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Why is Airdrop not working? Quick Fix 

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  • 6 min read

Airdrop uses Bluetooth and WiFi to locate and transfer data. It is one of the fastest ways to share files and is used by millions of Apple users worldwide.

However, sometimes Airdrop may not work especially after a software update. This may cause frustration for some users. But don’t worry, in this article, we will provide fixes to resolve the Airdrop not working issue.

Restart your Apple device

You should probably start by restarting your Apple device. To restart the iPhone X or later, press the power button on the side and any one of the volume keys.

To restart iPhone models earlier than iPhone X, press and hold the power button.

Check whether your device supports Airdrop

Some old Apple devices may not support Airdrop functionality. This may be the primary reason why Airdrop isn’t working properly.

Here are the Apple devices that are compatible with Airdrop:

  • For iPhones, the device should be running on iOS 7 or later versions.
  • For iPads, the device should run on iPadOS 13 or later.
  • For Macs, the laptop should be after 2012 or should run on OS X 10.10.

Also read: How to see the calculator history on iPhone?

Ensure Bluetooth and WiFi are enabled

As explained earlier, for Airdrop to work seamlessly, Bluetooth and WiFi are necessary. Either one or both of them may be turned off for the recipient or the sender.

Moreover, if either the recipient or the sender has turned on the hotspot, Airdrop may not work.

Tweak Airdrop settings

If the receiver’s Airdrop settings have been changed to receive from Contacts Only, the sender should be on the former’s contact list.

If the sender is not on the receiver’s contact list, the receiver should change their Airdrop settings to Everyone for 10 Minutes.

  • Open Settings and then head to General.
  • Tap on Airdrop.
  • Select Everyone for 10 Minutes.

Adjust Airdrop screen time restrictions

Sometimes, screen time restrictions can also cause the Airdrop to not work effectively. Having the screen restrictions turned on, Airdrop capacity is limited.

Here’s how to adjust Airdrop screen time restrictions:

  • Open Settings and then tap Screen Time and then tap on Content and Privacy Restrictions.
  • Next, head to Allowed Apps.
  • Finally, turn on the toggle in front of the Airdrop.

Also read: How to check if your iPhone is hacked in settings?

Bring both devices within range

Origins of Bluetooth: WiFi vs Bluetooth; Bluetooth 5 vs 4.2

As the Bluetooth range is about 33 feet, both devices should be within this range for the Airdrop transfer to work.

If the devices are too far apart, bring both devices within the Bluetooth range and then try the Airdrop.

Reset network settings

Another primary reason why Airdrop is not working is because there is an issue with the network settings. Here’s how to reset it:

  • Open Settings and then tap on General.
  • Next, tap on Reset.
  • Now, tap on Reset Network Settings.

Also read: How to fix the black lines on iPhone 11’s screen?

Disable focus mode and Airplane mode

When you turn on the focus mode on your iPhone, most notifications are stopped and you can complete your work in peace.

Similarly, while the Airplane mode is turned on, you cannot use the internet or call from your iPhone. To enable these modes, head to your Apple device’s Control Center and then tap on the Airplane mode and Focus mode.

Turn off VPN

Sometimes, using the VPN service may result in the Airdrop service not working. So, you should turn off the VPN on your Apple device and then try sharing the files via Airdrop.

Also read: Why does my iPhone’s camera keep refocusing?

Logout and then log in to your Apple account

Sometimes, logging out and logging in to your Apple account might fix the Airdrop not working issue.

  • Open Settings and then tap on your Apple account name.
  • Now, tap on Sign Out.

After that, head to Settings > Sign in to your iPhone and then enter Apple ID.

Update OS

Finally, updating the OS may also fix the Airdrop not working issue. Here’s how to update iOS:

  • Open Settings and tap on General.
  • Tap on Software Update.
  • Tap on Download and Install.

In conclusion, Airdrop not working on your Apple device can be a result of several factors that we have listed above. We advise you to understand what is causing the Airdrop to malfunction and then fix it by following the instructions.

Also read: How to get a free iPhone from the government?

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: