How to Fix AirDrop not working on Mac

Updated to Troubleshooting Tips by William on Jan 3, 2024 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

Is AirDrop not showing up on Mac? Are you familiar with the application? The application from Apple is an amazing technology that wirelessly beams content from other Apple devices. It uses Bluetooth 4.X version for efficient broadcast and finds peer-to-peer Wi-Fi for faster transfer speeds.

Part 1. What Devices Does AirDrop Support

You will face with AirDrop not working on Mac if you are using an older device. Likewise, you cannot use the application even if one device supports it, and the other does not! Therefore, ensuring compatibility is essential before you start using AirDrop. The following is the list of the devices and operating system version supported by the app:

Part 2. Top 7 Reasons for AirDrop not working on Mac

MacBook AirDrop not working should not be a problem for you, as we present you with the reasons and the solutions to fix the same.

1. Update MacOS

It is essential to keep your Mac operating system up to date. It is the only way to reduce software glitches. You can avoid AirDrop not working on MacBook Pro when you update its version of macOS. Before updating the software, ensure to create a backup of the important files.

2. Opening AirDrop in Finder

Apple stated in its statement that opening AirDrop is simple on Macs running on Mavericks or earlier versions. You can open the Finder application, click the AirDrop app from the sidebar, and then start the file transfer process. Although Apple avoided such a step for later OS versions, we did achieve better transferring results through this procedure.

3. Setting the Visibility to "Everyone"

If you are having trouble opening AirDrop, then it is because the app is invisible. iMac AirDrop not working is a common problem, and you can adjust the visibility of the application under the Finder. Upon opening the application, at the bottom of the window, choose "Everyone" under the "Allow me to be discovered by" option.

If you select the "Contacts Only" feature, then the AirDrop application fails to function and will show only for the contacts stored on your iMac. Apple did not specify what it uses as credible information to identify a contact, but the reliable choice is the email address attached to the Apple ID. There are instances when the app does not work correctly under this choice. For the best output, it is essential to ensure that each party is appearing in the Contacts app.

4. Disable Do Not Disturb

If you are keeping the "Do not disturb" mode active, then you will not be able to transmit content between Apple devices using AirDrop. The feature interferes with the application and makes a device invisible to others. Open the "Notification Center" and tap the "Today" tab to scroll up and select the "Do Not Disturb" to off mode.

5. Search for Older Macs

AirDrop not working on Mac could be due to the reason of incompatibility. Previous generation Macs used legacy implementation of the application, which is not compatible with the latest operating systems. It is possible to send files from new devices to older Macs by telling the AirDrop to look for older Macs. If you are using a Mac that is pre-2012, the procedure is applicable for you.

Before proceeding, ensure that the older Mac is visible. Open the AirDrop window and keep it ready for receiving data. On the new device, open the AirDrop application from the Finder menu. Tap "Don’t See Who You’re Looking for?" at the down of the screen. From the options available, click "Search for an Older Mac".

6. Disable "Block All Incoming Connections"

AirDrop not showing up on Mac could be due to the firewall that comes with the operating system. It blocks incoming connections, making the app not to recognize the other device. The security is such that you must disable the feature to provide access to a few installed applications on specific Apple devices.

You can deactivate the option by navigating to the Preferences option and then selecting the Security & Privacy feature. You can click the "Firewall" tab. Check if the tab is in the "Off" mode. If it is, then head to the next solution.

If the firewall is "On", tap the lock symbol at the bottom and input your admin password (you can use Apple Watch or Touch ID, if possible). Click the "Firewall Options". From the window that opens, ensure to check that the "Block All Incoming Connections" checkbox is unmarked. Save the settings by clicking "OK" and try using the AirDrop application again. You can open the application and check if a transfer is successful between Apple devices.

7. Close Bluetooth with Terminal Command

The last option is to close the Bluetooth service using commands. AirDrop not working on MacBook Pro could be due to improper functioning of the Bluetooth system. Killing the service helps in solving the visibility and transferring problems. You can proceed with the step by opening a new terminal window and entering the following command: "sudo pkill blued".

Input your admin password when the system asks for or authorize using Touch ID or Apple Watch and press Enter. The command kills the Bluetooth, terminates existing connections, and restarts the service. You can now open AirDrop and check whether you can transfer content between Apple devices.

AirDrop is a seamless application for Apple users to beam content from any Apple device to any Apple device. However, it does pose problems at times. Nonetheless, with the steps mentioned here, you can resolve the issues and use the application for better broadcasting between Apple devices.