If you are wondering how to turn on the handy Apple AirDrop feature on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, this quick guide will show you how to set up Airdrop on your iOS device. Once AirDrop is enabled you will be able to share and receive photos, video and documents with friends family and acquaintances with ease to other Apple devices close by.
Apple’s AirDrop feature can be used to transfer files to other Apple devices within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range, so you will need to check that the person you are transferring to also has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled on their iOS device. Another setting worth checking on the receiving iOS device if you are experiencing issues is the AirDrop receive settings. This might be Air Drop might be set to receive from Contacts Only, if it is the recipient will need to have your Apple ID’s email address or mobile number in their contacts for AirDrop to work. If you are not listed in their contacts they will need to change the AirDrop receiving setting to Everyone.
Turn on the correct AirDrop setting for receiving documents
To do this on Apple’s iPhone X or later, simply swipe down from the top right-hand corner of the screen to open and reveal the Control Centre. Or follow the same motion to open Control Centre on your iPad with iOS 12 or later or iPadOS. On an iPhone 8 or earlier as well as iPod touch devices, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. On iPhone X or later, swipe down from the top right-hand corner of the screen to open Control Centre. Or follow the same motion to open Control Centre on your iPad with iOS 12 or later or iPadOS. On your iPhone 8 or earlier or iPod touch, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
Then open the network settings section in the top left-hand corner by hard pressing, located down in the bottom left are the AirDrop settings, tap the AirDrop icon and you will be presented with three options, Receiving Off, Contacts Only and Everyone. If Receiving Off is selected you will not receive AirDrop requests from anyone. Contacts Only, as explained previously allows you to receive AirDrop documents from people listed in your contacts with an Apple ID email address and Everyone allows you to receive AirDrop documents from any nearby Apple device. The Contacts Only option will only show on Apple devices running iOS 10 and later, iPadOS, or macOS Sierra 10.12 and later.
Sending a file, photo or video on iOS
You can send a single or selection of photos, documents or videos via AirDrop simply select the documents you would like to share and press the Share button, a square with an upward pointing arrow as in the image below. Then select AirDrop from the options available, if the person you are transferring to also owns an iPhone 11 model or iPhone 12 model simply point your iPhone in the direction of theirs and tap their profile picture to start the transfer process. If they aren’t in your Contacts, you’ll see just their name without an image. A red numbered badge on the AirDrop button indicates how many devices are available nearby to transfer documents or media to. This method can also be used to transfer documents from one of your Apple devices to another, such as transferring photos from your iPhone to your laptop or tablet or vice versa.
Once the transfer is initiated the recipient will see an alert pop up on their iPhone or iPad screen with the heading AirDrop, allowing them to either “Accept” or “Decline” the AirDrop transfer. If you are transferring photos from one of your devices to another you will not see the option to “Accept” or “Decline” it will just automatically send your chosen document directly to your device. One thing to remember when transferring documents from one of your devices to another is to make sure that both devices are signed in with the same Apple ID or else the process will not work.
If you experience problems using Air Drop to another device it might be worth adjusting your AirDrop settings to the Everyone option and trying this to start the process, this option can easily be disable after the transfer has completed and when Airdrop is not in use for security. For more information on using AirDrop with your Apple devices and trouble shooting jump over to the official Apple website for support.
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