How to Use Airdrop On Mac Guide: Learn to AirDrop From Mac to iDevice and Vice Versa

For Mac users, AirDrop is certainly a magical tool that allows wireless transfer of files from one Mac to another Mac and even to iOS devices such as iPhone, iPad, etc. However, there are some compatibility perquisites that need to be filled before you learn how to use Airdrop on Mac or iDevice. If you are new to this Apple’s peer-to-peer file transferring tool, then in this article you will get to learn all that you need to start using the tool.

How to Use Airdrop on Mac To iOS or iOS to Mac?

Before you begin using AirDrop from iPhone to Mac, you must ensure that your iDevice operates on iOS 8 and Mac operates on OS X Yosemite. If your question is “can I Airdrop from Mac to iPhone (iPad)”? Then, yes you can certainly do that but specifically if your Mac device runs on Yosemite OS X and your iDevice runs on iOS8. If your devices are using iOS or Mac OS X versions previous to iOS 8 and Yosemite, then you won’t be able to use the Apple's cross-platform capability. In such a case, you can AirDrop Mac to Mac or iDevice to iDevice. Thus, for using AirDrop from iPhone to Mac or Mac to iPhone, your primary requirement is to have the right operating systems in your device. Thus, only the following Apple devices are suitable for the cross-platform AirDrop file transfer.   

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad 4th generation and up
  • iPad mini
  • 5th-generation iPod touch
  • Mac systems with OS X Yosemite

The second essential condition is that the two Apple devices (Mac and iOS) should be within a distance of 30 feet.

Set the iPhone or iPad

Once you ensure that you have the right devices with the agreeable operating systems, then you can start using AirDrop between Mac and iPad/iPhone. For that perform the following steps:

  • Unlock your iPhone or iPad
  • Swipe up from the Home screen
  • Tab on the 'Control Center.'
  • Then, tap on 'AirDrop.'
  • Next, choose device availability option. Here you have two options “Contacts Only” and “Everyone.”
  • Choose “Everyone.”
  • That will make your iDevice's AirDrop visible to other Apple devices located within the distance of 30 feet.
  • Now move on to your Mac system.

Set the Mac

After you finish setting the iOS device, now you need to set the Mac system. For that perform the following steps:

  • Go to the Finder
  • Click on the AirDrop icon
  • You can also select AirDrop from the Finder’s Go menu
  • Inside the Finder, open the AirDrop window
  • It is not essential that the window has to be in front, but the window should remain open in the Finder.

Now, spot the lower part of the window, here you will view your Mac AirDrop icon and the icon of the nearby iPhone or iPad devices with active AirDrop visibility. In this window tap to select the iOS 8 device to which you want to send files.

As stated above, even for using AirDrop for Mac and iPad, it is necessary that the two devices should be within a reasonable range, approximately 30 feet. It is not essential that the two devices have to be on the same network.

Once you can spot the AirDrop icon of the Mac and iOS device in the vice versa devices, you can begin the file sharing process. The guide describing the file-sharing process is as follows:

Using AirDrop from iPhone to Mac

  • In your iDevice, pick up the files you wish to share with the Mac device
  • Next, tap on the AirDrop icon of the Mac to which you wish to send the files
  • Now, drag and drop the files over the icon of Mac system
  • You will see a small progress line wrapped around the icon. This line indicates the progress in the sending process.

Using AirDrop Between Mac and iPad/iPhone

  • On your Mac system, select the files you wish to share with iDevice.
  • Then, drag and drop the files over the AirDrop icon of the iDevice to which you want to send the files.
  • Here, you need to ensure that the recipient iPhone or iPad has AirDrop enabled.
  • You will see a small progress line wrapped around the icon. This line indicates the progress in the sending process.


Transferring files using AirDrop is very fast. It gets done in seconds. A notification with beep sound represents the delivery of the sent file.

The recipient needs to ‘Accept’ or ‘Decline’ the incoming file. The received file will open in its respective app. With this guide now you know how to use AirDrop on Mac for sending files to iOS 8 device or vice versa.

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