AirDrop Not Working on Mac? Tips to Fix the Issue

There could be multiple culprits that may be preventing AirDrop from working on your Mac. Follow this comprehensive troubleshooting guide to resolve the issue.

I prefer “AirDrop” for a couple of main reasons: smooth and secure file transfer. Another notable feature of this wireless file transfer feature is that it keeps the original quality of a file intact. Unfortunately, something went wrong the other day, and AirDrop suddenly stopped working on my Mac. So, what brought it to a halt?

In my case, I just had to set my Mac discoverable by “Everyone”. And once it was done, I could share files without any issue. But then again, it might not be so straightforward for you (Though I wish it were).

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Tips to Fix AirDrop Not Working Issue on Mac

Having tried out several solutions, I can tell that there could be several culprits behind the problem. For instance, poor Wi-Fi or even an unknown bug might be at the heart of the issue. So, you might have to try out more than one trick to troubleshoot AirDrop issues on your Mac. To ensure you don’t have to travel to a long distance, we are going to start with some basic tips and then a practical solution that has worked for many. In most cases, you can get rid of the issue by trying out that trick. Just in case that doesn’t yield the desired result, you would have to move to the next fixes.

Quick Tips:

Ensure that Airplane Mode is turned off on your iOS devices. It’s because when it’s enabled, it turns off the radios. Bring up control center and hit the Airplane icon to disable.

Turn Off Airplane Mode on iPhone X

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Be sure Do Not Disturb mode is disabled both on your iOS and macOS devices. When DND is enabled, notifications are silenced. Knowing that when a file is sent via AirDrop, you receive an alert. That’s why it’s better to turn off DND. On your iOS device, open SettingsDo Not Disturb and turn off the switch.

Turn Off Do Not Disturb on iPhone

On your Mac, click on the menu icon at the top right corner and then turn off the switch next to Do Not Disturb.

Turn Off Do Not Disturb on Mac

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I would also suggest you disable Personal Hotspot. It’s because both AirDrop and Personal Hotspot need Wi-Fi and if one of them is already enabled, it may prevent the other from functioning.

Launch Settings app on your iOS device → Personal Hotspot and turn off the switch next to it.

Turn Off Personal Hotspot in iOS 12

On your Mac, click on Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and then disconnect your computer from Personal Hotspot.

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AirDrop uses Bluetooth discovery and therefore make sure to keep your devices within 30 feet. At times, physical obstacles like concrete walls seem to come in the way. Hence, it would be better to (if needed) move your devices closer to boost the Bluetooth reception.
Do not send multiple file types at once. For instance, avoid sending images, web links, docs at one go. For the best result, send only one file type at a time.

Ensure that your devices are fully onboard as far as operating system is concerned.

  • Be sure you have Mac from 2012 or later (excluding the mid-2012 Mac Pro) using OS X Yosemite or later.
  • Your iPhone and iPad must be running iOS 7 or later.

When sharing files between Mac computers, ensure that both your computers are compatible.

Make sure you have MacBook Pro from late 2008 or later, except MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2008)

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MacBook Air from late 2010 or later

Be sure you have MacBook from late 2008 or later, except white MacBook (Late 2008)

  • iMac from early 2009 or later
  • Mac mini from mid-2010 or later
  • Be sure you Have Mac Pro from early 2009 (with AirPort Extreme card) or mid-2010
  • iMac Pro

Solution #1: Start from the Scratch

When things don’t seem to work as expected, it’s always better to go for a fresh stance. This trick has often fixed the problem for me. Hopefully, it works for you as well.

First things first, ensure that you have allowed everyone to send you files.

On your iOS Device:

Open Settings app → GeneralAirDrop and then select Everyone.

Select Everyone in iPhone AirDrop Settings

You can also customize AirDrop receiving options from Control Center.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access Control Center. On iPhone X, you need to swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen.

Then after, touch and hold the network settings and tap on AirDrop. Then, select Everyone.


On macOS:

Step #1. Open Finder on your Mac.

Launch Finder on your Mac

Step #2. Now, click on Go menu and select AirDrop.

Click on Go menu and then click AirDrop on Mac

Step #3. Next, click on the drop-down arrow next to Allow me to discovered by. Then, select Everyone.

Enable AirDrop for Everyone on Mac

Now turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your iOS and macOS devices.

On your iOS Device:

Open Settings appWi-Fi/Bluetooth and turn off the switch.

Turn Off WiFi and Bluetooth in iOS 12

On your Mac:

Click on Wi-Fi menu and turn off Wi-Fi.

Turn off WiFi on Mac

Likewise, click on Bluetooth and turn it off.

Turn off Bluetooth on Mac

Before you think of sharing files, restart your devices. And once they have rebooted, turn on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Then, try to send files. There shouldn’t be any problem now.

Solution #2: Ensure That Blocking All incoming connections is Disabled

Have you set the Firewall to block all the incoming connections? If yes, it’s preventing the AirDrop from working. So, disable it to ensure you don’t have any problem with sharing files anymore.

Step #1. Open System Preferences on your Mac.

Open System Preferences on Mac

Step #2. Now, click on Security & Privacy.

Click on Security & Privacy in Mac System Preferences

Step #3. Next, select the Firewall tab → click the Lock icon in the lower left corner of the window.

Click Firewall Tab then Click on Lock Icon

Then enter your administrator password to change this setting.

Enter administrator password to Unlock Settings on Mac

Step #4. Next up, click Firewall Options and uncheck the box next to “Block all incoming connections.”

Click Firewall Options in Mac Security & Privacy

Uncheck the Box next to Block all incoming connections in Mac Security and Privacy

Solution #3: Reset Network Settings

Another trick that I would suggest you give a try is to refresh the network settings. But if you find this solution a bit radical, there is one more option, and that is to disconnect the device from the Wi-Fi network and reconnect. To do so, open SettingsWi-Fi → tap on the “i” button next to the Wi-Fi network → Forget This Network and confirm. If it doesn’t solve the problem, then reset the network.

Step #1. Launch the Settings app on your iOS device → General.

Tap on Settings then General on iDevice

Step #2. Now, tap on Reset → Reset Network Settings and confirm.

Tap on Reset Network Settings on iPhone or iPad

On Your Mac

Step #1. Launch System Preferences and click on Network.

Open System Preferences and click on Network on Mac

Step #2. Now, choose Wi-Fi in the list on the left and click Advanced.

Choose Wi-Fi and click Advanced in Mac Network

Step #3. Next, choose the network you want to forget and then click on (-) to remove.

Choose Network you want to forget and then click minus to remove on Mac

Now, reconnect to the Wi-Fi network on your iPhone and Mac. After that, check out if you have finally resolved the issue or not.

Solution #4: Remove Non-Standard characters in Your Mac’s and iPhone’s Name

You should never use weird characters in your device name as they may make it a bit difficult for AirDrop to discover your device. For example, be sure not to use spaces and special characters like *, $, #, and %.

On your Mac: Open System PreferencesSharing Computer Name and change it.

Click on Sharing in System Preferences on Mac

Change Computer Name in Sharing Settings on Mac

On your iPhone: Open SettingsGeneralAboutName and edit it.

Change iPhone Name in Settings

Once you have edited the name, reboot your devices for a better result. Then see if the issue is resolved.

Solution #5: Software Update

If there is no respite yet, go for the software update. Apple’s operating systems often bring fixes to several annoying bugs. Therefore, it would be better to go for the update.
Update iOS on Your iPhone or iPad

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iOS device.

Step #2. Now, tap on GeneralSoftware Update.

Tap on Settings Then General then Software Update on iPhone or iPad

Step #3. Next, download and install the software on your device (if it’s waiting for you.)

On your Mac

Step #1. Open Mac App Store on your Mac.

Step #2. Now, click on Updates and then update the software as usual.

The process of updating software has slightly changed in macOS Mojave. To do so, follow this quick guide.

That’s pretty much it!

Wrapping up:

I guess, the problem is behind you. Let me know which one of the above solutions fixed AirDrop. Oh yeah, if you succeeded in resolving the issue using other tricks that are not mentioned above, do tell us about that as well.

You might want to read these posts as well:

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Dhvanesh Adhiya
Dhvanesh Adhiya is the founder and editor-in-chief who takes care of audio, visual, and textual contents uploaded on He is passionate about wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.

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