A Comprehensive Guide on How to Turn on AirDrop on Mac

how to turn on airdrop on mac

In today’s interconnected world, seamless data sharing has become a necessity. Apple’s AirDrop is a handy feature that simplifies the process of sharing files between Macs and other Apple devices. With AirDrop, you can effortlessly send photos, documents, and more without the need for cables or complicated setups. In this article, we will walk you through the steps to enable and use AirDrop on your Mac.

What is AirDrop?

AirDrop is a wireless file-sharing feature developed by Apple, available on macOS and iOS devices. It uses a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology to establish a peer-to-peer connection between devices, allowing you to share files quickly and securely.


Before you can start using AirDrop on your Mac, ensure you meet the following requirements

  • Compatible Mac AirDrop is supported on Macs running OS X Yosemite (10.10) or later. However, for the best experience, it’s recommended to use a Mac with macOS Big Sur or later.
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Make sure both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on. AirDrop uses these technologies to establish connections.
  • Apple ID Ensure that you are signed in to your Mac using your Apple ID. This is necessary for AirDrop to work.

How to Enable AirDrop on Mac

Follow these steps to turn on AirDrop on your Mac

Open Finder

Click on the Finder icon in your Mac’s dock or press Command + Spacebar to open Spotlight, then type “Finder” and press Enter.

Access AirDrop

In the Finder window, locate and click on “AirDrop” in the left sidebar. This will open the AirDrop window.

Configure AirDrop Settings

In the AirDrop window, you’ll see options for who can send you files. You can choose to receive files from

  • Contacts Only This restricts AirDrop to only your contacts who are nearby.
  • Everyone This allows anyone with a compatible Apple device nearby to send you files.

Select your preferred option by clicking on it. You may be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID if you haven’t already done so.

How to Use AirDrop on Mac

Once AirDrop is enabled, sharing files is a breeze

Share a File

1. Open a Finder window and locate the file you want to send via AirDrop.

2. Right-click (or Control-click) on the file.

3. From the context menu, select “Share” and then choose “AirDrop.”

Select a Recipient

A window will appear with nearby devices that have AirDrop enabled. You should see icons representing the available devices, such as other Macs, iPhones, or iPads. Click on the icon of the device you want to send the file to.

Send the File

After selecting the recipient, click the “Send” button. The recipient will receive a notification asking if they want to accept the file. They can choose to accept or decline the transfer. If they accept, the file will be sent, and you’ll see a confirmation on your screen.

Receive a File

If someone else is sending you a file via AirDrop, you will receive a notification on your Mac. Click “Accept” to receive the file. You can choose where to save the received file on your Mac.

Troubleshooting AirDrop Issues

Sometimes, you may encounter issues with AirDrop. Here are some troubleshooting tips

  • Check Compatibility Ensure that both devices are compatible with AirDrop. Older Macs or devices running outdated software may not support AirDrop.
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Verify that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on and functioning correctly.
  • Apple ID Make sure you’re signed in with the same Apple ID on both devices.
  • Firewall and Security Settings Check your firewall and security settings to ensure they’re not blocking AirDrop connections.
  • Proximity AirDrop works best when devices are physically close to each other, typically within 30 feet.


Why can’t I turn on AirDrop on my Mac?

Make sure that incoming connections aren’t blocked in firewall settings: macOS Ventura or later: Choose Apple menu  > System Settings. Click Network in the sidebar, then click Firewall on the right. Click the Options button, then make sure that “Block all incoming connections” is turned off.

Why is AirDrop not working?

It could be because Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on one of the devices is not turned on, or the personal hotspot is still enabled. These simple things can cause AirDrop to get stuck on waiting or prevent files from being shared.


AirDrop is a valuable feature that simplifies file sharing between Macs and other Apple devices. Enabling and using AirDrop on your Mac is straightforward, making it a convenient tool for transferring files wirelessly. By following the steps outlined in this guide and troubleshooting any potential issues, you can enjoy the benefits of hassle-free file sharing with AirDrop.

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