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5 working solutions for AirDrop not working on iPhone or iPad in 2021

Facing problems with AirDrop not working? We have the solution for you!

AirDrop is a smart wireless beam for Apple devices to share anything from your iPhone, iPad or MacBook. It works as a super Bluetooth device with the Bluetooth speed of 4.x for power efficient sharing, broadcasting and discovery. This makes the transfer painless, fast, reliable and simple when sharing your data. However, this technology seems to be stable but when the software malfunction happens it just impossible to fix the issue – Airdrop not working! Now let’s fix this issue.

If you are facing an issue with your AirDrop then there are few steps you can try to correct the behavior of your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, to get back to transferring a file with ease. Here are 5 steps you can try to fix the AirDrop not working issue.

AirDrop not working

What devices are compatible with AirDrop?

Apple devices with older version may not be compatible with AirDrop. The below mention table will give you an overview of the devices that are compatible.

Transfer between two iOS devices

Running iOS 7 or later

iPhone 5 or newer models

iPad (4th generation) or newer

iPad Air: all models

iPad Pro: all models

iPod Touch (5th generation) or newer

Transfer between two Mac computers

Running Mac OS X Lion (10.7) or later

MacBook Pro: Late 2008 or newer, excluding late 2008 17-inch

MacBook Air: Late 2010 or newer

Aluminum MacBook: Late 2008

MacBook and iMac: Early 2009 or newer

Mac Mini: Mid 2010 or newer

Mac Pro: Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or mid 2010 or newer

Transfer between a Mac and an iOS device

Running OS X Yosemite (10.10) or later

MacBook Air: Mid 2012 or newer

MacBook (Retina): all models

MacBook Pro: Mid 2012 or newer

iMac: Late 2012 or newer

iMac Pro: all models

Mac Mini: Late 2012 or newer

Mac Pro: Late 2013 or newer

1. Tweak your settings as per below for AirDrop not working

AirDrop has three modes i.e., (a) Turn Off (b) Contacts only (c) Everyone. Contact’s Only is the most complex one out of the three as it requires a verification to who is who. If it still doesn’t work for you then try switching to Everyone. Try turning it off and on

  • Open Settings on your Home screen
  • Select General
  • Open AirDrop
  • Select on the options you want

If you’re trying to connect and use the AirDrop from your iPhone, iPod (touch), or an iPad to your MacBook and it isn’t working right for you then, here is what you do

  • Open Finder on your MacBook
  • Select the AirDrop (left on the sidebar)

You can choose between No one, Contacts Only and Everyone. It will put your Mac in a ready state to use the AirDrop and will also help you detect. If your Mac doesn’t detect then keep following the below mentioned steps!

2. Second step is to check the Radio Toggling

Even after tweaking the settings Airdrop is not working. Check that your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is functioning to ensure that Airdrop is working fine. Start by turning them off and on. Additionally, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is not totally turned off from the Control Center because it only turns off the ongoing connection and leaves on Apple Watch, Air Pods and Apple Pencil.

Steps to switching off and on Wi-Fi for iPhone or iPad

- From the Home screen, open Settings > Wi-Fi > tap on the Wi-Fi switch to turn it off > tap again to turn it on.

Steps to switching off and on Bluetooth for iPhone or iPad

- From the Home screen, open Settings > Bluetooth > tap on the Bluetooth switch to turn it off > tap again to turn it on.

Steps to switching off and on Wi-Fi for Mac

- From the Menu bar, Click the Wi-Fi icon > click on Turn Wi-Fi Off. Again from the Menu bar, Click the Wi-Fi icon > click on Turn Wi-Fi On.

Steps to switching off and on Bluetooth for Mac

- From the Menu bar, Click the Wi-Fi icon > click on Turn Bluetooth Off. Again from the Menu bar, Click the Wi-Fi icon > click on Turn Bluetooth On.


As an alternative, Airplane Mode can be switched on and then off for toggling the radios altogether.

When you have finished these steps, try to connect again. Read ahead if the issue persists.

3, Perform a hard reset

If the problem is not solved from the above solutions, the next move would be to perform a hard reset using the following steps:

iPads (except iPad Pro 2018) and older iPhones having mechanical Home buttons (models earlier than iPhone 6s):

Long press the On/Off button located at the right (for iPhone 6s/6) or the top (for the rest of all iPhones, iPad, and iPod)

Simultaneously long press the Home button located at the front of the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

Screen will turn off as you long press both buttons and continue to hold them until the screen turns back on and shows the Apple symbol.

iPhone 7:

Long press the On/Off button located at the right side

Simultaneously long press the volume down button located at the left side of the iPhone.

Screen will turn off as you long press both buttons and continue to hold them until the screen turns back on and shows the Apple symbol.

iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and iPad Pro (2018):

Press and release the Volume Up button.

Press and release the Volume Down button.

Long press the sleep/wake button.

Continue to long press the Side button as the Shutdown screen turns off and then on (iOS 11.2 and later.)

Mac:

Click on the Apple icon located at the extreme left on the Menu bar.

Click on the Restart option.

When the reboot is done, attempt to connect once again. Read further if the issue is still not fixed.

4. Check for available updates

Often iOS updates bring up compatibility issues but sometimes the iOS update fixes these problems such as Bluetooth connectivity issues.

From the home screen of your iPhone,

Go to Settings > General > Software Update > if there is a pending update tap Install.

After the update is installed, attempt to use AirDrop again. If it still does not work, try the alternatives stated below.

5. Resetting the Network

Still facing connectivity issues because of AirDrop not working? Resetting the network might be required even though it is a cumbersome task.

From the home screen of your iPhone,

Go to Settings > General > Reset (this option will be found at the bottom of the list) > Reset Network Settings > if a prompt shows, type your Passcode > tap Reset Network Settings which will confirm the action.

Completion of these steps should be followed by reconnecting to all your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices and finally checking your AirDrop yet again. If it is functioning, then all the troubleshooting was worth the trouble! If not, read further.


Note: If you are still facing an issue with your AirDrop and your Apple device is out of warranty then get in touch with one of iFixScreens experts for a quick fix.

Contacting iFixScreens

 If you are still facing an issue with the AirDrop not connecting, then its time to visit your nearest iFixScreens store to get your Apple device diagnosed. Because, at times there may be an underlying problem in your Apple device that only an expert technician will be able to tackle.

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