How to Fix Airdrop Not Working on iPhone or iPad 2023

How to Fix Airdrop Not Working on iPhone or iPad

Many of us enjoy the convenience of the Apple ecosystem, with its seamless data transfer, user-friendly features, and security. Among the tools we often use is Airdrop, a service that uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for encrypted file transfer between Apple devices.

However, you may have experienced issues like Airdrop getting stuck on waiting, not displaying the device name, or not showing photos. This post is your solution – I share 14 ways to resolve these Airdrop issues on your iPhone or iPad. Let’s get started!

Reason Why is Airdrop Not Working?

Before jumping into the troubleshooting section, it’s essential to understand the common reasons why Airdrop might not work on your iPhone or iPad:

  • Airdrop is disabled: Ensure Airdrop is enabled on both devices.
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth issues: Check if Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on for both devices.
  • Personal Hotspot is On: Sometimes, Airdrop may not show due to the personal hotspot being enabled on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Connection issue: If the devices are too far apart or if the Airdrop settings are set to “Contact Only,” it could affect your Airdrop connection.
  • Software bugs: Certain iOS 17 updates come with system bugs, which might affect your Airdrop functionality.
AirDrop Not Working

14 Ways to Fix Airdrop Not Working on iPhone or iPad

Here are some straightforward steps and more advanced troubleshooting options to help you fix your Airdrop issues.

1. Restart Both Devices

The first action you should take when Airdrop isn’t working is to restart both of your Apple devices. In many cases, this step resolves the issue of Airdrop getting stuck or not showing up.

To restart your iPhone, simply go to Settings > General > Shutdown and swipe left to right on the “Swipe to power off” slider. Wait a few minutes before turning your device back on by holding the power button for a few seconds.

Restart your iPhone

2. Ensure Devices are Unlocked

While transferring files, if your iPhone is locked, the device name might not show in Airdrop. Ensure that both devices are unlocked while transferring files. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, try bringing your devices closer together to strengthen the connection.

Unlocked iPad

3. Check Airdrop is On

Sometimes, Airdrop may disconnect or switch back to “Receiving Off” even after you manually turned it on. If this happens, just re-enable it from the control center.

Check Airdrop is On

4. Set Airdrop Settings to Everyone

If your Airdrop is set to “contacts only,” it might not recognize devices not saved on your contact list. To avoid this issue, change your Airdrop settings to “Everyone for 10 Minutes.” Here’s how:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone/iPad
  • Go to General
  • Tap on Airdrop
  • Choose “Everyone for 10 Minutes
Everyone for 10 Minutes AirDrop

5. Turn Off AirDrop Restrictions

If none of the above methods worked, it’s possible you’ve blocked Airdrop from Content & Privacy Restrictions. To check this on your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  • Open iPhone Settings
  • Go to Screen Time
  • Tap on “Content & Privacy Restriction
  • Click on Allowed Apps
  • Ensure Airdrop is turned on
Turn Off AirDrop Restrictions

6. Manually Turning Off and On Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Airdrop needs both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth On for transferring files. Ensure that these features are turned on for both the sender and receiver devices. You can enable this from the control center or from settings.

  • Swipe down to open the control center on your iPhone/iPad.
  • Long press on the group of connectivity icons located at the top left.
  • Tap on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons. If they turn blue, it indicates they are turned on.
Manually Turning Off and On Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in iPad

7. Turn off Personal Hotspot

If your device’s personal hotspot is on, it could interfere with AirDrop. To resolve this issue, turn off your hotspot via the Settings app or use the control center.

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone/iPad.
  • Tap on Personal Hotspot.
  • Toggle off the “Allow Others to Join” option.
Turn off Personal Hotspot on iPhone Via Settings

Alternatively, you can manage this from the control center:

  • Open the control center by swiping down from the top right of the screen.
  • Long press on the first group of icons.
  • Click on Personal Hotspot. If the icon is grayed out, it means your personal hotspot is turned off.
Turn off Personal Hotspot on iPhone Via Control Center

8. Turn Off Do Not Disturb Mode

Your device might not receive files if DND (Do Not Disturb) or any focus mode is on. Open the Control Center and hit the moon or Focus icon to turn it off.

Turn Off Do Not Disturb Mode on iPhone

9. Reset Network Settings

Resetting the network settings on your iPhone or iPad can fix various Wi-Fi or Bluetooth problems, including Airdrop issues. This action does not remove personal files, but it does erase all saved Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Airdrop settings.

  • Open iPhone settings app
  • Go to General
  • scroll down and tap on Transfer or reset iPhone/iPad
  • Again tap on reset
  • Click on Reset Network Settings
  • enter your passcodes
  • and confirm network reset settings.
Reset Network Settings in iOS 17 6

10. Update Software

Occasionally, software updates may come with bugs that affect Airdrop functionality. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check for new iOS 17 or iPadOS 17 updates and install them if available.

iPadOS 17 Beta 1 Update

11. Use another Apple Device

If Airdrop is still not showing your device or not working, and you have another Apple device, try using it to see if the problem is device-specific.

Use another Apple Device to check Airdrop

12. Send One File at a time

Transferring large files may cause issues. Try sending smaller files or photos to see if that resolves the issue.

13. Turn off VPN

If a VPN is connected to your device, it could prevent Airdrop from showing any device names. Disconnect your VPN from the settings or the VPN application to check if it resolves the problem.

14. Contact Apple Care Support

If you’ve tried all the above solutions without success, consider contacting Apple Care Support for assistance.

Final Words

Airdrop is an incredibly useful feature for securely transferring files between two Apple products. When it doesn’t work, it can be frustrating. But by following the methods above, you should be able to fix any Airdrop issues on your iPhone or iPad. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below.


Why is My Airdrop Not Working On My iPhone?

Your Airdrop might not be working due to issues with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or your personal hotspot being on.

Why is AirDrop not finding anyone?

Airdrop might not find anyone because you haven’t turned on “Everyone” from the Airdrop settings.