AirDrop example screenshot

Learn About an Easy Way to Share Items

Have you ever been in the room with someone and wanted to share something: a photo, a web link, something from an app, but didn’t want to text or email it? For Apple users, there is an easier way!

All Apple devices come with a built in feature called AirDrop. AirDrop can be found on Macs, iPhones, and iPads. AirDrop allows you to wirelessly share documents, photos, map locations, webpages, and more.

Setting Up on an iPhone and iPad

To get started, make sure that AirDrop is enabled on your device. On an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings–General–AirDrop. From there you have the option to turn receiving off, to allow only contacts to AirDrop something to you, or everyone in range for 10 minutes. Note: if you are using iOS 15 or earlier, your options will be receiving off, contacts only, or everyone. AirDrop is available on iOS 7 and later and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and later.

Screenshot of choosing who can share things with you via AirDrop

Setting Up on a Mac

Mac users, click on the control center icon in the taskbar.

Screenshot of setting up AirDrop on a Mac

From there, click the AirDrop icon to turn AirDrop on or off or control who can send you items. To turn AirDrop off completely, click the selector in the heading. If it is turned off, you will not see the Contacts Only or Everyone options.

Screenshot of AirDrop in its on setting on a Mac

Once you have turned on AirDrop, you can send and receive items from other Apple users in the area who have enabled AirDrop.

Sending an Item with AirDrop

To send something using AirDrop, tap on the share icon. This is found anywhere something can be shared. In the Safari app, it is in the toolbar. You can share from most apps, including TikTok, Zillow, Instagram, and other places where you see the share icon. Alternatively, some apps have their own Share option. You can tap AirDrop after tapping on the share option in any app that has a share feature.

Screenshot of showing share icon circled in red

Once you tap on the share icon, you will see your sharing options. This is also an easy way to share an item via text, email, or the other options listed. Tap on the AirDrop icon. If you don’t see the AirDrop icon you may have to tap on more or the three-dot icon, depending on the app.

Screenshot showing the AirDrop icon highlighted in share options.

Choosing Who to Send an Item To

After you tap on the AirDrop icon, there will be a list of people you can send items to. If there is no one available, you’ll get a message saying no people were found. Sometimes it takes several seconds for contacts or people to appear. When there is someone nearby and they are not appearing as an option, confirm they have AirDrop enabled, and if you are not a contact, that they have “everyone” selected as an option.

Screenshot showing people you can AirDrop an item to.

Tap on their name. If the person has a picture set in their contact info, or if you have a picture set for them on your device, you will see their picture. Otherwise, it will be the grey generic person icon. You can also share with more than one person at the same time by tapping their name on the same screen. Just a reminder, AirDrop is only available for Apple users.

On the other person’s end, they will get an option to either accept or decline the AirDrop.

Screenshot showing the option to accept or decline an AirDrop request.

If they accept, you will see a waiting status, then a circle with the progress, and then a sent status. If they decline, you will see “declined” in red under their name. When you are AirDropping something to yourself between two different devices (for instance if you share a photo from your iPhone to your Mac), you won’t have to click accept. It will automatically be shared. A website will open in Safari, a picture will open in the Photos app, and shared items from other apps will open in their respective apps. If an item is being shared from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, by default, it will go into your Downloads folders.

Have you tried AirDrop? Let us know in the comments!

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