How to share files with AirDrop

Learn how to share files with AirDrop between iPhone, iPad, and Mac, how to accept AirDrops, and how to access AirDropped files on your device.

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AirDrop is a fantastic feature for sending links, images, photos, videos, and large files that is available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It is very safe to transfer data with AirDrop because the devices that send and receive the data create a firewall around the connection , which guarantees that the files are sent encrypted. There’s also no limit to the size of files you can send with AirDrop.

What you’ll need to share files with AirDrop

To send or receive files with AirDrop, you need to make sure that both you and the person you’re sending the files to have AirDrop enabled and are close by. You must also have WiFi and Bluetooth turned on to enable the connection between your devices.

Then check if the recipient has their AirDrop set to receive only from Contacts in the AirDrop settings. Contacts Only means that only your contacts can see your device.

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That means you must have their phone number in their contact list for them to receive your files. Alternatively, ask them to change their AirDrop settings to Everyone in order to accept their AirDrops.

How to AirDrop from iPhone to iPad

  • On your iPhone, select the files you want to transfer to your iPad.
  • After selecting the files, tap on the share icon located at the bottom left corner of your screen to open the share menu.
  • Select the iPad device you want to transfer the files to from the Share menu.
  • Confirm that you want to receive the files by selecting the accept option on your iPad.
  • Once you click accept, the files will be sent to your iPad and will be visible immediately.

How to AirDrop Files from iPhone to Mac

  • Select any image or file in any app on your iPhone that you want to send to your Mac.
  • Tap on the file.
  • Click the Share button to open the Share menu.
  • In the Share menu, select AirDrop.
  • Nearby AirDrop-enabled devices will appear on the left side of the Share menu. If more are available, a number will appear on the AirDrop icon.
  • Select the people you want to AirDrop the files to from the file sharing options.
  • You may need to accept or reject the file on the receiving Mac device, depending on its security settings.

How to AirDrop from Mac to iPhone

You can send items from Mac to iPhone from Finder, the desktop, or from apps like Safari or Maps.

  • If you’re sending items from your desktop: Select any item you want to send from your Mac, open the Share menu, select AirDrop, and then select the iPhone device you want to send the item to.
  • If you’re sending items from the Finder: Click AirDrop in the Finder sidebar, select the item you want to send from your Mac, and then drag it to the iPhone device you want to send to.
  • If you’re sending items from an app: Click the Share button on the app’s toolbar, open AirDrop, and then select the iPhone device you want to send the item to.
  • How to accept an AirDrop

To accept AirDrops, you must first set your AirDrop to Contact Only or Everyone. Your AirDrop name will be visible to nearby people in your contact list or all nearby Apple devices.

When someone shares something with you using AirDrop, you’ll see an alert with a preview on your device. You must click accept or decline to receive the file or decline the transfer. This is important because it prevents nearby strangers from sending unwanted AirDrops directly to your device without your permission, a phenomenon called cyberflashing.

It is safer to only accept transfers from people in your contact list. You can also set your AirDrop to Receive Off to prevent your devices from receiving AirDrop requests.

If you submit an item to yourself, you won’t see the prompt to accept or reject it. It will be automatically sent to your device. Just make sure you’re signed in on both devices with the same Apple ID.

Where do AirDrop files go?

When you accept the AirDrop, it will appear within the same app it was sent from. Photos, for example, appear in the Photos app and websites open in Safari. The app links open the App Store, where you can download or purchase the app.

Any file you receive via AirDrop on your Mac device is automatically saved to the Downloads folder. If you AirDrop a file from an app that isn’t on your iPad device, you’ll be asked which app to open it with.

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