AirDrop Not Working on iPhone or iPad, How to Fix?


AirDrop is a useful facility that enables iOS users to transfer files between iDevices. It supports transferring photos, videos, contacts, voice memos, etc. It is a secure and simple way for wireless file transfer. However, AirDrop may fail to work sometimes which certainly gives you a headache. If AirDrop not working on iPhone, don't worry, you can follow the solutions below to troubleshoot the problem. And if AirDrop is still not working properly, you can also try the alternative tools in Part 3 to transfer files between iOS devices.

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Part 1: Requirements for Using AirDrop
Part 2: 8 Fixes for AirDrop Not Working on iPhone Issue
Part 3: AirDrop Not Working? Here are the Alternatives

Part 1: Requirements for Using AirDrop

There are some things that need to be noted when using AirDrop, some users may neglect it and therefore AirDrop not working on iPhone or other devices. So before we dive into the solutions, let's see the minimum requirements for using AirDrop.

1. Your devices should be running iOS 7 or later versions and Mac should be Mac OS X Lion (10.7) or later.

2. Make sure that you have enabled Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both the sending and receiving devices.

3. Place the two devices close enough to each other to ensure the transfer (within 30 feet).

4. Your devices should be discoverable in AirDrop.

Further reading: Simple Guide on How to Use Airdrop

Why won't my AirDrop work?

With all the requirements being met, why is AirDrop still not working? Well, this may be caused by various reasons, for example, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth problems, device is in Airplane mode or has enabled Do Not Disturb mode, Hotspot has enabled on iPhone, etc.

But don't worry, you can follow the solutions below to solve the AirDrop not working problem.

Part 2: 8 Fixes for AirDrop Not Working on iPhone

Tip 1: Disable Do Not Disturb Mode/Airplane Mode

Do Not Disturb mode makes your device invisible to others. With this enabled, your device can't be discovered in AirDrop. Here's how to turn it off:

For Mac: Navigate to the Notification Center on Mac > Today > toggle off Do Not Disturb.

For iOS device: Open the Settings app > turn off Do Not Disturb.

If your device is in Airplane Mode, your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will be disabled and therefore AirDrop doesn't work. You can turn it off by opening Settings > Airplane Mode.

Learn more:

AirDrop Is Not Working on Mac, How to Fix?

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Tip 2: Turn off Personal Hotspot

If you have enabled the Personal Hotspot on iPhone or iPad, AirDrop will not work. You can disable this feature by opening the Control Center > hold the Wi-Fi icon > toggle off Personal Hotspot.

Tip 3: Turn off and on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Turning off and on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is a simple yet very useful tip if AirDrop not working on iPhone or other devices. Here's how:

On iPhone or iPad: Open the Control Center > disable and then enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

restart wifi and bluetooth to fix airdrop not working on iphone

On Mac: Click the Wi-Fi icon > Turn Wi-Fi off and then turn it on again. To restart Bluetooth, select System Preferences > Bluetooth.

turn on wifi and bluetooth to fix airdrop not working on mac

Tip 4: Adjust AirDrop on Your Device

AirDrop has three discovery modes: Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone. If you set Contacts Only, the sending device and the receiving device should be in each other's Contacts app, with the email address or mobile number attached. So, to eliminate the hassle and ensure a successful transfer, you can set to be discovered by Everyone.

On your iPhone or iPad: Open Settings > General > AirDrop > select Everyone.

On Mac: Open Finder > AirDrop > Select Allow Me to Be Discovered By Everyone.

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Tip 5: Send Each File Type Separately

When transferring with AirDrop, files will be automatically opened with the corresponding app. If you are sending multiple file types at the same time, it is possible to cause the iPhone AirDrop not working problem.

You can send files according to the file type, for example, first transfer all photos at a time, and then other files. This will make the file transfer smoother.

Tip 6: Restart Your Devices

Restarting your devices is also a common way to fix the AirDrop not working problem. Just turn off and then turn on it with the Power button.

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Tip 7: Update Software

An outdated iOS version may have some software bugs that cause iPhone or iPad AirDrop not working issue. You can update it to the latest iOS software version to see if the problem can be fixed. To do so, simply go to Settings > General > Software Update, then download and install the latest iOS version on your devices.

update ios version to fix airdrop not working on iphone

Tip 8: Reset Network Settings

AirDrop relies on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to work, if there is a problem with network connection, you can try to reset the network settings on your iPhone to fix the AirDrop not working on iPhone problem. Note that this action will delete the existing Wi-Fi networks and you will need to connect to the Wi-Fi network again.

To do so, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

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Part 3: AirDrop Not Working? Here are the Alternatives

If AirDrop on iPhone not working, don't worry, there are other great third-party tools that can be the alternatives to AirDrop when it comes to file transfer.

3.1 Transfer Files Between iPhones or iPads via Coolmuster Mobile Transfer

Coolmuster Mobile Transfer is a great AirDrop alternative for you to transfer files between iOS and iOS. With it, you can transfer contacts, calendars, bookmarks, eBooks(PDFs & ePubs), notes(notes is not supported in iOS 11 or later) from iOS to iOS. What's more, this tool also supports Android system, you can use it to transfer from iOS to Android and vice versa like a breeze.

Coolmuster Mobile Transfer fully supports iPhone 14/13/12/11/iPhone 11 Pro/iPhone 11 Pro Max/iPhone XS Max/XS/XR/X/8 Plus/8/7 Plus/7/6s Plus/6s/6 Plus/6/5S/SE/5C/5, iPad Pro, the new iPad, iPad Air, etc. You can download the free trial version to give it a try.

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Here's how to transfer files between iPhone and iPhone using Coolmuster Mobile Transfer:

Step 1: Install and run Coolmuster Mobile Transfer on PC, then enter the Mobile Transfer section.

toolbox of mobile transfer

Step 2: Connect two iPhones to PC with suitable USB cables. Unlock your iDevice and then tap Trust if the "Trust This Computer?" notification prompts. Once your devices are connected, make sure the sending phone is under the source phone position, if not, you can click Flip to change the positions.

transfer from ios to ios

Step 3: Select the contents you want to transfer and then click Start Copy to begin the file transfer. Your files will be transferred from one device to another quickly.

use coolmuster mobile transfer if airdrop not working on iphone

3.2 Transfer Files between iPhone/iPad and Mac via Coolmuster iOS Assistant

Do you want to transfer files between your Mac and iPhone/iPad? If AirDrop is not working, you can try Coolmuster iOS Assistant. It is a professional data managing tool that lets you transfer, manage, back up and restore iOS data.

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Want to know how it works? Here is the article about how to transfer data from iPhone to Mac>>

Words in the End

This article provides some useful tips for the AirDrop not working on iPhone problem, hopefully, the AirDrop on your devices work smoothly after troubleshooting. Two great AirDrop alternatives are also introduced in this article. If you don't want to AirDrop files, you can download Coolmuster Mobile Transfer or Coolmuster iOS Assistant to transfer files in a quicker way.

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