How To AirDrop To Mac From Other iOS Devices- Explained

Keeping a plethora of media on your Mac is not a problem unless you want to transfer it to other devices. Also, you are fortunate to have Apple’s patent file transfer service called AirDrop if you are a Mac user. You only have to know how to AirDrop to Mac from other devices.

You can transfer photos, videos, audio files, and documents using AirDrop. That way, you can share your moments of joy with others and manage your device’s storage.

So, let’s begin with what AirDrop is and how it works.

AirDrop on Apple Devices

Being an Apple user allows you to enjoy various useful features that are unique, just like AirDrop. Unfortunately, this service is for only Apple devices. You can’t use AirDrop on your Android and Windows devices.

Moreover, you can send files, including media, documents, websites, locations, and more, from one Apple device to another using AirDrop.

Following are the OS requirements on different devices by Apple:

OS Requirements

  • iOS 7 or Later in iPhone and iPod Touch
  • iPadOS 13 or Later on iPad
  • OS X 10.10 or Later on MacOS

Now, let’s see how does this service work.

How Does AirDrop Work

You already know you can transfer files over AirDrop by connecting two Apple devices. Also, there is no need to connect your device to the internet. It’s because AirDrop doesn’t need any external connection to support the transfer of files.

However, you have to make sure that the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on on both devices.

Bluetooth connects both devices together so that you can AirDrop files from one device to another.

On the other hand, Wi-Fi is the medium through which files are transferred.

Therefore, if you turn off any of these features on your Apple device, AirDrop is not going to work.

How Do I AirDrop from iPhone to Mac?

Let’s start with sending files over AirDrop from iPhone to Mac.

If you have an iPhone and love to record videos and take pictures, even the 512 iPhone Pro might run short on storage. It’s because the iPhone’s camera is capable of taking HD pictures and videos. So in no time, you might see the message “Cannot Take Photos.”

It might hurt at the beginning, but the best solution is to transfer files from your iPhone to your Mac.

Besides, managing your Photos app before starting the AirDrop process is better. Why?

Of course, Apple hasn’t specified any limit to AirDrop files. However, it’s logical that the transfer process will take longer if you are sending heavy files. Even if you send only photos, the number of files and their respective size will decide how long AirDrop will take to complete the process.

Therefore, make sure you select only those files that you really need on your Mac. Create a separate folder and transfer them to it.

Turn On AirDrop on Your iPhone or iPad

Follow these steps to turn on AirDrop on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Tap Settings >> General >> AirDrop
  2. When you tap AirDrop, you will see three options: Receiving Off, Contact Only, and Everyone. You have to select one from Contact Only or Everyone. Ignore the Receiving Off option for now.
    • Select Contacts Only: If you want to transfer files to the people who are available in your contacts list.
    • Select Everyone: If you want to send files to nearby devices having AirDrop.
  3. After that, turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Also, make sure you are in the Bluetooth range (at most 30 feet from the Mac) for the best AirDrop experience.

You can also turn on AirDrop on your iPhone from the Control Center by tapping the AirDrop icon. But if you can’t find the AirDrop icon in the Control Center, you have to first add it.

Now, let’s enable Mac AirDrop.

Turn On AirDrop on Your Mac

  1. Open Finder
  2. Select AirDrop. It’s on the left sidebar of the Finder window. Once you click that, the AirDrop window will open.
  3. Now, check the bottom of the screen. You will find the option “Allow me to be discovered by” followed by a drop-down menu. Click the dropdown menu and select either Contact Only or Everyone.
  4. After turning on AirDrop, make sure your Mac is within 30 feet of the iPad or iPhone.

Now you are ready to transfer files from iPhone to Mac.

Transfer Files from iPhone to Mac

Now that both devices are in range and can share files via AirDrop let’s see how to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac.

AirDrop Photos from iPhone to Mac

  1. If you want to AirDrop a single photo, select it. Or, if you want to share multiple photos, open the Photos app.
  2. Tap Select and start selecting the photos and video you want to AirDrop.
  3. After that, tap the sharing icon.
  4. Choose AirDrop.
  5. Choose your Apple device from the AirDrop menu. You will see a blue circle around the icon. Also, you will see an AirDrop notification on the receiving device. Simply click Accept to begin the transfer.
  6. While transferring files, you will see the status “Sending” and then “Sent” in the AirDrop menu.
  7. Tap Done once the transfer process is finished.

Where are Mac AirDrop Files?

Now that you have sent files from your iPhone to your Mac via AirDrop, you don’t know where they have gone. No doubt, the transfer was successful in the other device. But you don’t have the slightest idea where your Mac has saved them.

One easy way is to search the files’ names. But that’s only possible if you remember the name of those files.

Another way is to check the Downloads folder on your Mac.

Check Downloads Folder

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Find the Download folder on the left sidebar of the Finder window.
  3. Open Downloads. Here you will find all the received files from AirDrop.

Now, let’s discuss how to send files from Mac to iPhone via AirDrop.

Transfer Files from Mac to iPhone

  1. First, turn on AirDrop on your devices.
  2. Now, turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  3. Open Finder from the taskbar or the menu bar.
  4. Go to the folder in which the files are saved.
  5. Now, select a photo or video you want to AirDrop to your iPhone.
  6. If you want to send multiple files, keep pressing the Command key and tap the desired files.
  7. After selecting the files, click the Share icon. It’s at the top of the screen.
  8. Select AirDrop.
  9. Choose the device from the list that you want to AirDrop files with.
  10. Click Done.

Now, check your iPhone. The received photos and videos will display on the Photos app.

Why Can’t I AirDrop from My Phone to My Mac?

Sometimes when you want to AirDrop file from your phone to Mac, different types of errors occur. Therefore, let’s solve these issues by applying the following fixes.

AirDrop Window Froze

That’s a common issue complained about by the MacOS users. To fix this, you have to Force Quit AirDrop:

  1. Press Options + Command + ESC (Escape.)
  2. Select AirDrop.
  3. Click Force Quit.

When you forcefully quit an app from the Mac menu, it will instantly stop working. That’s helpful as well as harmful.

If you haven’t started sending or receiving files via AirDrop or the transfer process has been finished, force quitting the app will not affect them.

But if you go for the Force Quit method while transferring files, this can cost you a lot. Moreover, that can corrupt the files, and you will not be able to see them even when you receive files.

Besides, you have to stay vigilant while transferring large files because it takes longer than usual. If it looks like AirDrop has stuck, wait and see the transfer progress.

Connectivity Issues

Another issue is when you can’t find devices while scanning. Therefore, first, check if AirDrop enabled and the airplane mode is off.

Airplane mode shuts down all the radio connections, including Bluetooth and WiFi of your iPhone. That means you can receive WiFi signals from the access points. Also, you can’t make or attend phone calls.

So disable airplane mode before sending files via AirDrop.

Also, make sure you have turned off the Wi-Fi hotspot while AirDrop files. It’s because AirDrop only needs the device’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It doesn’t work via hotspot.

So once you turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and keep the airplane mode and hotspot off, only then can you easily AirDrop files.


AirDrop is a useful feature that allows you to send files from one Apple device to another. Moreover, you don’t have to connect to a WiFi network to AirDrop files. Only the Wi-Fi with Bluetooth should remain on.

Therefore, start sending AirDrop files from today and enjoy the smooth transfer between different iOS and MacOS devices.