How to Use Mac Airdrop: A Comprehensive Guide

AirDrop is a powerful feature on your Mac that allows you to quickly and easily share files, photos, videos, and even contacts with other Apple devices nearby. But for many users, it can be confusing to figure out exactly how to use this feature. In this article, we’ll go over 12 simple steps to help you master AirDrop and streamline your workflow on your Mac.


Step 1: Check your Compatibility

Before getting started with AirDrop, it’s important to make sure your Apple device is compatible with this feature. AirDrop is only available on Macs running macOS X Lion (10.7) or later, and it’s available on many iOS devices running iOS 7 or later. To check if your device is compatible, go to the Finder and look for the AirDrop icon in the sidebar.

Step 2: Open AirDrop

To start using AirDrop, open a Finder window and then click on AirDrop in the sidebar. This will bring up a list of nearby devices that you can share files with. If you don’t see any devices listed, make sure your device is discoverable by other devices by toggling the “Allow me to be discovered by” option in the AirDrop window.

Step 3: Choose Your Sharing Settings

Before sharing files, you’ll need to decide who can see and share files from your device via AirDrop. You can choose to share files with just your contacts, or with everyone nearby. To change your sharing settings, click on the “Allow me to be discovered by” setting in the AirDrop window and select the appropriate option.

Step 4: Select Your Files

Once you’ve chosen your sharing settings, select the files you want to share by clicking and dragging them into the AirDrop window. You can share a variety of file types, including photos, videos, documents, and more.

Step 5: Drop Your Files onto the Recipient

To share your files, simply drag and drop them onto the recipient’s device in the AirDrop window. The recipient will see a prompt asking them to accept the file, and once they do, the file will be transferred.

Step 6: Accept Incoming Files

If someone else wants to share files with you via AirDrop, you’ll see a notification on your screen. Click “Accept” to receive the files, and they’ll be saved to your Downloads folder.

Step 7: Use AirDrop with iOS Devices

AirDrop also works with iOS devices, which makes it easy to share files between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. To use AirDrop with iOS devices, make sure that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on, then open the Control Center and tap the AirDrop icon. Select the device you want to share files with, then follow the same steps as above to share your files.

Step 8: Share Your Location with AirDrop

If you’re on the go and need to share your location with someone, you can use AirDrop to do so. Simply open the Maps app on your device, search for your location, and then click on the Share button. From there, select AirDrop and choose the device you want to share your location with.

Step 9: Share Your Contacts

AirDrop also makes it easy to share contacts with other Apple devices. To do so, open the Contacts app, select the contact you want to share, and then click on the Share button. Choose AirDop and select the device you want to share the contact with.

Step 10: Troubleshoot AirDrop Issues

If you’re having trouble with AirDrop, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try. First, make sure that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on, and that the devices you’re trying to connect are nearby. You may also want to try restarting both devices to see if that resolves the issue.

Step 11: Encrypt Your AirDrop Files

If you’re sharing sensitive files via AirDrop, you may want to consider encrypting them to keep them secure. To do so, simply open the AirDrop window, select the files you want to share, and then click on the Encrypt checkbox.

Step 12: Deactivate AirDrop

If you no longer want to use AirDrop, you can easily deactivate it by going to the Finder, clicking on AirDrop in the sidebar, and then selecting “No One” under the “Allow me to be discovered by” setting.


AirDrop is a simple and straightforward way to share files between Apple devices, but it can be tricky to figure out at first. By following these 12 steps, you’ll be able to start using AirDrop with ease. Remember to check your compatibility, select your files, and drop them onto the recipient’s device. You can also troubleshoot issues, encrypt your files, and deactivate AirDrop when you’re done.

Tips and Tricks

1. Keep Your Device Up-to-Date

Regularly updating your device’s operating system can help ensure that AirDrop works smoothly.

2. Clean Up Your Downloads Folder

Files received via AirDrop are saved to your Downloads folder, so make sure to clean it up periodically to avoid clutter.

3. Use AirDrop to Quickly Share Between Your Own Devices

If you have multiple Apple devices, using AirDrop can be a quick and easy way to share files between them.

4. Customize Your AirDrop Profile

You can add a photo and change your name in your AirDrop profile to make it easier for others to identify you.

5. Use Siri to Enable AirDrop

Instead of going to the Finder to enable AirDrop, simply ask Siri to do it for you.

6. Use a Keyboard Shortcut

Save time by setting up a keyboard shortcut to open the AirDrop window.

7. Check Your Firewall Settings

Firewall settings can sometimes interfere with AirDrop, so make sure yours isn’t blocking this feature.

8. Delete Old AirDrop Connections

If you’ve connected to a lot of different devices via AirDrop, you may want to delete old connections to keep things organized.

9. Use AirDrop to Share Photos Between Devices

AirDrop is a great way to quickly share photos between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

10. Share Your Wi-Fi Password with AirDrop

You can use AirDrop to quickly and securely share your Wi-Fi password with other Apple devices.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Mac Airdrop


1. It is extremely easy to use and set up, allowing for quick and efficient file sharing among Apple devices.

2. Airdrop uses secure encryption technology, ensuring that only the intended recipient can access the files.

3. It allows for sending large files without any size restrictions, making it a convenient option for sharing multimedia files.

4. Airdrop is not dependent on internet or cellular data, making it an ideal option for file sharing in areas with low connectivity.

5. The feature is built into all Apple devices, requiring no additional software or hardware, which means there is no cost involved in using it.

6. Airdrop also allows users to preview the files shared before downloading, ensuring that they have received the correct files.

7. It supports a wide range of file formats, making it versatile in terms of the type of files that can be shared.

8. Airdrop is a reliable option, with files being sent almost instantly between devices.

9. It allows for offline file sharing, even when devices are not connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.

10. With Airdrop, users retain full control over who can access and download their files, ensuring privacy and security.


1. Airdrop is exclusive to Apple devices, which limits its usability for those who do not own Apple products.

2. The transfer speed may vary depending on the size and type of file being shared.

3. Due to the reliance on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Airdrop can be slow or unreliable in areas with poor connectivity.

4. Airdrop requires both the sender and receiver to have their device’s Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Airdrop settings turned on, which can be inconvenient.

5. There is no option for resuming a transfer if it is interrupted, meaning files need to be retransferred from the beginning.

6. Airdrop has limited range, typically only reaching devices within a 30-meter radius.

7. There is no option for customizing the visibility of devices that appear in the Airdrop panel, potentially revealing personal information to strangers.

8. There have been rare occurrences of Airdrop being used for cyberattacks, highlighting potential security vulnerabilities.

9. Airdrop can drain battery life quickly, especially when used for prolonged periods of time.

10. Users may accidentally send files to the wrong device in the Airdrop menu if there are multiple devices with similar names in close proximity.

Overall, Airdrop is a convenient and efficient file sharing tool, with several advantages that make it an attractive option for those who own Apple devices. However, there are also some potential downsides that users should be aware of to make informed decisions about when and how to use Airdrop.


1. What is Mac Airdrop?

Mac Airdrop is a feature available on macOS devices that allows users to easily share files between Apple devices.

2. How do I turn on Airdrop on my Mac?

To turn on Airdrop on your Mac, open Finder and click on “AirDrop” in the left sidebar. From there, you can choose who can see your device and start sharing files.

3. Can I use Airdrop to transfer files between Mac and iPhone?

Yes, you can use Airdrop to transfer files between your Mac and iPhone as long as both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and have Airdrop turned on.

4. What types of files can be shared using Airdrop?

You can share a variety of files using Airdrop, including photos, videos, documents, and more.

5. Can I customize who can see my Mac on Airdrop?

Yes, you can customize who can see your Mac on Airdrop by selecting “Contacts Only” or “No One” under the “Allow me to be discovered by” section in the Airdrop settings.

6. Can I send files to multiple devices at once using Airdrop?

Yes, you can send files to multiple devices at once using Airdrop by selecting all the devices you want to share with when the Airdrop window opens.

7. Can I transfer files between Mac devices without Wi-Fi?

No, Airdrop requires Wi-Fi to function, so you cannot use it to transfer files between Mac devices without a Wi-Fi connection.

8. Why is my Airdrop not working?

There could be various reasons why your Airdrop is not working, including outdated software, weak Wi-Fi connection, or incompatible devices. Make sure all your devices meet the compatibility requirements and are updated to the latest software version.

9. How fast is Airdrop in transferring files?

Airdrop is generally very fast in transferring files, with speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second, depending on the size of the file and the Wi-Fi connection.

10. Can I transfer files between Mac and iPad using Airdrop?

Yes, you can transfer files between your Mac and iPad using Airdrop as long as both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and have Airdrop turned on.

11. Can I use Airdrop to share files with non-Apple devices?

No, Airdrop only works between Apple devices, so you cannot use it to share files with non-Apple devices.

12. Can Airdrop be used for business purposes?

Yes, Airdrop can be used for business purposes to quickly and securely share files between colleagues or clients, as long as everyone involved has Airdrop enabled on their Apple devices.

13. Is Airdrop secure?

Yes, Airdrop is secure because it uses encryption to protect the files being shared and requires users to approve each transfer before it can take place.

How to Use Mac Airdrop

Are you tired of emailing files to yourself or using a USB drive to transfer files between your Mac devices? Airdrop is a feature built into all Macs that allows you to easily share files wirelessly between devices. Here’s how to use Mac Airdrop:

Conclusion and Closing

Congratulations, you now know how to use Mac Airdrop! This feature is a convenient way to quickly transfer files between your Mac devices without the need for cables or email. Remember to keep Airdrop turned off when not in use, and only accept files from people you know and trust. Happy sharing!

Thank you for reading this article on how to use Mac Airdrop. We hope you found it helpful and informative. If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Until next time, take care!