Sharing at Lightning Speed: A Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up and Using AirDrop for File Transfer on Your iPhone

Everything you need to know about AirDrop

Sharing at Lightning Speed: A Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up and Using AirDrop for File Transfer on Your iPhone
David Bernal Raspall

David Bernal Raspall

AirDrop is a feature that allows us to share files wirelessly, quickly and securely to and from our iPhone, iPad or Mac. With AirDrop, we can send photos, videos, screen recordings, documents and other content between our devices and to other people’s devices nearby in the blink of an eye. Let’s talk about everything we need to know to set up and use AirDrop on our iPhone.


How to set up AirDrop on your iPhone

To start using AirDrop we need to make some adjustments. Before that, but let’s make sure our iPhone is up to date with the latest iOS version available. Then let’s do this:

  1. Enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on our iPhone: AirDrop uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to make connections between devices. Let’s swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to open Control Center and make sure both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on blue.
  2. Let’s set up AirDrop: in the same Control Center, let’s press and hold the box where the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons are located. A pop-up window will appear with the AirDrop icon at the bottom. Tap on it to configure it.

We can choose between three options: Receive disabled, Contacts only and All for 10 minutes. The first option, as its name suggests, completely disables the AirDrop function. Meanwhile, we will choose between Contacts only or Everyone depending on who we want to receive what is being sent to us. In the latter case, remember that the setting will automatically switch to Contacts only after 10 minutes.

How to use AirDrop to share files

Once we have set up AirDrop on our iPhone, sharing files is quick and easy. The steps to follow to send and receive files via AirDrop are as follows.

  1. Select the file to share: to share a photo, for example, open the Photos app and select the image you want to send. You can also share files from other applications, such as Documents or Notes.
  2. We open the Share menu: by tapping the share icon, which is usually located at the bottom left of the screen (a square with an upward arrow).
  3. Choose AirDrop: the system will search for nearby devices that are using AirDrop and offer them as options. To see the full list of devices to send to, simply tap on the AirDrop icon. Let’s make sure we are a few meters away from our recipient.
  4. Choose the recipient: tap the device of the person you want to send to.
  5. The recipient will see a notification: they will be asked if they want to accept or reject the file. If accepted, the file will be automatically saved to the appropriate location on their device. For example, photos will be saved in the Photos application, while documents will be saved in the Files application. If you reject it we will see the transfer as failed.

Some additional tips for using AirDrop

The process is really simple, as we can see. There are also some additional tips that we can take into account to get even more out of this useful feature. One of the most important is that AirDrop allows us to send a file to multiple recipients at the same time. We simply tap the devices in the AirDrop list to select them and all of them will be sent the content.

Another is that we can use AirDrop on our Mac to send and receive files. We simply open a Finder window and select “AirDrop” in the sidebar. Then we select our iPhone or any other device, ours or someone else’s, to send the files.

Finally, mention that if we experience errors connecting to other devices via AirDrop, we can try disabling and re-enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on both devices. With this we should be able to proceed with sending easily. If not, a reboot is also a good option to consider.


AirDrop is a really useful and easy to use mechanism that simplifies the transfer of files between Apple devices to the minimum expression. With the same ease with which we customize the home screen of our iPhone, setting up and using AirDrop on our iPhone is as simple as can be. Once we have selected the file and the recipient, the rest is just waiting. Although at the speed at which the transfer occurs, the wait is really short.

Some of the links added in the article are part of affiliate campaigns and may represent benefits for Softonic.

David Bernal Raspall

David Bernal Raspall

Architect | Creator and editor of | Trainer in Apple technologies | Editor at Softonic and iDoo_tech and previously at Applesfera

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