Apple offers continuity features to seamlessly connect and share documents across your devices. You can use copy paste and pickup calls using handoff across devices. However, AirDrop is somewhat different than other continuity features and helps transferring content to other people’s Apple device. If you are not using AirDrop, you are missing a real useful feature in your iPhone, iPad or Mac. Here, we will explain how to use AirDrop to transfer files from iPhone to Mac.
Prerequisites for AirDrop
All latest Apple devices support AirDrop feature. However, both sending and receiving devices should have the followings to use AirDrop:
- Logged in with Apple ID
- Turned on Bluetooth
- Connected to wireless network
- Enabled AirDrop on iPhone or allowed device discovery in Mac
Using AirDrop, you can transfer photos, files, videos, share location and website URLs with highest level of encryption to any nearby devices. Before explaining how to use AirDrop, we will first explain enabling the perquisites on your iPhone and Mac.
Enabling AirDrop in iPhone and Mac
On your Mac, AirDrop is one of the default locations available in the sidebar navigation of Finder app.
- Launch Finder app and click on AirDrop from the sidebar.
- Click on the dropdown next to “Allow me to be discovered by:”.
- You have three options – No one, Contacts only and Everyone. For emergency file transfer, you can enable everyone option. Otherwise, make sure to use contacts only option by default. This will avoid unknown persons to discover your device and send files.
- You will see all available device names nearer to you once you enabled AirDrop.
Alternatively, you can enable AirDrop by clicking on the Control Center icon on the top bar on your Mac. Click on the “AirDrop” icon to enable or disable or click the small arrow against the AirDrop option to select the sharing option with everyone or for contacts only.
On your iPhone, tap on “Settings” app and go to “General” section. You will find AirDrop option and tap on it to find similar options like your Mac. Select “Contacts Only” option to enable receiving files through AirDrop only from the people in your contacts.
Alternatively, you can enable AirDrop from the Control Center. Open the Control Center by swiping down from top right corner. Tap and hold on the network icons section that shows airplane mode, Wi-Fi, wireless, Bluetooth, etc. It will enlarge the network icons set where you can tap on AirDrop to enable it.
Enable Bluetooth in Mac and iPhone
Remember, you do not need to pair the devices with Bluetooth to use AirDrop. You have to simply enable Bluetooth so that the devices are discoverable in the network.
- On iPhone – tap on “Settings” app and then go to “Bluetooth” section and turn on Bluetooth option.
- On Mac – click on the Apple logo on top left corner and select “System Preferences…” option. Select “Bluetooth” and click on “Turn Bluetooth On” button. Alternatively, you can click on the Bluetooth icon on the top bar and enable it instantly.
Sending Files from iPhone to Mac Using AirDrop
Let us explain how to share a picture from your iPhone Photos app using AirDrop to nearby Mac device.
- Open Photos app and tap on the share icon showing at the lower left corner.
- If you have previously used AirDrop, you will find the device names with an AirDrop icon on it. You can simply click on the device and transfer the file. You will see the progress of the transfer and a “Sent” note below the device name after successful transfer.
- If you want to discover a new device, then tap on the AirDrop App icon. Here, you will find all the devices nearby your iPhone. Tap on the device you want to transfer the photo and you will see a “Sent” note after successful transmission.
- After finish sending your photos, tap on “Done” on the top right corner to go back to previous screen.
Receiving File on Mac
On the Mac, you will see an instant notification “Received a photo from device name”. If you are transferring from your own devices logged with same Apple ID, then file will be downloaded to your “Downloads” folder by default.
You can hover over the notification and click on “Options” button. You have options to open the saved file location in Finder or open the photo using the default app.
In case, if someone is sending a file, then you have options to accept or decline the file transfer.
Sending Files from Mac to iPhone
The process is similar for sending files from a Mac to iPhone through AirDrop. Right click on the file you want to transfer and select “Share” from the context menu. You will find a list of sharing options and select “AirDrop” option.
If there are no nearby devices, you will find a message saying to turn on AirDrop from the Control Center of the iPhone.
When there are discoverable devices nearby your Mac, you will find all the devices in the list. Simply click on the name to initiate the transfer and you will find a “Sent” note after successful transmission.
Receiving File in iPhone
Similar to Mac, when receiving files from AirDrop in iPhone, you have an option to accept or reject. Depending upon the file you receive, you may see the preview on supported filetypes like PDF.
By accepting the file, you can save it to the desired location or open through the default app. If there are multiple supported apps available on your iPhone, you will see the list to choose the app.
Link and Location Sharing
Similar to file transfer, you can share the locations and hyperlinks from one device to another using AirDrop. The receiving device will open the shared link using default browser set on the device and shared locations will be opened in Maps app.
AirDrop Updates in iOS 17
Apple updated two features related to AirDrop in iOS 17.
- Now, AirDrop will use internet connection when the devices are moved away while transferring the files.
- NameDrop is a new feature in iOS 17 that helps to share phone number and email by holding your iPhone on top of another iPhone.