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How to Turn On AirDrop On iPhone and Mac

AirDrop settings on an iPhone with a MacBook in the background.
(Image credit: Aleksey Khilko/Shutterstock)

AirDrop is a fast and efficient way to share files and images with contacts. You’re able to send several items at once to a nearby Apple device via Bluetooth. But you’ll need to know how to turn on AirDrop on your iPhone, iPad or Mac to get started.

Enabling AirDrop is simple. Once it’s on, you’re free to share files with other Apple devices in range. AirDrop comes in handy for sending a collection of pictures to friends or quickly moving a PDF from your MacBook to your iPhone.  

There are several perks to using AirDrop on your iPhone or iPad. For example, when I’ve just posed for a dozen photos with friends, I can AirDrop them all the pictures in seconds. When you have AirDrop on, you can send all sorts of files to other iPhones, iPads, or even MacOS computers. 

Whether you’re using an iOS mobile device or a Mac computer, here’s how to turn on AirDrop.

How to turn on AirDrop on iPhone/iPad 

Step 1: Open your device's control center. Long press on the Bluetooth icon to open advanced Bluetooth settings. 

Step 2: Click AirDrop. 

(Image credit: Future)

Step 3: Select 'Contacts Only' or 'Everyone' depending on your preference to turn on AirDrop. Now the AirDrop icon should appear blue, letting you know it's on.

(Image credit: Future)

How to turn on AirDrop on Mac

If you have an Apple computer, like a Macbook Pro, Macbook Air or iMac, using AirDrop can benefit your ecosystem of devices. It will allow you to share files from your computer to an iPhone, iPad, or even another MacOS system. 

Step 1: Turn on Bluetooth on your computer. Open System Preferences > Bluetooth > Turn Bluetooth on.

(Image credit: Future)

Step 2: Open Finder. Click ‘AirDrop’ in the navigation column on the left. 

(Image credit: Future)

Step 3: Click the drop down icon next to ‘Allow me to discovered by: No One.’ Select either ‘Contacts Only’ or ‘Everyone’ depending on the device you’re attempting to share files with. AirDrop is now on. 

(Image credit: Future)

Step 4: Drag and drop files from your computer to the device you’d like to AirDrop them to. You’ll be able to see the different devices in range of your computer.  

(Image credit: Future)

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account (opens in new tab), which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.