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Airdrop Not Working? Here’s How to Fix It

Airdrop Not Working? Here's How to Fix It
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A very handy feature that was introduced in 2011, Airdrop has made things very convenient for Apple users.

It’s a wireless ad hoc service that allows you to share files, photos, videos, and other data seamlessly with nearby Apple devices.

While it’s a great feature to have, there are times when it just cannot seem to work, and that can be very annoying, especially because Airdrop is supposed to be the fastest way of transferring files within the ecosystem.

Fortunately, there are various ways to fix the problem, and we’ll go over some of the most effective ones in this post.

Reason Behind Airdrop Not Working

There can be several reasons why your Airdrop is stuck on “waiting”. Some of them are within your control, while others are not. Here are the most common reasons:

#1. Devices Aren’t Nearby

Starting with something that is in your control, if the device you want to transfer files to using Airdrop isn’t nearby, there’s a good chance the radar won’t catch it despite displaying the name. 

I know it might sound stupid, and you must be wondering, “why would I place the receiving device far away?” let me tell you that sometimes you need to hold the devices closer than usual. Give the two devices a good hug 🫂 among them, and that might just do the trick.

Also read: How to Change Airdrop Name – iPad, iPhone, Mac

#2. Configurations are Wrong

I guess we all can relate to instances when we tried doing something, but it kept on failing, only to realize we forgot to do the most usual thing in order for it to work. In this case, if your Airdrop is stuck, you need to start by asking yourself these few questions:

  • Is Bluetooth and WiFi turned on both devices?
  • Did I turn off my personal hotspot?
  • Does the receiving device allow Airdrop transfers?

If the answers to all of these questions were a YES, then you’re good to go.

#3. Receiving Device is Locked

A lot of times, when the receiving device is screen locked, the transfer won’t go through and will be stuck. Simply unlock that device and try transferring again to see if it works.

#4. Software Glitch

A very common reason for your Airdrop not working is that either of your devices is facing some software glitches.

These minor errors can occur frequently in almost all tech devices, so you can either wait for it to resolve automatically or try resetting your phone (if the problem persists for too long).

Now that we know the reasons behind it let’s jump to the solutions and get this fixed.

Remove Airdrop Restrictions

Apple allows users to put restrictions on any app from their library, and that includes Airdrop as well. There’s a chance you must have enabled restrictions for Airdrop in the past, and that might be conflicting with the function.

You can go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.


Tap on Allowed Apps.


Make sure Airdrop is turned on.


This will ensure Airdrop is allowed to be used on your device.

Adjust Airdrop Settings

Airdrop has 3 different levels: Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone. If your Airdrop is on Off or Contacts Only level, then you might have to try and change it to Everyone to see if the problem gets fixed.

You can do this by going to Settings > General > Airdrop and then tapping on the Everyone option.

The reason behind doing this is that the Contacts Only option is a little complex and requires verification from your contacts list, so it’s better to change it to Everyone for a while.

To do this on your Mac, open Finder and then tap on Airdrop from the side menu.


Make sure this option is set to Everyone.


Now you should be good to go.

Update Your iOS Version

Many users have reported that updating their software to the latest version has fixed the issue, so you can try doing that. Besides, regular updating is a good practice that ensures better security and functionalities.

Go to Settings > General > Software Update.


If your device is not updated to the latest version (like mine), you’ll have the option to download and install it right away. Go ahead and do that while I do it as well. 😛

Turn Off Focus Mode

Focus modes on iOS devices are meant to help you achieve a certain task or simply get better sleep. No doubt, it’s an amazing feature to have; however, it can sometimes interfere with your apps if it’s turned on.

If you think one of your focus modes is turned on either of your devices, swipe down from the top right of your iPhone screen and tap on Focus.


Turn off the Focus mode(s) that are active.


If your other Apple devices are connected via iCloud, this will take effect in those devices as well automatically.

Turn Off Your Mac Firewall

If you’re trying to transfer files to a Mac computer, then you need to make sure the firewall isn’t playing a spoilsport here. Even though Firewalls are there to protect our devices, sometimes it triggers their defense features and blocks incoming files.

To stop this from happening, click on the Apple logo in the desktop menu bar and then click on System Preferences


Click on Security & Privacy.


Click on the lock icon in order to make changes to the preferences. It’ll ask you for your password or touch ID. Go ahead and provide that.


Click on Firewall.


As you can see, my firewall is currently turned off already.


However, if yours is turned off, you can turn it off and then try the file transfer with Airdrop.

Restart Both the Devices

Restarting a device can eliminate any minor issues that build up over time on the system. You can restart both of your devices and see if that works out for you. This solution is almost equivalent to smacking 💥your TV remote for it to start working again.

Contact Apple Support

If none of the solutions work out for you, the best thing you can do is contact Apple directly to ask about the issue you’re facing. You can book an appointment with your local Apple Store to diagnose the problem because, well, who’d know about the problems better than the professionals themselves?

Third-party Apps to Share Files Across iOS Devices

If you’re fed up with Airdrop, or you want to discover some new ways of transferring files across Apple devices, then it’s a good idea to utilize some alternatives. Here are some of the best third-party apps you can use for easy file sharing:

#1. SHAREit

I loved using SHAREit on my Android phone, and it’s an app that never disappointed me. It’s fast, convenient, and absolutely easy to use.

YouTube video

It allows you to share and receive:

  • Photos
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Documents
  • Various types of files

It’s trusted by over 2 billion users worldwide, and there are some very clear reasons behind it. It puts a lot of emphasis on its security, so you never have to worry about any mismanagement of your files.

Besides, it works online/offline and supports cross-platform transferring.

#2. Xender

All it takes is a few taps to transfer data from your phone to your PC and other devices using Xender. The transfer speeds are blazing fast, irrespective of the file type, and it requires no internet connection or USB.


Apart from that, it supports group file sharing to up to 4 devices which can be really useful when you want to send the same file to multiple people.

Xender is available in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, and Korean, besides English.

#3. Send Anywhere

As the name suggests, Send Anywhere allows you to send files to any device out there, and it’s absolutely free to use.


It requires no login or registration but rather a 6-digit pin that’ll process the file transfer on both devices upon entering it. Alternatively, you can choose to send a notification to the receiving device for them to accept it right away without entering the pin.

Overall, it’s a safe way to transfer your files among other devices quickly.

Final Words

It can be frustrating not to be able to access a useful feature like Airdrop, but with the above solutions, you’ll most likely be able to fix it in no time. Alternatively, third-party apps do a great job of transferring and receiving files as well.

Next, learn how to change your iPhone name with this step-by-step tutorial.

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