How to Turn on AirDrop on Mac and Share Files

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by Amy on June 19, 2024 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

Sharing files between your Apple devices has always been challenging, thanks to a feature known as AirDrop. With just a few clicks, it lets you send photos, music, videos, documents, and more from your Mac to your iPhone, iPad, and other Mac, or vice versa. If you're new to the Mac ecosystem, you might wonder how to turn on AirDrop on Mac. This article will guide you on how to use AirDrop step by step.

About AirDrop You Need to Know

AirDrop is a proprietary service from Apple Inc. available on their iOS and macOS operating systems, introduced in OS X Lion (10.7) and iOS 7. It enables the transfer of files among supported Macintosh computers and iOS devices over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth without using mail or removable storage devices. It's a simple, efficient, and secure way to share files between your devices.

Benefits of AirDrop:

How AirDrop Works:

Remember, to use AirDrop, both devices must have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on and be within 30 feet (approximately 9 meters) of each other.

How to Turn on AirDrop on Mac

Are you using a Mac and want to transfer files between devices quickly and easily? Look no further than AirDrop! This handy tool allows you to share files wirelessly between Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods. To turn on AirDrop on your Mac, you can do this:

  1. Open AirDrop: You can choose the following methods to open it on your Mac.

    Using a Keyboard Shortcut: Press Command + Shift + R to enable AirDrop.

    Through Finder's Sidebar: Click on the Finder icon (which looks like a smiling face) in your Dock to open it and select AirDrop from the Sidebar of a Finder window. If it's not visible, ensure the Sidebar is enabled by going to View > Show Sidebar in the menu bar.

    Via menu: Open Finder and choose Go > AirDrop from the top menu bar.

    Through the Control Center: Click on the Control Center on the Menu Bar and click AirDrop.

  2. Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth: For AirDrop to work, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be turned on. Your Mac will prompt you to turn them on if they aren't already.
  3. Choose Who Can Send You Files: At the bottom of the AirDrop window, you'll see 'Allow me to be discovered by.' Click on this and choose 'Contacts Only' or 'Everyone.' 'Contacts Only' is more secure but requires that the person you're sharing with is in your Contacts app.

And that's it! You've successfully turned on AirDrop on your MacBook and other Macs. Now, you can start sharing files with ease.

How to AirDrop from Mac to iPhone and Other Apple Devices

When the AirDrop turn on, sharing files with friends or colleagues becomes easy. Here's a step-by-step guide to Airdrop from Mac to iPhone, MacBook, iMac and more:

  1. Ensure the sending and receiving devices are within 30 feet of each other.
  2. Connect them to the same Wi-Fi and enable Bluetooth.
  3. In the AirDrop window, click the drop-down arrow next to "Allow me to be discovered" and select "Contacts only" or "Everyone."

  4. After successful pairing, right-click the file to be transferred and select Share > AirDrop, then select the device to be shared. You can also drag the files you want to share to the recipient icon in AirDrop to complete file sharing.

  5. A reminder will appear on the recipient's screen; he has to click "Accept," and the file will be automatically saved to the download folder.

That's how easy it is to share photos, videos, and documents with AirDrop!

Troubleshooting for Airdrop Not Work on Mac

If you're having trouble using AirDrop on your MacBook, iMac, etc, here are some potential solutions:

Remember, these are just potential solutions. If none work, you may need to contact Apple Support for further assistance.


Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about turning AirDrop on a Mac and sharing files:


AirDrop is a powerful tool that simplifies the process of file sharing between Apple devices. It's easy to use, making it a must-know for all Mac users. This guide lets you quickly turn on AirDrop on Mac and share files with your friend or colleague. In addition, if data loss occurs during the transfer of files, you can also try Mac data recovery software provided by iBeesoft to retrieve them for free.