I have a variety of devices; iPhone X (13.3), iPad Air (12.4.4), 2011 Mac Mini (10.14.6), 2009 MacBook Pro (10.11.6), & i7 3770k Hackintosh (10.14.6). Everything is updated to the latest OS available for the machine. All are signed into my iCloud and otherwise work perfectly. My network is Ubiquiti USG and AP-AC-Pro.
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- If you’re not running the latest version of macOS, open the App Store, search for “macOS,” and then download it for free. Open AirDrop in Finder. According to Apple, if your Mac runs OS X Mavericks or earlier, you have to open Finder and click on AirDrop in the sidebar to transfer files.
Transferring files between computers or even between your Mac and an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad is easy. There are lots of different options, including Dropbox, OneDrive, email, and Apple’s own iCloud Drive.
However, perhaps the simplest method of all is AirDrop. This feature of macOS and iOS allows you to send files directly from a Mac or iOS device to another one, without having to place it on an intermediate server first.
What is AirDrop?
AirDrop was first introduced with Mac OS X Lion and allowed Mac users to share files with other from the Finder, and without copying them to a server or cloud storage service first, as long as they were physically close to each other. Since iOS 7, it has also been possible to share files between Macs and iOS devices using AirDrop.
Can I use AirDrop on my MacBook?
As long as your Mac is running at least Mac OS X Lion, you can use AirDrop to share files with other Macs, whether it’s a MacBook or any other Mac. If it’s running Yosemite or later, you’ll be able to share with iOS devices too. One easy way to check if your Mac can use AirDrop is to click on the Finder icon in the menu and choose the Go menu. If you see AirDrop listed as an option, you’re good to go.
How to use AirDrop
There are a couple of things you should do before you start:
- Make sure the devices you want to share files between are within 30 feet of each other.
- Check the Firewall settings on both Macs (if you’re sharing files with another Mac).
Here's how to do that:
- Go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
- Choose the Security & Privacy tab.
- Click the Firewall tab, then the padlock, then type in your password.
- Press Firewall Options and on the next screen, make sure Block all incoming connections at the top of the window is not checked.
It’s not essential for both devices to be connected to the same iCloud account — AirDrop is designed to allow you to share files with other users as well as other devices you own. However, if the device you want to share files with is connected to a different iCloud account, the owner of the device will have to accept the incoming connection before the file can be transferred.
Now that you’ve set it up, the next step is to make sure both devices are connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is switched on.
- On your Mac, go to the menu bar and, if Wi-Fi is off or not connected, click on the Wi-Fi icon and choose a network.
- Go to System Preferences, choose the Bluetooth pane and, if Bluetooth is off, press Turn Bluetooth On.
- If you want to share files with an iOS device, go to the Settings app on that device and make sure Wi-Fi is connected and Bluetooth is switched on.
With that done, it’s time to configure AirDrop.
How to turn on AirDrop on Mac and iOS
- On your Mac, click on the Finder icon in the Dock and go to the Go menu, then click AirDrop.
- At the bottom of the window that opens, click on “Allow me to be discovered by:” and choose Contacts only or Everyone.
- On the iPhone or iPad you want to share files with, go to Settings>General>AirDrop and choose Contacts only or Everyone.
You’re now ready to share your first file using AirDrop!
How to AirDrop from Mac to iPhone
- Go to the Finder and open a new window.
- Click on AirDrop in the sidebar of the window.
- You should see your iPhone in the window — it’s displayed using the name of the AppleID it’s connected to. If there is more than one device with AirDrop turned on, you’ll see them all.
- Open another Finder window and drag the file you want to transfer from its folder onto the icon of the iPhone you want to share it with.
- Drop it onto the icon.
- On the iPhone, you should see a menu appear asking which app you want to use to open the file. Tap the app you want to use.
- The files will now open in that app.
You can also share files using AirDrop via the Share menu in any macOS app that support it. Just click on the Share button, choose AirDrop, then select your iPhone.
How to AirDrop from iPhone to Mac
- Open an app on your iPhone that supports the Share feature.
- Open the document you want to send to your Mac.
- Tap the Share button.
- You’ll see a list of options, and above them, AirDrop with your Mac and any other devices in the vicinity.
- Tap your Mac.
- The file will be sent to your Mac.
- On your Mac, when the notification is displayed, click Open it to open the file.
If you don’t want to open the file, it will be saved to your Downloads folder.
What to do if AirDrop doesn’t work on your Mac
If AirDrop doesn’t work, try switching Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off and then on again. If that doesn’t work, try restarting your Mac. If you still can’t get AirDrop to work, we recommend trying CleanMyMac X maintenance scripts. They may fix the problem.
- Download CleanMyMac for free here.
- Launch the app.
- Click on Maintenance in the Utilities section.
- Check the boxes next to Run Maintenance Scripts and Verify Disk Permissions.
- Press Run.
Once CleanMyMac has finished, try AirDrop again.
Using AirDrop to transfer files between Macs or from Mac to iOS device is very convenient and very easy. The only thing to remember is that the devices both need to be connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and need to be within around 30 feet of each other. You can then send files back and forth whenever you need to.
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There are many different functions on your MacBook Pro that make it a great computer for professional and personal reasons. These are very reliable and capable laptop computers that can accomplish a vast array of different tasks and processes to meet any and all needs you might have. Pretty much any computing task you might have can be done by your MacBook Pro.
One of these features that are very useful and some people still don’t know about is AirDrop. If you don’t know what AirDrop is, this article will help you learn a bit about how useful it can be and how to use it. AirDrop is basically a way to share and transfer files between Apple-based devices. Many different types of files and data can be shared between phones, computers, tablets, and other devices by using AirDrop.
How AirDrop Works
There are many different ways to share files. Typically file sharing happens by using an internet connection and you can send data over email, messaging apps, or other means. If you need to send larger files that are too big for your email provider, you might use a program such as Dropbox that specializes in these large file transfers. If you are trying to send files from any Apple device to another Apple device, Airdrop can be really useful and accomplish the task quickly.
By using the wireless power of Bluetooth LE connections, AirDrop allows you to easily transfer and send photos, videos, contacts, map locations, voice memos, and pretty much any other type of data you can think of. I personally probably use AirDrop the most to share photos and videos with others. The feature is so easy to use and can be much faster than sending these types of files over WiFi or through other methods.
Bluetooth LE is a wireless file transfer system that allows you to broadcast and discover connections between other Bluetooth enabled devices. This is a common feature on many different electronic devices these days, but AirDrop itself is specific to Apple devices such as your MacBook Pro. Using the AirDrop feature utilizes the powerful capabilities of Bluetooth and your Apple device simultaneously.
The AirDrop feature on your MacBook Pro will utilize both Bluetooth and WiFi to create an easy to use and very fast file transfer connection which is known as WiFi-Direct. AirDrop on your MacBook will search for other AirDrop enabled devices within range and once discovered, allow you to make large transfers happen in no time.
How to Turn on AirDrop on MacBook Pro
In order to use all of the features of AirDrop to send and receive files from other devices, you first need to make sure that the function is actually turned on. It is really easy to do and only takes a few seconds but if you don’t have the feature turned on, it obviously won’t work. These next steps will walk you through the easy process of turning on AirDrop on a MacBook Pro.
- Open up your Finder and from the top menu click on the Go tab.
- In the Go tab go down the menu a bit and click on AirDrop. You can also use a keyboard shortcut within your Finder to access this AirDrop menu by pressing Shift, Command, and R.
- The AirDrop window will open and from here you can make sure you have everything set up to send and receive files.
- When this window opens, it will prompt you to turn on both your Bluetooth and WiFi connections. If no prompt comes up, everything should be in order to use AirDrop.
- At the bottom of the window click on Allow me to be discovered by: and then select Everyone.
- Now AirDrop is turned on and you can choose where you want to send or receive files to or from any nearby devices.
How to Use AirDrop to Send Files from Your MacBook Pro
After you have turned AirDrop on you can start using it to send and receive files on your MacBook Pro. This is another easy to do process and by following the steps below you’ll be able to send files with ease. An important thing to note is that the other device you are sending files to or receiving from needs to be within range to make the connection happen. Usually, if the devices are in the same room, this is close enough.
Method 1 – Drag and Drop
- Open the AirDrop window on your MacBook Pro.
- Wait for available devices to appear within the window and choose which one you want to share with.
- Go to the file location you wish to send.
- Drag the file to the correct recipient.
- Click send.
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Method 2 – Share Feature
- Go to the file location that you wish to share.
- Highlight the file you want to send.
- Control or right-click on the file and then click on Share.
- Click AirDrop from the Share menu.
- Find the device you want to send the file to and click Done.
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AirDrop is a really convenient and easy-to-use feature on your MacBook Pro that makes it fast to transfer large files in a matter of seconds. As long as you are within range of another Apple device that is AirDrop enabled, any file that you want to share or have shared with you only takes a few simple steps to get done. If you want to transfer or receive files from your MacBook Pro, follow the steps above and see for yourself how easy AirDrop is to use.
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Do you use AirDrop often? What type of files to you usually send or receive?