you to download online video and audio files to your computer or iPhone/iPad using URL.

Let me show you how to transfer files from iPhone to iPhone using EaseUS MobiMover:

Step 1. Connect the two iPhones to your computer with compatible USB cables and tap on "Trust This Computer" on the devices by requirement. Launch EaseUS MobiMover and select the "Phone to Phone" mode on the main screen. Switch to the direction you wish to transfer data, and click "Next".

connect devices to computer

Step 2. MobiMover enables you to transfer the whole or specific iPhone data files directly without using iTunes. You can check the boxes to sync whatever data you need with ease. Click "Transfer" to initiate the process.

choose notes

Step 3. Now it begins to transfer data from iPhone A to iPhone B without the intervention of iTunes. Don't disconnect your devices until the process finished. When it has done, go to open the corresponding applications to check the synced items. 

transfer completed

The Bottom Line

Learning how to turn on and use AirDrop on your iPhone is necessary if you need to share files using your device. But the issue "AirDrop not working" occurs quite frequently due to various reasons. That's why it's also advisable to find an alternative way to transfer files to or from your iPhone, like using an iOS data transfer software tool.

Follow the steps above and start sharing your files with ease.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Myra

Myra joined EaseUS in 2017. As a big fan of Apple products, she mainly focuses on iOS data transfer and iOS troubleshooting tips. Meanwhile, she is expanding her knowledge and skills in other fields like data recovery and disk management. Myra is open-minded and likes both extensive and intensive reading. Other than reading and writing, she is also fond of mobile games and K-pop stars.

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