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AirDrop: What It Is and How To Use It

Dec 31, 2017 10:11:00 AM / by BaseQi

AirDrop: What It Is and How To Use It

Apple devices have many cool and unique features that you can use. One that stands out, though, is AirDrop. It’s one of the most helpful in Apple’s already packed library of awesome features. So that you can familiarize yourself, here’s a rundown of how to use airdrop on all Apple Macs.

What is AirDrop?

AirDrop is a service that was introduced on Apple’s MacBooks and mobile devices on July 20, 2011. It was made available on Mac OS X 10.7 (Mac OS X Lion) and the iOS 7.

AirDrop enables you to quickly transfer content to nearby Apple devices over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The feature lets you send and receive files such as photos, videos, PDFs, and text documents without the need for another device like an external hard drive.

The benefit of using AirDrop is that it has no file size limitation. You can send or transfer as large a file as you want and it would still work. For privacy and security while transferring files, AirDrop utilises Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption.

How do I use AirDrop?

In order to use AirDrop, you have to turn it on first. Read further to learn how to turn on AirDrop on MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads.

  • MacBook

  1. Turn on your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

  2. Launch Finder and click on AirDrop on the navigation bar on the left.

  3. Select Everyone on the option at the bottom of the window that says Allow me to be discovered by. This will allow you to receive files from anyone and make transfers a whole lot easier.

  • iOS devices (iPhone and iPad)

  1. Turn on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Launch Control Center by just swiping up starting from the bottom part of your screen.

  3. Tap on AirDrop.

  4. Tap on Everyone to turn on AirDrop.

Once you activate AirDrop, you can start transferring files. Here’s how:

  • MacBook (drag and drop method)

  1. Launch Finder and search for the files you want to transfer.

  2. Drag the files over to the AirDrop icon on the navigation bar and wait for the Finder window to change into the AirDrop window.

  3. Drop the files over the picture of the contact you wan to transfer the files to.

  • MacBook (right click method)

  1. Launch Finder and search for the file you want to transfer.

  2. Right click on the file to bring up a menu.

  3. Select Share from the menu to bring up a sub-menu.

  4. Select AirDrop.

  5. Click on the contact you want to transfer the file to.

  • iPhone and iPad

  1. Search for the file you want to transfer (a video file, for example).

  2. Tap on Share at the bottom of your screen. The Share icon is a box with an arrow pointing upwards.

  3. Tap on the contact you want to transfer the file to.

Now that you know how to send files, you need to learn the other end of the process, which is receiving files.

Accepting transfers

When someone attempts to transfer files to your MacBook, it will be instantly saved and accepted if you were already a contact on the sender’s account. If you are not a contact, you will be asked to accept before the file is saved on your MacBook.

Meanwhile, with iOS devices, you’ll get a notification that says “[Person’s Name] would like to share a [file type - photo, video file, etc.]. The notification also includes a preview of the file being transferred along with the option to either Decline or Accept.

Choosing decline obviously blocks the transfer, while choosing Accept saves the file into the same app it was sent from. For example, if it was a photo that was transferred from Camera Roll, then it would also be saved to your device’s Camera Roll.

Additional information when transferring files

Make the best use of AirDrop by taking note of these tips:

  • For maximum speed and effectivity, both devices (sender and receiver) must be only a maximum of 9 metres (30 feet) apart.

  • When sending from an iOS device to a MacBook, the latter must be at least a 2012 model equipped with OS X 10.10 (OS X Yosemite).

  • When you set up your device to receive transfers only from those in your contact list, both sending and receiving devices must be signed into to iCloud.


See how AirDrop makes sending and receiving files is so much easier than using email or using an external storage device? Try it today!


Hi, we are team Baseqi, thank you for reading our blog! We are a technology startup founded by a team of passionate designers and Apple fanatics. Our goal is to design unique and high-quality accessories at cutting edge prices for all Apple lovers.


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Written by BaseQi

Our company officially started in 2013. Since then, we have fans purchasing our products from all over the world. Our mission is to invent stylish accessories and gadgets for fans around the world.

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