[2022 Update] How to Use Airdrop on Mac

Charudatta Updated on Apr 19, 2022 Filed to: File Transfer

AirDrop is a very popular utility tool for Apple Macbooks and devices. It offers you a fast file transfer across Apple devices without the need for iCloud, the internet, or iTunes. This tool uses point-to-point connectivity of Bluetooth and WiFi to allow users an encrypted file transferring experiences.

Part 1. What is AirDrop? Why Use AirDrop on Mac?

Apple launched a new compatibility software on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion for sharing and transferring files across Apple devices. AirDrop Mac lets you share your photos, files, documents, contacts, etc., conveniently across your Apple devices. However, the software cannot be used on other OS like Windows and Android.

The key features of AirDrop are as follows:

  • Easy File Transfer across Apple devices without internet
  • You can transfer photos, Contacts, Camera videos, web pages, Map points, and directions, passbook cards, and Evernote notes.
  • Several files can be sent simultaneously
  • It's fast, and you won't lose the quality of your multimedia files, unlike Email, Whatsapp, etc.

We already mentioned that AirDrop on Mac is a great tool to transfer files. However, some limitations make it a restricted tool. You cannot transfer music files, videos, and audio files by AirDroping from Mac to iPhone. Besides, the tool doesn't work for devices and operating systems other than Apple.

A big turning-off point?

Don't worry! There is another practical and more convenient solution to this problem. AirDroid Personal is a professional tool that lets you transfer files of all types on different platforms also has nearby features to share with, remotely control devices, share screens, and many other packed features. It's a perfect solution for the platform and format restrictions AirDrop puts on file transferring and sharing.

AirDrop Mac is a better tool than other traditional ways used to transfer files. Let's compare its utility with the traditional tools.

AirDrop Vs. Bluetooth

Apple products and services are all about improving the utility of the same technologies for the users. The technology of Bluetooth has been combined with WiFi to overcome the speed barrier of Bluetooth and battery drainage of WiFi Direct. The same has been employed in AirDrop. When you transfer files using AirDrop, it uses Bluetooth and automatically turns to WiFi Direct for enhanced speed. Therefore, AirDrop is a more convenient and better thought-out tool than Bluetooth.

AirDrop Vs. iCloud

iCloud is cloud storage that works with the internet. The sending and receiving of files through iCloud are totally dependable on the internet servers. If your server has a good speed, your file uploading, and transfer will be fast and vice versa.

On the other hand, AirDrop uses a Local Network and is not dependable on the internet servers. So when you want to transfer files without the internet, AirDrop is a better option than iCloud.

AirDrop Vs. USB Cable/Flash Drive

Airdrop speed and encryption are still better than using USB cables or flash drives to transfer files across platforms. AirDrop Mac is indeed a way better choice than USB or Flash Drive to share files on other Apple devices. These options can be good when transferring files from Mac to other than Apple devices.

Part 2. How to Turn on/Off AirDrop on Mac?

Before we get into how to AirDrop from Mac to iPhone, we must understand its works and turn it on/off. Follow the given steps to turn on/off the Airdrop on your Mac devices:

Step 1.First things first, your Bluetooth and WiFi must be enabled to transfer files using the AirDrop Mac.
Step 2.Go to the control panel of your Macbook for quick management of AirDrop on Mac. You will see the AirDrop icon in the control panel of the Macbook. If you click on the icon, it will turn on/off.

It's also important to understand discoverability and who can send you files with AirDrop. If you click on the arrow shown next to the AirDrop icon in the control panel, you can choose the settings. There are options of Contacts Only, Everyone, and No One. You can choose options as per your needs.

Part 3. Where Do AirDrop Files Go on Mac?

If you're not sure where your AirDrop transferred files are going on your Mac, we have covered you.

You can always find the files by using Finder on your Macbook. However, we will tell you the default location of your Airdrop transferred files. When you transfer files from another Mac, iPhone, or iPad to your Macbook, your files are saved to the Downloads folder on your Macbook. However, you can always change your files' folder and destination when being transferred to your laptop from another device.

In the case of iPhone/iPad, photos, camera videos, and multimedia are shown in the phone or iPad gallery. However, the other files like documents, contacts, notes, etc., are shown in the default applications used for opening specific format files.

Part 4. How to Use AirDrop on Mac

AirDrop on Mac is not only for transferring files from Mac to other Apple devices. Instead, you can also use it on Apple phones, iPads, and iPods to transfer a file across Apple devices. We will look into file transferring from Mac to iPhone/iPad and vice versa.

1. How to AirDrop from Mac to iPhone/iPad

Here is a step-by-step guide to transferring files from Mac to iPhone/iPad.

  1. Make sure that AirDrop on Mac is turned on. Also, enable WiFi and Bluetooth on sending and receiving devices.
  2. Ctrl+Click on the files, photos, folders, etc., you want to send from your Mac to iPhone.
  3. Click on Share and Share with AirDrop from the menu. The devices will be shown. Choose the device, and transfer the file.

Alternatively, you can also send files directly from a specific application or Finder. For applications, click on Sharing icon in the toolbar, select AirDrop, and transfer the files to selected devices.

2. How to AirDrop to Mac from iPhone/iPad

You have already seen how to AirDrop from Mac to iPhone/iPad. Let's see how you can transfer files to Mac from iPhone.

  1. Turn on the AirDrop from Macbook as well as your iPhone/iPad. You already know how to turn it on/off.


  1. Go to the app like Photos, Contacts, Notes, etc., from where you want to transfer a file.


  1. The next step is choosing the file and tapping on the Share Icon shown in the toolbar.
  2. Choose AirDrop and select the device where a file will be transferred.


  1. You will receive a request on the Macbook. Accept the request, and you're good to receive the files on your Mac from your iPhone.

Part 5. Tips for AirDrop Files on Mac

Here are some tips on how to manage AirDrop and AirDrop files on Mac.

  1. If AirDrop on your Mac is not working, you should try turning it on and off on both devices.
  2. If you have transferred files from Mac to iPhone or vice versa, and files are missing, look them in your device's Downloads.
  3. If you use VPN, make sure that it's turned off. Because many times, your AirDrop from Mac to iPhone might not work due to VPN.
  4. You can turn AirDrop on/off from your Macbook by using the Finders Windows.
  5. To Airdrop files from one device to another, you can directly do it by dragging files to AirDrop, sharing separate files using Ctrl+Cmd, or directly sharing from the apps.
  6. If you don't want unauthorized people to see your device, you can change the settings of AirDrop discoverability to Contacts Only.

Part 6. Get Rid of Platform Restrictions - Airdroid Personal

Main features of AirDroid Personal:

  • Unlike AirDrop, there is no restriction on what to share and what to not. You can share photos, videos, audio, documents, files, contacts, messages, and a lot more.
  • AirDroid Personal uses Local Networks like AirDrop. Therefore, you will get fast, encrypted, secure, and safe transferring of files across different platforms.
  • Screen mirroring application
  • Remote control
  • Remote monitoring
  • Notification and SMS management
  • Transfer File with Remote Connection/WiFi
  • NearBy transfer with friend
  • Transfer to Multiple Devices at Once


The pricing of the AirDroid Personal is equivalent to free when we compare the benefits and features of the app. You can get the annual premium subscription of AirDroid personal for only 2.29$ per month.

Supported OS

Mac, Windows, Android, iOS


How to change the AirDrop download location on Mac?
There is no straightforward way to change the AirDrop download location on Mac. However, if you use AirDroid Personal, it makes it easy to save your transferred files to any folder or drive on your devices.
How to change the AirDrop name on Mac?
You can change the name of AirDrop on Mac by the given steps:
  1. Go to Settings > General > About
  2. You will see the device name of your Macbook.
  3. You can change the device name according to your needs and click on Done.
Why won’t my Mac show up on AirDrop?
The Bluetooth on the receiving Macbook might not be turned off. Besides, you might have restricted the discoverability of your AirDrop tool. Check your Bluetooth connection, WiFi, discoverability, etc., to troubleshoot.
Can I AirDrop music from iPhone to Mac?
Music cannot be AirDrop from iPhone to Mac or vice versa. You can use AirDroid Personal for sharing music from iPhone to Mac or Mac to iPhone.
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