How to Enable AirDrop on MacBook/iPhone

Posted to Troubleshooting Tips by William on June 27, 2022 | Approved by Cesar C

AirDrop is a proprietary sharing system created by Apple for devices in its ecosystem that lets you share and transfer all sorts of files including documents, videos, photos, notes, and so much more. However, even though it is a feature that we have seen for a long time, many people still do not know how to set up AirDrop on MacBook or iPhone. Here we will be sharing all the details for how to enable airdrop on MacBook or iPhone.

Both iOS and macOS come with Apple’s AirDrop feature built-in by default. You can easily check if your MacBook or iPhone has the AirDrop feature active by checking the settings. For iOS, you need to go to Settings > General > AirDrop or simply long-press on the Wi-Fi or Data icon in the Control Center to find the AirDrop settings. For Mac users, the settings can be found by going to Finder > Go > AirDrop where you can adjust the settings of this feature.

Part 1. How to Enable AirDrop on Mac?

We will start off by talking about how to set up airdrop on Mac as that is the more commonly explored version of the two. The process is quite simple:

  1. On your Mac desktop screen, right click anywhere on the screen. Alternatively, you can also open the Finder app. In the Finder app, click the Go option and select AirDrop from the menu bar on top of your screen.
  2. The window will show you the AirDrop application with a blue text saying "Allow me to be discovered by", and in front of that, one of three options will be visible. These include No one, Contacts Only, and Everyone. You can click on the downward arrow to select one of the last two options to make yourself visible.
  3. Now your Macbook will also start looking for other people who can join you and this is the entire process of how to enable airdrop on a Mac.

An important thing to keep in mind when going through the setup is that you will need to have both your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on for it to work. You can do this by going into the System Preferences of your MacBook where you will find the settings for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Part 2. How to Send Files via AirDrop?

Now that you know how to enable airdrop on a Mac and you also know how do I make my Mac discoverable for AirDrop, you can now move on to the file sending process. For MacBook, the process is incredibly easy.

  1. Select any file that you want to send.
  2. Right-click menu Shard > AirDrop.
  3. A list of potential recipients will start showing in the window and you can scroll through them to select the one you want to send the file to.

An easier way of doing this would be opening the AirDrop window and letting the app scan for potential recipients which will then show on your screen. Once you see the person who you want to send the file, simply drag the file you want to send and drop it on their icon on the AirDrop screen and your file will be successfully sent.

If you do not see anyone appear in your AirDrop window or the popup window when you select the share button, check to see if the person you are sending it to is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your MacBooks or if they have their Bluetooth turned on and within range.

Part 3. How to Enable AirDrop on iPhone?

AirDrop on iPhone is much more powerful and handy compared to a MacBook because you can take it with you anywhere you want and get connected with anyone you want. If you want to know how to set up AirDrop on iPhone, then do as follows:

  1. Make sure you have turned on both the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your iPhone before following any further steps on how to set up AirDrop on your iPhone. These are the modes that iPhone uses to make AirDrop work.
  2. Swipe up from your phone’s screen to open the Control Center.
  3. Long press on either the Wi-Fi or the Data icon to view more options. The AirDrop icon should show up in the extended menu.
  4. Tap on the AirDrop icon and select either Everyone or Contacts Only, depending on your requirements. Your AirDrop is now turned on and ready to go.

There may be some instances where people see Receiving Off as the only option they see when they tap on the AirDrop icon in the Control Center. To change that, all you need to do is open the Settings app and then in the Screen Time menu, find the option that says Content and Privacy Restrictions. In this option, you can turn on the slider for AirDrop in the list of apps shown under the Allowed Apps section.

Part 4. How to Send Items between Mac and iPhone with AirDrop?

The process for sending files between Mac and iPhone using AirDrop is virtually the same when it comes to the steps involved. Now that you know how do I make my mac discoverable for airdrop and have also learned how do I set up airdrop on my iPhone, you can start sharing files between iPhones and Macs. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Open the file you want to send from your iPhone and then find the share button and tap on it.
  2. In the list of sharing options that you see, find the AirDrop option. This is also usually the very first item you see so it should be easy to find. Tap on the AirDrop icon to open your AirDrop search window.
  3. In this window, you will see your iPhone looking for devices that which it can share the file. Your Mac should become visible shortly if it has its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.
  4. Once the device appears on the screen, select it to send the file.

The only additional thing to know in the entire process is that for Macs, the destination folder for the files you send using AirDrop is the Downloads folder. For iPhone, you can either see the file in your Files app or in your Photos app if you received an image or a video.

Part 5. How to Recover Lost AirDropped Data?

As discussed above, the data gets stored on your individual devices in designated folders and then you can access them at any time you want. However, it is quite possible that you end up losing the data you AirDropped to either your Mac or your iPhone and are unable to see it for any number of reasons.

Many people use AirDrop to send and receive files of all kinds, many of them quite important and sensitive as well. If you were to lose your precious data, you would be devastated and that means problems of all kinds. However, before you panic, you need to know that there are quite a few ways that you can go about successfully recovering your lost data. The easiest of all is to use third-party software and we are sharing with you an option for both your Mac and iPhone. Read the next sections carefully to find out how each method works.

How to Recover AirDropped Data on Mac

Having just learned how to enable airdrop on MacBook pro, it is essential that you also know how to get your data back in case you ever lost it. For MacBook users, the easiest way to go about it is by using a third-party recovery tool. Our recommendation for doing that is iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac. This is software that provides excellent recovery solutions for Mac users who have lost their data for any number of reasons.

The tool can recover data from failed drives, external drives, USBs, and a lot more. It also offers free recovery of up to 200MB of data and for most AirDropped files, that should be more than enough. If you are ever in a situation where you need to recover data from your MacBook, then all you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Make sure iBeesoft free Mac data recovery software is installed and running on your computer.
  2. On the main screen, you will get the option to select the type of files that you want to recover. The software supports a wide range of files, and you can select the ones you want depending on what you AirDropped. Once the correct options are selected, simply click on the Start button to move on.
  3. The next screen will give you the option to choose the drive that you want to scan in case there are multiple drives connected. Since AirDropped content usually goes to the Downloads folder, you will most likely be required to select the main system drive on your Mac.
  4. Click on the Scan button on the top left corner of the window to start the scanning process.
  5. In the next screen, you will see the tool populate all the data that it can recover from your drive, and you can go through it all to find the items you want to recover. Once you have selected all the options, click on the Recover button on top of the screen to recover the files to your computer.

In case the files you AirDropped are not appearing on the recovery screen, you can select the Deep Scan option on the top left corner of the screen. It will take longer to perform the scan, but you should be able to see the files you missed after that.

How to Recover AirDropped Data on iPhone

Losing data on your iPhone can be an even bigger headache to deal with as compared to a Mac. After having learned how to set up airdrop on iPhone 11 and other devices, you must also know how to recover data if you were to lose it in the future. Things at this point can get much more complicated than learning how do I turn on AirDrop on iPhone and not everyone can handle that. If you have AirDropped files that you lost, then the easiest solution for you is to use a third-party recovery app.

The best option that you can go for by far is iBeesoft iPhone Recovery for Mac. This is a highly sophisticated tool that makes recovery as easy for you as learning how to turn on airdrop in settings on your iPhone. The software can find a lot of different file formats and allows you to preview files before you recover them as well. Here are the steps that you need to take to recover your AirDropped files from your iPhone.

  1. Make sure iBeesoft iPhone recovery software for Mac is installed and running on your MacBook.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your Mac and wait for it to appear on the app window. Once the phone shows up, select it, and then click on the Scan button next to it to start the scanning process.
  3. The next window you see will show you previews of all the files that you can recover including your AirDropped files.
  4. Find the files you want to recover and then select them using the checkboxes for recovery. Once you have found everything you need, click on the “Recover” button at the bottom right corner of the screen to recover it. The software will download the files to your computer from where you can access them again.

In case your iPhone is not accessible for any reason, the best iPhone data recovery software also gives you the option to recover data from your iTunes backup file or your iCloud account. However, to do that, you must have the AirDropped files saved on either of these two locations. The only difference in the recovery process for these two options is how your data is accessed.

Now you not only know how to enable airdrop on MacBook pro and how to set up airdrop on iPhone 11 and other iPhones but also how to recover your AirDropped data in case you ever lose it. AirDrop is really easy to operate. If you have any problems using it, let us know.