[Tutorial] How to Fix AirDrop is Not Working on iPhone/iPad

October 16, 2019 09:00Andrew Miller
I am not able to transfer files through AirDrop when I upgrade iPhone to iOS 13/14. What should be the problem? Can anyone fix the AirDrop is not working issue?

Every time a new iOS was just released, the problems always happen after new iOS update. AirDrop not working is one of the problems.

When you just upgraded your iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/8 Plus/7/7 Plus, etc. to the latest iOS, you might find AirDrop is not working to sync files between iPhone and iPhone/Mac.

How do you troubleshoot the issue?

Just check the related aspects to fix the issue with the 10 tips in the article.

Pre-reading of AirDrop

AirDrop should be a helpful tool to transfer photos, videos, files and more other files between iPhone, iPad, Mac and other AirDrop compatible devices. It AirDrop uses Bluetooth to enable a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi network between devices nearby. When you know how AirDrop works to transfer files between different devices, you can get rid of AirDrop is not working problems easily.

There are 10 basic fixes to get rid of AirDrop is not working problem. You can follow the 10 tips listed below to have another try first.

Tip 1: Check the AirDrop settings

When AirDrop is set to “Receiving Off”, you cannot sync the files between iPhone and other devices. AirDrop has three different levels: “Receiving Off”, “Contacts Only” and “Everyone”. You can switch to “Everyone” option to ensure AirDrop works.

1. Swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone X to launch the Control Center.

2. Tap AirDrop button, you can select the AirDrop contacts to send files.

3. Choose the “Everyone” option to transfer files for all contacts.


“Everyone” means that anyone with Apple device in range is able to see your device, while “Contacts Only” is the contacts you have in your phone can find your device.

Airdrop 12 sync

Tip 2: Turn on Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth

Just as mentioned, AirDrop is related to both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network, you should turn on two options for iPhone or iPad. Usually you only have to turn off AirPlay to fix AirDrop is not working.

1. Access to Control Center of iPhone by swiping up the bottom of iPhone.

2. Turn on Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth options.

Turn on wifi network

Tip 3: Turn off Personal Hotspot

When you put Personal Hotspot into Discoverable mode, Personal Hotspot will take over Wi-Fi connection on your device. It is the reason that AirDrop is not working when Personal Hotspot is turned on.

1. Just use the same method to access to the Control Center of iPhone.

2. Toggle Personal Hotspot to disable the option on iPhone.

3. Reopen your AirDrop and try it again.


Tip 4: Exit Do Not Disturb

“Do Not Disturb” mode suppresses the AirDrop alert and renders the device undiscoverable. iOS 13/14 and iOS 12 has added new features to “Do Not Disturb”, which you can enable the mode for 1 hour or until later in the day.

1. Reveal Control Center of iPhone with 3D Touch with iPhone X.

2. Check the settings for “Do Not Disturb” with the moon icon.

3. Exit “Do Not Disturb” mode to make your device discoverable again via AirDrop.

Do not disturb

Tip 5: Reset network settings

Wi-Fi network is one of the most important reasons for AirDrop not working. As for the case, reset network settings is an efficient way to solve the problem on iPhone.

1. Head to “General” > “Reset” > “Reset Network Settings”.

2. Enter the passcode and tap the “Reset Network Settings” to confirm.

3. Restart the iPhone to find whether AirDrop works now.

Reset network iphone

Tip 6: Resign in your iCloud accoung

As for AirDrop in “Contacts Only” mode, there are some restrictions for the iCloud. If you do not want to switch to “Everyone” option of AirDrop, you should make sure the following aspects to fix AirDrop not working.

1. Sign in iCloud on iPhone and receiving device from “Settings” > “iCloud”.

2. The Email address or phone number associated with Apple ID should be saved in the receiving device.

3. Tap “Sign Out” and enter your Apple ID password to confirm.

4. Go back to “Settings” and tap Apple ID to sign in, after that you can check AirDrop again to find if it works.

Sign out icloud

Tip 7: Get devices closer

Actually there is a valid distant for transferring files with AirDrop, which is less than 30 feet or about 9 meters. In order to solve AirDrop is not working issue, you can get two devices distance much closer.

Shorten distant

Tip 8: Check the iOS version for other devices

If you have already upgraded iPhone to the latest iOS, but your Mac is still using the old version, you have to check for the latest version of OS X for Mac. Here is the detailed process to fix AirDrop is not showing up on Mac.

1. Open App Store on your Mac, you can click the “Update” tab in the top menu.

2. After that you can see software update for Mac, click the “Update” icon.

3. Wait for downloading and installing the new OS X or macOS for Mac. The Mac will restart when it is done.

4. Activate AirDrop on both devices to transfer files.

Macos mojave

Tip 9: Hard reset iPhone

Hard reset your iPhone to fix most of the problems, including AirDrop is not working. You can find the processes to hard reset different iPhone types are different. Just follow the steps below for different types of iPhone.

iPhone 8/X/XS/XS Max/XR/11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max

1. Press and release Volume Up button.

2. Press and release Volume Down button.

3. Press and hold side Power/Lock button on the right side of iPhone 8/X.

4. Continue to hold the Power/Lock/Side button until you find the Apple logo on the screen.

Reboot iphonex

iPhone 7/7 Plus

1. Press and hold the “On/Off” button on the right side.

2. Continue to hold the “On/Off” button, press and hold the Volume Down button till the screen turns off.

3. Keep holding them until the screen turns on and you can find the Apple logo.

iPhone 7 reset

iPhone 6s and earlier

1. Press and hold the “On/Off” button for iPhone 6 on the right side.

2. Continue to hold the “On/Off” button, press and hold the “Home” button of iPhone 6 to turn off the screen.

3. Keep holding the buttons until you turn on the screen and find the Apple logo on your iPhone.

iPhone reset screens

Tip 10: Other solutions to fix AirDrop not working

Besides the above solutions to fix AirDrop not working, you can also ensure the AirDrop is active for all the devices, contact AppleCare+ if the problem is related to electronics or hardware, and turn off firewall for Mac or other AirDrop compatible devices.

You may be interested in: How to AirDrop iPhone to Android

AirDrop alternative to transfer files

What should you do if the above solutions do not work?

Is there any AirDrop alternative that transfers more than photos and contacts? When AirDrop is not working on iPhone/iPad, you can still transfer the desired files to Mac or other iOS device selectively with FoneTrans.

It is not only an alternative to iTunes, but also enables you to copy multimedia files, SMS, contacts and other file when AirDrop is not working.



FoneTrans - Best iOS Data Transfer

  • Transfer files from iPhone to Windows and Mac computer, to iTunes and to other iOS devices.
  • Apart from the basic transfer function, it can easily manage the data on iPhone, iPad and iPod.
  • Support photos, contacts, videos, music files, text messages, voice memo, and more.
  • Support iPad, iPhone, and iPod, including iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max/XS/XS Max/XR/8/7/6/5.

How to import multimedia files to iPhone

Step 1. Connect iPhone to the computer with the original USB cable and tap on “Trust” on your iPhone to continue.

Download and install the latest version of FoneTrans iOS Transfer from the official website. After that, launch the program.


Step 2. Choose the “Videos” option in the left menu. By clicking "Add item(s)" button, you can add and transfer all the video files from computer to iPhone. You can click "Export to PC/iTunes" button to export files to computer. The program supports music, TV shows, movies, music videos, ringtones, iTunes U, audio books, and voice memos.


FoneTrans iOS Transfer supports more iPhone file formats compared to AirDrop, such as ringtones, music, messages etc.


Step 3. If you need to transfer photos from computer to iPhone, you can click the “Add” button and find the desired files you want to import. Check the files and click “Open” to transfer files as AirDrop alternative. It has a fast speed to transfer files between iPhone and your computer.

Import photo

When you need to export the files from iPhone to computer or iTunes, you can select the files and click the “Export to PC/iTunes” button, after that you can “Export to PC” or “Export to iTunes Library”. Just wait for a few seconds and your files will be exported successfully.

Wrapped Up

If your AirDrop is not working on iPhone, you can find the frequently-used methods to solve the problem. Usually the problems are related to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and distant, you can locate and solve the problem accordingly. When you have the similar problems for AirDrop is not working on Mac, you can also follow the same solutions.

When all the above solutions do not work, you can contact AppleCare+ with a paid service or use an AirDrop alternative, FoneTrans, to transfer files between iPhone and other devices.

If you have any other query about the topic, you can share more detailed information in the article.

What do you think of this post?


Rating: 4.5 / 5 (based on 53 votes)Follow Us on

Disqus IconLeave your comment and join our discussion
iOS Transfer box

The best iOS Transfer software to manage and transfer iOS files from iPhone/iPad/iPod to your computer or reversely without running iTunes.

Back to top