How to use AirDrop on iPhone and iPad

How to use AirDrop on iPhone and iPad

AirDrop allows you to send and receive videos, photos, contacts, etc. With the nearest iPhone, iPad and Mac wirelessly. Sharing via AirDrop is easy, fast, safe, and it happens without losing quality.

How does AirDrop work?

AirDrop creates a peer to peer network between devices. But you need to keep the following things in mind.

  • Make sure the device is close, within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi coverage.
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be activated on both devices.
  • Personal Hotspots must be turned off on the sending and receiving devices.
  • People who receive files through AirDrop have three visibility options: Everyone, Contacts Only, and Receive Off.
  • If Contact Only (or Inactive Acceptance) is selected, that means AirDrop is limited to unknown (or all) people. If your email or phone number is in Contacts on the recipient’s iPad or iPhone, you can send files even when their AirDrop visibility is Contacts Only. If not, ask them to set AirDrop to Everyone.

How to Activate AirDrop on iPhone and iPad

1. Open the Control Center.

  • On your iPad running iOS 12 and newer, swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen.
  • On iPads running iOS 11 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  • On iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro, 11, X, Xs, Xs, Xs Max, and XR swipe down from the top right corner of the screen.
  • On the iPhone SE 2020, 8 Plus, and before, swipe the screen up from the bottom.

2. Long press on the top right box with icons for Airplane, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.


3. The box will expand.
4. Now, Tap the AirDrop icon and select Contacts Only or Everyone to activate AirDrop.


Now, let’s see how to use it to send and receive files. You should know that you are not limited to photos and videos. Almost everything seen on the Sharing Sheet can be shared using AirDrop. This means you can AirDrop website links, notes, Apple Maps locations, and more.

How to use AirDrop on iPhone and iPad

  1. Open the application (such as Photos). Select one or more items, if any.3
  2. Tap Share or Share icon.
  3. Next, tap AirDrop.4
  4. Finally, tap the person’s name.If the person is in your contact list, you will see their name and picture. If someone is not in your contact list, you will only see their name. You can also AirDrop among your own Apple devices.


With iOS 13 and iPadOS, the latest AirDrop contacts are also displayed in the top row of the Share Sheet.

How to Receive Airdrop on iPhone and iPad

When someone shares something with you through AirDrop, a popup appears on the screen of your device. It has two options – Accept or Decline.


For most files, when you tap Accept, it will save and open in the same application from which it was sent.

Like, images shared via AirDrop will appear in the Photos application on your device. Website links will open in Safari, and app links will open automatically in the App Store. But for some types of files such as PDFs, you might get the option to save them to Books, File applications, or other applications. You will see a popup after the AirDrop transfer is complete. Tap the name of the desired application.

If you tap Decline, AirDrop is canceled. No file received.

AirDrop is extraordinary. Like iMessage, it is one of the things that makes the Apple ecosystem seamless and worth maintaining. But, there might be situations where you might want to stop or block AirDrop. Let’s talk about this in the next section.

How to Stop AirDrop with Screen Time

If you are on the subway, bus, or public, you might want to change AirDrop settings so that you don’t get requests to receive unsolicited images, videos, and files. The option is to set AirDrop reception to Contact Only or Off. You can do this from the Control Center as described above.

  1. Open the Settings application on the device.
  2. Tap Screen Time. Turn on Screen Time, if not already.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.7
  4. Tap Allowed Apps. Enter the Screen Time passcode.8
  5. Turn off the switch for AirDrop.9

The steps to activate AirDrop again are the same. In step 5, turn on the switch for AirDrop.

The second method is to use the Settings application to disable AirDrop.

  1. Open the Settings application → General.10
  2. Then tap AirDrop and select Receiving Off to deactivate AirDrop.11

Signature …

This is how you can use AirDrop on your iOS and iPadOS devices. The basic instructions for Mac are the same. You will find the AirDrop settings in the left sidebar Finder on Mac. Finally, this is what you need to do if AirDrop doesn’t work on your iPhone or iPad.

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