How to Fix: Airdrop Not Working on MacBook

Transferring files to/from Mac using Airdrop seems to be the easiest and the best way. But there might be the issue with your airdrop not working on MacBook. This post is made by keeping in mind after facing a similar problem with me. I searched a lot for various factors online to fix this issue but didn’t get the solution. After a deep research, we come to the solution and it was really easy. Might you have a different case but here we are going to discuss all the major factor responsible for this issue.

fix airdrop not working on macbook

Airdrop works on iOS & MacOS and is considered the best way. It makes transferring of heavy files in very less time and keeps the quality of transfer data whether it is a picture, video, or any other. This is the reason why Airdrop is most popular. But you must note Airdrop only works on apple products.

How to Use Airdrop?

Before going to actual fixes please take a look at how to use airdrop on your Macbook. Might there would be a possibility that you are using in a wrong way. Here we have made the best way to make sure you are using Airdrop in right way. You will find the Airdrop in Finder and check the nearby available airdrop devices.

  • Open the Airdrop from Finders and locate the device you have to send. (Make sure receiver has enabled discovered to everyone).
  • Now go to the files/docs/pictures/videos you want to share via airdrop. Select them and Drag to the available Airdrop device.

macbook airdrop fix

  • Accept the files in receiver device and you can have the files there!

This is not the only way to share files via airdrop but this is the easiest way you can go for. Otherwise, if you are unable to locate the device on airdrop then continue reading this post and you definitely solve this problem.

How to Fix: Airdrop Not Working on MacBook

There are many factors that bring this issue. Let us consider one by one. If you have already done with the following factor then skip that and check next.

1. Make your Airdrop Discoverable

When you start sharing files make sure the receiver device’s airdrop is discoverable. In Airdrop, you will see 3 options:

  • Receiving Off: By default, this is activated and it means your airdrop is not seen on any nearby device. Once you are done with sharing you have to select this option.
  • Contacts Only: You can select this option to share/ receive files from contacts only. This might be your phonebook contacts, iCloud contacts or email contacts (for iCloud and email contacts you must be logged in already to access).
  • Everyone: This option receives files from all the contacts either it is in your contact or someone else. If you are not sure whether the person is in your phonebook you must enable this option.

This option is easily opened on your MacBook. Navigate to Finder and under Favourite, choose Airdrop. Click on the Allow me to discovered by and choose your option.

macbook airdrop

On the other hand, if you are enabling it on iPhone then go to Settings> General> Airdrop and select your option.

iphone airdrop discoverable

2. Hotspot Disabled

This is the reason in most of the cases by which your Airdrop us not working. Make sure that your Hotspot is turned off when connecting your device to airdrop. Hotspot must be disabled on both receiver and sender device otherwise it is not discoverable to the network. To turn Off hotspot navigate to Settings> Personal Hotspot and then turn it Off.

iphone hotspot

3. Both WiFi and Bluetooth are turned ON

Airdrop does not work if either of both turned off. Basically, Bluetooth locates your device which is nearby and WiFi helps in transferring of data. So you must keep both WiFi and Bluetooth turned ON for both receivers and sending devices.

To turn on Bluetooth and WiFi on Mac navigate to Apple icon () on the top left of your screen, click System Preferences and then Bluetooth and Network. Here you can turn them ON.

mac wifi bluetooth

Most Probably, both WiFi and Bluetooth automatically turn ON once you turn ON Airdrop. If still not enable you can turn ON by the above option. And in case if you are using iPhone then simply swipe up the home screen and turn ON Bluetooth and WiFi.

iphone wifi bluetooth

4. The issue with IP Address

As discussed in the first paragraph. This problem I faced during the transfer of files is due to the change in IP address. As I use VPN (Virtual Private Network) on both MacBook and iPhone and probably wifi fails to locate the nearby airdrop device.

Recommended: What is VPN and how VPN works to protect your privacy?

VPN is recommended software to protect your data and privacy if you use public WiFi. VPN basically hide your original IP address and makes your connection invisible. This is the reason the WiFi unable to locate the nearest WiFi. If you are using VPN then make sure this is Off on both receiver and sender device.

5. Multiple Files transfer failure

Mostly we select multiple files to transfer in one go and the problem arises or the transfer stuck in between. Try to transfer limited files at a single time (although there is no limitation) to work the processing smoothly. When the apple device receives any files via airdrop there is an option to open it. If all the files are not in the same format then this issue might happen. In general, if you have a mix collection of files having apps, pictures, videos then try to send the same format file first. This may fix your problem.

6. Disable Do Not Disturb Mode

You may note down that if your Do Not Disturb mode is enabled for keeping the notification, calls as silent then Airdrop cannot work. It is advised to disable Do Not Disturb more at the time of transferring files and after that, you can enable to continue it. It is very easy to turn off Do Not Disturb mode from your Mac and iPhone as it appears as a half moon logo.

For Mac users, go to the apple icon () on the top left corner and navigate to System Preferences> Notifications> Do Not Disturb on the sidebar.

mac do not disturb

And for iPhone users, Swipe up your screen and check for half moon logo. If it is enabled, tap to disable.

do not disturb iphone

7. Network Reset

Resetting your network is annoying and you may skip this step as no one wants to reset their system. But for Airdrop, you must do this if the above steps are not working. Some time by resetting your network fixes WiFi and Bluetooth problems that arising error in airdrop. To reset Your network navigate to below steps.

  • For Mac: Navigate to System Preferences> Network> Advanced tab> TCP/IP tab> Renew DHCP lease.

reset wifi mac

  • For iPhone: Settings> General> Reset> Reset Network Settings.

reset network settings

8. Update to the latest Version

If you followed all the above steps and still unable to share a file using airdrop then the only option left is to upgrade your system. By upgrading your system may be the arising issue settle down and the airdrop works well. And updating your current version to latest version is recommended to keep your system up to date. To check your system update follow some steps.

For Mac: Navigate to Apple icon ()> System Preferences> Software Update

software update

For iPhone: Navigate to Settings> General> Software Update.

iphone airdrop

Make sure your internet connectivity is good and your device is charged more than half otherwise plugin the charger before starting the update.

I hope you fix the issue of Airdrop Not Working on MacBook and successfully started sharing your files. If still, a problem arises, do comment below or if any other way you find to fix this problem then explain it on the comment box. Maybe readers here find your solution best.

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