How to Use AirDrop to Share Photos

AirDrop is an Apple feature that lets you wirelessly share and receive photos, documents, and more between iPhones, iPads, and Macs. With AirDrop, you can share your photos and videos with a friend if they are nearby, or you can use it to transmit large files between your own devices.

Here’s how to turn on AirDrop and how to use it to Share Photos with other Apple devices.

How to Turn on AirDrop on iPhone and iPad

You can either enable it in the Settings app or in the Control Center.

How to Enable AirDrop using the Settings app

Step 1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2. Scroll down and select General.

Step 3. On the General page, tap AirDrop.

On the General page, tap AirDrop.

Step 4. Choose either Contacts Only or Everyone.

Choose Contacts Only or Everyone.

Contacts Only restricts to only people in your Contacts list, while the Everyone option lets everyone around you discover and share with you. 

How to Enable AirDrop in the Control Center

Step 1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to reveal the Control Center.

Step 2. Then press and hold the Connections Box.

Press and hold the Connections Box.

Step 3. Next, tap the AirDrop icon.

Tap the AirDrop icon.

Step 4. Choose either Contacts Only or Everyone.

Choose Contacts Only or Everyone.

Contacts Only restricts to only people in your Contacts list, while the Everyone option lets everyone around you discover and share with you. 

How to Share Photos with AirDrop

Step 1. Launch the Photos app.

Step 2. Select a photo you want to share.

Step 3. Tap the Share button on the bottom-left corner.

Tap the Share button on the bottom-left corner.

Step 4. If you would like to share more photos, swipe left or right within the photo area and tap on additional photos to select them.

Swipe left or right within the photo area and tap on additional photos to select them

Step 5. Tap the AirDrop button.

Tap the AirDrop button.

If you don’t see the button, swipe the list of app icons to the left and tap on the More button. Then select it in the Favorites section.

Swipe the list of app icons to the left and tap on the More button if you don't see it.

Step 6. Tap the person’s name or device that you’d like to share with.

Tap the AirDrop user that you'd like to share with.

If you don’t see the user or your other device, check the section “What to do if AirDrop isn’t working” below.

Step 7. A message will appear on-screen of the iOS device that you’ve selected to share photos with. They can tap Accept or Decline.

Note: When you send something to yourself and both of your devices are signed in with the same Apple ID, you won’t see an option to Accept or Decline. It’ll automatically get sent to your device.

How to AirDrop Photos between iPhone and Mac

Step 1. Follow the steps above to enable AirDrop on iPhone.

Step 2. To enable it on Mac, open Finder and choose Go > AirDrop.

Step 3. If your Bluetooth is currently disabled, click the Turn on Bluetooth button to enable the service.

Step 4. Then click “Allow me to be discovered by” and choose either Contacts Only or Everyone.

Step 5. Head to the Photos app on your iPhone and select the photos or videos you want to send.

Step 6. Tap the Share button on the bottom-left corner of the screen.

Step 7. Then tap the AirDrop button.

Step 8. Select the Mac device that you’d like to send to.

Step 9. You should see a notification appear on your Mac, choose Accept to save the photos or videos.

Note: If both of your devices are signed in with the same Apple ID, you won’t see an option to Accept or Decline. It’ll automatically get sent to your device.

What to do if AirDrop isn't working

  • Make sure that the person you’re sending to is nearby and within about 30 feet of each other.
  • Check that both devices are enabled Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
  • If either of you has Personal Hotspot on, turn it off.
  • Check if they have their Airdrop set to receive from Contacts Only. If they do, make sure your Apple ID’s email address or mobile number is in their Contacts for AirDrop to work.
  • If you’re not in their Contacts, ask them to switch their AirDrop receiving setting to Everyone in order to receive the file.

Now you know How to Use AirDrop to Share Photos with a friend or with your own devices. If you’re curious, here’s How to Record Screen on your iPhone without the need to install third-party apps. Also, as a bonus, here’s How to Clear Cache to free up storage space and speed up your iPhone.

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