Why Isn’t My AirDrop Working?: 7 AirDrop Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

Why isn’t my AirDrop working? Fix the problem fast with these 7 AirDrop troubleshooting tips and tricks so you can get back to sharing sooner!

Sixty-four percent of Americans own and use Apple products, according to a study by CNBC. In fact, the average household owns at least two Apple products, making millions of Americans iPhone and Mac users. That’s a ton of technology being used and a ton of people reaping the benefits of this incredible company.

If you own an Apple product, you know how many useful aspects there are to it. One of the best ones is its sharing program, known as AirDrop. This allows you to share photos and videos without losing any quality from the transfer.

However, if you’ve used AirDrop, you know it can be fickle. If you’ve had to question, “why isn’t my AirDrop working?” you’re not alone. Read on to learn seven troubleshooting tips that will get you up and sharing again.

So, Why Isn’t My AirDrop Working?

Before diving into the troubleshooting tips, there are a few things to consider about your particular devices. Though this feature is widely available on most devices, the older your product, the less likely AirDrop is compatible with it. The following devices can use AirDrop:

  • MacBook Pro (late 2008 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (late 2010 or newer)
  • MacBook (late 2008 or newer)
  • iMac (early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac mini (early 2010 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (early 2009 with AirPort Extreme or newer)

Next, make sure your device is updated to iOS 7 or later. If all of these things coincide, you can be sure that your trouble is not a compatibility issue. Also, consider that AirDrop works best when each device is within 30 feet of each other. Now onto the AirDrop troubleshooting tips!

1. Restart Wifi and Bluetooth

First, make sure both your wifi and Bluetooth are connected, as AirDrop requires both. If they are, and it still isn’t working, turn them both off for at least ten seconds.

You can do this via your control center on your iPhone or iPad, on the top bar of your Mac, or in your settings for any device. Turn them back on and allow them to connect before trying again.

2. Reset Your Network Settings

As AirDrop requires wifi, a poor connection could interfere with your AirDrop capabilities. This is different than restarting your wifi, as you will essentially erase your wifi data from your device and then re-enter it.

On an iPhone or iPad, you can do this by going to your settings, clicking general, and then choosing “reset network settings.” You will then have to go back and find your wifi and re-connect it.

On a Mac, click the wifi symbol on the top bar, choose open network preferences, click advanced, and choose the minus button on whatever wifi you’re currently using. This will erase it from your Mac and require you to find it again on the list of wifi options.

3. Re-Sign Into iCloud

Signing out of your iCloud and signing in again is a proven method to make AirDrop work. This requires knowing your Apple ID login information. On an iPhone or iPad, go to your settings and click your name at the top, and at the bottom will be an option to log out. For Mac, it will be at the top of your settings bar.

4. Make Sure You’re Discoverable

Being discoverable is essential to use AirDrop and is one of the most common problems. On an iPhone or iPad, go to your control center and press on the panel that holds the wifi and Bluetooth buttons until the panel expands.

Then, click on the AirDrop feature, and make sure it is switched to either contacts only or everyone. If it is contacts only, make sure that person is in your contacts and their linked Apple ID e-mail appears in their contact. For best results, choose everyone.

For airdrop on a mac, locate AirDrop in your Finder. Click on “Allow Me to Be Discovered By:” and choose Everyone for the best results.

5. Restart Your Device

Restarting your device is always a good way to troubleshoot AirDrop. It could solve any Bluetooth or wifi issues as well. Though this might not be the most convenient option, it will most likely solve your AirDrop issue, at least temporarily.

6. Disable Do Not Disturb

If you have Do Not Disturb enabled on your device, you will not be able to receive anything through AirDrop, as your device will become invisible to others. You can disable this through your control center on your iPhone or iPad by clicking on the moon icon or through your settings app.

On your Mac, click on your Notification Center at the top right of your screen, make sure you are on the Today page, scroll up, and un-toggle the Do Not Disturb option.

7. Open and Unlocked

This is essential for all devices but is most commonly seen on iPads and iPhones. If your device is awake but locked, AirDrop requests will show up as notifications on your lock screen. However, they might not even come through if it is locked, so for best results, keep your device awake and unlocked.

Utilizing AirDrop

When it works correctly, AirDrop is an amazing share option that is fast and easy. It’s truly like dropping it right in someone else’s phone.

Now that you know these tips and tricks for AirDrop troubleshooting, you should be able to solve any problems that arise. Next time you hear, “why isn’t my AirDrop working?” you will be able to lend a hand and save the day! If you need even more tech-savvy info, browse through our collection of articles for all your tech needs.