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How to Use Airdrop on iPhone

Frequently asked questions since iOS 7 have been posed with regards to the newer features, such as AirDrop. Since there is still quite a bit of confusion on how to use AirDrop on iPhone, we decided to clear this up in our AirDrop guide for iPhone users. The AirDrop feature is especially great for transferring files between your iPhone and iPad or even iPod touch and works wireless without any prior configuration. You can also use AirDrop to transfer contacts, information from the web, videos and locations.

Bluetooth and WiFi are a prerequisite for AirDrop. You do not need to be on the same network to use AirDrop, thus you can use it to send random people e.g. a funny image on the subway and brighten their day. Since iOS 8, you can even use AirDrop from iPhone to Mac or in the opposite direction.

Prerequisites / Requirements for using AirDrop

The following devices are certified to work with Apple’s AirDrop protocol. It is also required to use iOS 7 or a later version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

  • iPhone 5 and newer (including iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, of course)
  • iPad 4th generation and up (including iPad Air & iPad Air 2)
  • iPad mini 1st generation and up (including iPad mini with Retina Display)
  • iPod touch 5th generation and up
  • on the Mac side of things, you’ll typically require a Mac from 2012 or newer

How to enable AirDrop on iPhone

To use AirDrop successfully on your iPhone, you will have to enable the Control Center toggles for WiFi and Bluetooth, independently of your current location. Your partner on the receiving end will have to do the same on his iOS device. Then you need to enable AirDrop for your “Contacts only” or for “Everyone”, see the following screenshots for a visual explanation:

How to use AirDrop on iPhone

To use AirDrop on iPhone, find the type of content or data you would like to share within the designated app.

We used a photo for our example. The workflow is identical in every case, regardless of what you want to share. Tap the “Share” icon. After enabling AirDrop on both of the devices involved in the transfer, you should see a square profile image of your receiving contact pop up as a destination. Tap the profile picture to start the transfer. This works exactly the same whether you are AirDropping to an iDevice or a Mac.

On the other end, your contact will see something akin to the following notification screen, where he or she can accept or deny the transfer simply by tapping the corresponding button. If the transfer is cancelled unintentionally, you can simply repeat the process to try again. AirDrop works for single and multiple files, although there is a limit (depending on the type and size of the media) on the number of items you can transfer in one go.

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