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How to use AirDrop on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Use AirDrop with other nearby Apple devices to share and receive photos, documents, and more.

preparation

  • Make sure the person you want to send to is nearby and within Bluetooth and WiFi range.
  • Make sure you and the person you want to send to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. If one of you has activated a personal hotspot, turn it off.
  • Make sure the person you're sending to has their AirDrop reception set to "Contacts only". If so, and you are one of their contacts, the person must have their Apple ID email address or cell phone number on their contact card for AirDrop to work.
  • If you are not listed in the other person's contacts, ask them to set their AirDrop receiving settings to "For Everyone" in order to receive the file.

You can set your AirDrop reception to "Contacts only" or "Receive off" at any time to control who can see your device and send you content via AirDrop.

How to use AirDrop

Follow the steps for your device.

On your iPhone 11 or higher

  1. Open an app, then tap Share or the Share button. When sharing a photo from the Photos app, you can swipe left or right and select multiple photos.
  2. Tap the AirDrop button.
  3. If the person you want to share with also has an iPhone 11 model or iPhone 12 model, point your iPhone at the other iPhone.
  4. Tap the user's profile picture at the top of the screen. You can also use AirDrop to transfer between your own Apple devices - if the AirDrop button shows a red numbered badge, there are multiple devices nearby to share with. Tap the AirDrop button, then tap the user you want to share with. Learn what to do if you can't see the AirDrop user or your other device.

If the person you want to share with is in your Contacts, you'll see a picture and their name. If the person is not in your contacts, only the name is displayed without a picture.

On your iPhone XS or earlier, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Open an app, then tap Share or the Share button. When sharing a photo from the Photos app, you can swipe left or right and select multiple photos.
  2. Tap the AirDrop button.
  3. Tap the AirDrop user you want to share with. You can also use AirDrop for transfers between your own Apple devices. If you see a red numbered badge on the AirDrop button, there are multiple devices nearby to share with. Tap the AirDrop button, then tap the user you want to share with. Learn what to do if you can't see the AirDrop user or your other device.

If the person you want to share with is in your Contacts, you'll see a picture and their name. If the person is not in your contacts, only the name is displayed without a picture.


How to accept an AirDrop request

When someone shares something with you through AirDrop, a message will be displayed with a preview. You can tap "Accept" or "Decline".

When you tap Accept, the AirDrop broadcast will be received in the same app that sent it. For example, photos appear in the Photos app and websites open in Safari. App links will open in the App Store so you can download or purchase the appropriate app.

When you send something to yourself with AirDrop, e.g. For example, if you take a photo from your iPhone on your Mac, you won't see an option to accept or decline. The transfer to your device takes place automatically. Just make sure that both devices are signed in with the same Apple ID.

How to customize AirDrop settings

To control who can see your device and send you content through AirDrop:

  1. Choose Settings, then tap General.
  2. Tap AirDrop and choose an option.

You can also set your AirDrop options in the Control Center. It works like this:

  1. On iPhone X or later, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open Control Center. You can also use the same gesture to open the control center on your iPad with iOS 12 or later, or with iPadOS. On iPhone 8 or earlier, or iPod touch, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  2. Firmly press or touch and hold the network settings card in the upper left corner.
  3. Hold the "AirDrop" button , then choose one of the following options:
    • Received from: You do not receive any AirDrop requests.
    • For contacts only: Your device will only be shown to your contacts.
    • For everyone: Any nearby Apple devices using AirDrop can see your device.

If you see "Receiving Off" and you cannot tap to change the setting:

  1. Go to Settings> Screen Time.
  2. Tap on "Restrictions".
  3. Tap Allowed Apps and make sure AirDrop is turned on.

The "Contacts only" option is available on devices that support iOS 10 and later, iPadOS, or macOS Sierra 10. 12 and later. If AirDrop is set to "Contacts Only" on your device with an older software version, you need to set the AirDrop settings to "For Everyone" under "Settings" or in the Control Center. You can select the "For Everyone" option while using AirDrop and then turn it off when not needed.

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