There are many ways to transfer files between Apple products. Since 2012, AirDrop has been supported on Macs and iOS devices, and it has emerged as the most practical and straightforward method for sharing data across nearby Apple products.

In this article, you will learn how to use AirDrop to transfer files between any two internet-enabled Apple devices, be they iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Additionally, the drawbacks of AirDrop and an alternative way to transfer files between Apple devices are introduced later.

Part 1. How AirDrop Works to Transfer Files Between Apple Devices

AirDrop uses a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies to transfer files between Apple devices, such as transferring photos from iPhone to iPad. It uses Bluetooth to find devices that you can send to and creates a temporary Wi-Fi connection between the sending device and receiving device. Additionally, AirDrop utilizes encryption and peer-to-peer connections to ensure the security and privacy of your data during the transfer process.

AirDrop is designed to send files from one Apple user to another without the need for cables and an internet connection. You can use AirDrop to share and receive photos, videos, contacts, documents, and everything else that appears on a Share sheet.

Part 2. How to Transfer Files Between Apple Devices Using AirDrop

You can use AirDrop to transfer files across all iOS and macOS devices. Thus, you can use it to transfer files between iPhone and Mac, between Mac and Mac, and between iPhone and iPhone. The following content introduces how to transfer files between two iOS devices and macOS computers.

How to transfer files between Apple iOS devices

Step 1. On both devices, swipe the screen from the upper right corner to the bottom to open the Control Center and turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

enable wifi bluetooth iphone

Step 2. Make sure both devices are nearby and within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range (30 feet or less).

Step 3. Neither of the devices should be acting as a personal hotspot. Go to Settings and find Personal Hotspot to turn it off.

How to Turn Off Personal Hotspot on iPhone

Step 4. Neither of the devices should restrict AirDrop from sharing content. Open Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps and enable AirDrop.

Allow AirDrop for Data Sharing on iPhone

Step 5. On the receiving iPhone or iPad, open Settings > General > AirDrop and choose Everyone to let all nearby AirDrop users can see the device and send content in AirDrop.

Adjust AirDrop Setting to Everyone on iPhone

Step 6. Open the file you want to transfer using AirDrop and tap the Share button.

Share Files on iPhone

Step 7. Tap the AirDrop button and tap the AirDrop user that you want to share with (make sure the recipient's device is unlocked to be found).

Step 8. On the iPhone and iPad that will receive the file, tap Accept when a pop-up prompts with a preview.

Receive AirDrop on iPhone

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

How to transfer files between Apple macOS computers

Step 1. Both Macs need to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in the Control Center located at the upper right corner of the screen.

How to Turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Mac

Step 2. Place the two Macs close to each other within 30 feet.

Step 3. On the receiving Mac device, open the Finder app and select AirDrop in the left sidebar.

Step 4. Click on the blue text that reads "Allow me to be discovered by" and choose Everyone.

Adjust AirDrop Settings to Everyone on Mac

Step 5. On the sender's Mac, open Finder or any app and highlight the files to be transferred.

Step 6. Click the Share button and choose AirDrop in the menu.

How to Use AirDrop on Mac

Step 7. Click on the user name of the other Mac the file will be sent to (make sure the other Mac is logged in to be found).

Step 8. On the receiving Mac, click Accept when a notification shows up at the upper right corner of the screen.

Note: If the two devices are signed in with the same Apple ID, a file will automatically get sent without an option to Accept or Decline.

Part 3. How to Transfer Files Between Apple Devices Without AirDrop

AirDrop is the most popular way to transfer files between Apple devices for its high speed, power efficiency, and security. However, it has some drawbacks that make you want to consider an AirDrop alternative for data transfer between Apple devices. For instance,

⛔Drawbacks of AirDrop

  • While AirDrop is generally fast for small to medium-sized files, the transfer speed can be slower compared to other file transfer methods, especially for larger files.
  • The speed may vary depending on the distance between devices and the network conditions.
  • AirDrop will come through within the same app it was sent from, so the receiving device needs to have the same app installed.
  • AirDrop supports limited file formats than other file transfer tools.

EaseUS MobiMover - an alternative to transfer files between Apple devices

EaseUS MobiMover is a versatile file transfer tool designed to help users transfer data between different Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macs.

✅Features of EaseUS MobiMover

  • Transfer 14 types of data, such as contacts, messages, photos, videos, call logs, and more
  • Fast and safe file transfer through a USB connection without being affected by network conditions
  • Transfer files between Apple devices without quality loss
  • Support transferring files from laptop to iPhone and vice versa
  • An easy-to-use program that shares data between Apple devices with a few clicks

How to transfer files between Apple devices using EaseUS MobiMover

Step 1. Connect both of the iPhones to the computer and launch EaseUS MobiMover. Then click "Phone to Phone", check the transfer direction, and click "Next" to continue.

how to transfer everything from iPhone to iPhone - step 1

Step 2. Select one category or multiple categories that you want to copy, and click "Transfer".

how to transfer everything from iPhone to iPhone - step 2

Step 3. Wait for the tool to transfer selected files from one iPhone to another. When the process finishes, go to the corresponding apps to check the newly added files. 

how to transfer everything from iPhone to iPhone - step 3

This instruction is also workable on how to transfer data from iPad to iPad.

Part 4. Final Words

Now you know how to share data between Apple devices using AirDrop. To use AirDrop, the most critical part is to set up both devices correctly. If AirDrop is unable to satisfy your requirements, consider an AirDrop alternative to transferring files between Apple devices. EaseUS MobiMover is one of the best tools to transfer, manage, and back up iPhone/iPad/iPod data.

Part 5. FAQs on Transferring Files Between Apple Devices Using AirDrop

This section contains several frequently asked questions. Check them out to know more about how to transfer files between Apple devices using AirDrop.

1. Can I AirDrop files from one iPad to another?

You can AirDrop files from one iPad to another if both iPads are running iOS 7 or later. Just open a file on your iPad, tap the Share button, tap AirDrop, and then select the user on the other iPad.

2. Can I AirDrop between a Mac and an iPhone?

Yes, you can transfer files between a Mac and an iPhone using AirDrop. AirDrop supports sharing data from a Mac to an iPhone, or vice versa.

3. Can I AirDrop anonymously?

Actually, Airdrop does not support anonymity. The recipient's phone will show your identity when you airdrop files to it.

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Updated by Sofia Albert

Sofia has been involved with tech ever since she joined the EaseUS editor team in March 2011 and now she is a senior website editor. She is good at solving various iPhone and Android issues, such as iPhone or Android data transfer & recovery.

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Written by Gloria

Gloria joined EaseUS in 2022. As a smartphone lover, she stays on top of Android unlocking skills and iOS troubleshooting tips. In addition, she also devotes herself to data recovery and transfer issues.

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