AirDrop in iOS and Mac OS. How it works?

This tutorial is about transferring photos (and other data) between iOS devices (iPad, iPod, iPhone Touch) and OS X computers. To transfer data between devices I often use the technology AirDrop. Strictly speaking, you can use this technology to transmit videos, links, contact information, etc.п. In this tutorial I’ve gathered all the important information about AirDrop.


Devices must be located in close proximity to each other (a distance of up to 9 meters is supported). Also, both devices must have Wi-Fi (one Wi-Fi network) and Bluetooth enabled. Availability of Internet via Wi-Fi is not required.

Airdrop is supported by the following mobile devices:

The pros and cons of AirDrop

  • The technology is aimed at easy and fast transfer of data between devices. So the first and main advantage is the speed!
  • The data is immediately where it needs to be when transferred. For example, photos go into your Photos app and media library.
  • AirDrop technology does not require Internet for the transfer.
  • AirDrop is built into Mac OS and iOS. You don’t need any additional software. You just need to know how to use it all.
  • It is an exclusively Apple development. That is, ideally, I would like Android AirDrop to work as well.
  • AirDrop sometimes does not work the way it should, but if you understand the principles of how it works and are aware of any issues that may arise, then you will not have any trouble using it.

How AirDrop works

The fact that this utility is created for data exchange is understood, but how does the system work?? We explained in detail how to enable AirDrop in a separate article.

When data is being transferred, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are activated to transfer files. Bluetooth is used to create the connection, and Wi-Fi itself to send data. During the exchange, each device creates a protection (firewall) to encrypt the connection. This makes the system safe from interceptions and hacking, making it safer to send than via email, social networks or other methods.

A makeshift Wi-Fi network is created between the devices, which means they have to be close to each other. Better nearby, but the transmission distance can be up to 20 meters, depending on phone models.

Such a system is much more secure, and at the same time easier, faster than the standard Android Bluetooth connection. Learn more about how to use AirDrop.

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Encrypted identifiers

One more thing also stands out in the operation of the program. A 2048-bit RSA identification is created when working, then saved on the device. An encrypted identifier is also created based on a phone number or email address by Apple ID. This data is then used for identification on the network and provides security.

Comfort and performance

If you want to share files via AirDrop, the device will immediately scan the network and detect all the gadgets in range, if enabled, the user will be identified and you can confirm the sending.

We should also emphasize that since the system works in a small range, there is no risk of getting into the range of a device that collects or intercepts data transmissions.

How AirDrop works

This technology uses Bluetooth to create a decentralized (peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi network. Each device creates connection security, files are sent encrypted, which is of course much safer than transmitting via email or any other method. Within a radius of about 10 meters, compatible gadgets are detected. you can begin sharing!

Note! The specified models at the time of writing (for sure in future generations of devices, the technology will not only be present, but also further developed). So, on the recently unveiled OS X 10.10 Yosemite, found that AirDrop between Mac and iPhone now works.

How to enable AirDrop on iPhone with iOS up to version 11

Let’s take a look at how to enable Airdrop on the iPhone. This information will also be useful for those who are wondering how to enable Airdrop on iPhone 6 and 7. On versions of the operating system up to 11 (starting with it, the location of the switch is slightly changed), to activate the function you will need to do the following:

  • Open the control panel by swiping from bottom to top.
  • Click on the AirDrop button.
  • Select the type of detection: “Only for contacts” or “All”.

After that the smartphone will be visible to receive files from other users. Note that there are two ways of detection:

  • Contacts only. In this case, only users listed in contacts will be able to detect you.
  • Everyone. In this case, all iPhone users nearby from their smartphone will see your gadget and be able to send you a file.

How to enable AirDrop on iPhone and iPad with iOS 11

In iOS 11 Apple has redesigned the control panel again. Now all the switches are located on the same country, but they are all separate widgets. But the most important plus in all this is that they can now be configured.

With the redesign, certain features have changed their location. For example, if you pull down the controls at the bottom of the screen, you will not find the AirDrop icon there. Nevertheless, it is still there. But it is located in a new widget, which contains the function switches. In this article, I’ll show you how to find and enable AirDrop in iOS 11.

How to use AirDrop to share files between your Mac and iPhone/iPad

Many iOS device users don’t know that Apple has developed its own AirDrop technology to share data between iPhone/iPad and Mac. AirDrop is the fastest and easiest way to transfer the files you want over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wirelessly. Using it, you can quickly share photos, videos, your location, Safari data, and contacts with users near you. Despite the ease of use of this feature, most mobile device owners have no idea how to enable and use AirDrop. So we decided to tell you more about this.

How to transfer a photo or other file via AirDrop?

Transferring a file using AirDrop is as easy as email. To send, say, a photo, do the following:

On your iPhone, go to the built-in Photos app and select the photo you want to share.

Click on the up arrow icon in the lower left corner of the screen.

Once the photo is highlighted, click “Next” in the upper right corner.

A menu of three sections will pop up at the bottom. The topmost section will contain a list of contacts you can send the photo to. Select one of the recipients and click on his or her avatar.

As soon as the transmission is successfully completed you will see the message “Sent” on the display. Next it’s up to the recipient of the file. On the screen of his gadget will appear a notification that another iPhone user wants to share a picture with him.

After the recipient presses “Accept”, the picture will be downloaded to his smartphone.

How to use AirDrop on iPhone

Hello Dear Friends! Many of you, who have already heard, and may have already installed the new iOS 7 firmware, know that there is an interesting new feature. AirDrop. which should finally compensate for the lack of data transfer between devices, for the lack of which many Android users “poked” all the Apple technology users. Let’s see how it works and what you need to know to use it! Let’s first define what AirDrop is.

“AirDrop is a Wi-Fi file transfer technology developed by Apple and introduced by it in the Mac OS X Lion and iOS 7 operating environment. Apple positions the technology as an easy way to transfer files between computers using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to authenticate iOS 7 devices.”.

Yeah, it’s kind of cool. But the problem is that mobile AirDrop isn’t as good as a stationary one designed for OS X. First, the number of devices that can work with AirDrop is currently limited to only the iPhone 5, iPod touch 5, and 4th generation iPad.

Without such a necessary feature the owners of still quite current iPhone 4S and iPad 3rd generation are left.

But if in this case we can refer to the lack of performance of the hardware of these devices, the lack of work with AirDrop for OS X is just discouraging.

But come on, Apple has always been known for such “cutting” of functions, so we’re not used to it. Another thing to pay attention to is that AirDrop requires working WI-FI and Bluetooth in order to function properly. But the interesting thing is that the connection to the Internet is not necessary. And now let’s talk about how to use AirDrop on iPhone.

Control Center

First, we need to activate everything in the Control Center, also a new iOS 7 feature. To do this, simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen and sort of “pull” the Control Center from the bottom. Then you’ll see AirDrop. Tap on it.

This will turn white and will automatically turn on Bluetooth.

Setting up AirDrop

Once you’ve clicked on AirDrop, a popup will pop up asking who you will be visible to when you enable AirDrop.

How to Turn on AirDrop on iPhone/ iPad! �� [100% WORKS!!]

The default setting is “from contacts only”. (only people in your contacts list).

Choose “For Everyone” to make sure you get the file from another device.

Transferring data via AirDrop

Now select the file to be transferred. This can be anything at all, i.e. photos, videos, notes, events. Once you’ve selected a file to transfer, click on the “Share” button, which looks something like this:

For example, open the Photo app, select any image and a panel with this icon will appear at the bottom. Tap on it.

If there is a device in range where you can transfer the file, you will see a list of those people who already have AirDrop activated. Select one of them and wait.

At that time, the recipient’s device will offer to accept the file. The recipient should accept it, and after a period of time the file you are about to transfer will be on the device of the recipient.

That’s the tricky part! After using, don’t forget to turn off WI-FI/Bluetooth or in the Control Center, click on AirDrop and in the popup I mentioned above and then click on “Turn off”.

What to do if AirDrop doesn’t work on iPhone 13/12/X/8 with iOS 15

“I’ve been trying to share photos between my iPhone X and iPad Pro, both running iOS 15. But when I clicked on AirDrop-Everyone, I couldn’t recognize the device in the house, any suggestions? “.

You may know what AirDrop is and what AirDrop can do. But when you plan to transfer some files from iPhone to MacBook or from iPhone to iPhone via Airdrop, you may encounter “AirDrop does not work” problem. No worries. Read the article and try the methods below to fix iPhone AirDrop bugs don’t work in iOS 15.