AirDrop is Apple’s way of communicating between devices for easy file transfers. It’s not very much unlike Bluetooth or NFC and in fact, it makes use of Wi-fi and Bluetooth. Apple introduced AirDrop to its mobile devices this year with iOS 7 supporting it. All iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, iPad 4th gen, iPad mini 2 and iPod Touch 5th gen support AirDrop.

AirDrop is supposed to be very easy to turn on and use. In some aspects, it’s an answer to the constant barrage of Samsung’s/Google’s NFC. And here’s how to use it.

In order to use AirDrop on one of your iDevices, you need to make sure that it’s supported on your device.

How to Use AirDrop in iOS 7 To Send and Receive Files Quickly

Here’s the list of devices that have AirDrop working in them:

  • iPhones: 5s, 5c and 5
  • iPads: Air, 4th gen and mini w/ Retina.
  • iPod: 5th gen.

How to Enable AirDrop on iOS 7

You’ll find AirDrop in one place only: the Control Center.

How to Enable AirDrop on iOS 7

  • Swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to open the Control Center
  • Below the volume slider (in iPhone and iPod Touch), you’ll find the AirDrop toggle. Tap on it to toggle between three states: Everyone, Contacts Only, OFF.

When you turn ON AirDrop, it switches to Everyone or Contacts Only. Here’s what these mean:

  • Everyone: AirDrop will scan for all devices with AirDrop enabled that are in the vicinity of your iDevice.
  • Contacts Only: AirDrop will scan for all devices in the vicinity but will only recognize those devices whose associated Apple IDs are listed in your Contacts.

In Contacts Only Mode – which is supposedly a safer way to AirDrop – you will need to add the Apple ID associated with the other device to your contacts (in Phone app, or Contacts app for iPad). Since we’re talking about Apple’s legacy communication, I think you can have your AirDrop enabled to “Everyone.”

By “Apple ID associated to an iDevice” we mean the iCloud ID that was used to setup the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.

Sending Files via AirDrop on iOS 7

The share button (and the share sheet) is all you need to tap to send files via AirDrop. When you enable AirDrop and there are iDevices in the vicinity deceted by AirDrop, it will automatically get listed in the share sheet when you tap on the share icon.

You can send music/songs, photos, videos, files and a lot more via AirDrop. AirDrop is generally available in all apps that feature the share icon.

You will have to “accept or reject” an AirDrop transfer when it pings you. If you accept, the respective app for the AirDropped file will open. If it’s a link, Safari. If it’s a photo, the Photos app. If it’s a song, the Music app and so on.

Troubleshooting AirDrop on iOS 7

It may sometimes – or many times – so happen that AirDrop doesn’t recognize any device in the vicinity even when you’ve got AirDrop-compatible devices nearby. Here are some things you can try to fix AirDrop issues:

  • Toggle AirDrop mode to “Everyone”
  • Make sure you are connected to a stable Wi-fi connection. All devices.
  • Turn on Bluetooth.
  • Toggle Wifi and Bluetooth ON/OFF a couple of times.
  • Go to Settings → General → Restrictions and make sure AirDrop is not switched OFF (or restricted).
  • Reboot your iPhone/iPad/iPod and then try switching on AirDrop again.

Got more AirDrop tips to share? Let us know in the comments.

  • Joanne Marshall

    I have been able to get Airdrop to work between my iphone and macbook, but when I go to the control panel of my iPad 3 (with ios 8), Airdrop doesn’t show up . The area where it’s supposed to be is blank. I’ve toggled bluetooth and wifi off and on and rebooted the iPad. I haven’t found anything on the internet that addresses this issue. Have you ever heard of this happening?