How to instantly share files with AirDrop for iPhone or iPad

AirDrop lets you quickly and easily transfer files between iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Using Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy to broadcast, discover, and negotiate connections, and point-to-point Wi-Fi to transfer information AirDrop is fast, power-efficient, and secure. When you're using it between iPhones and iPads, you can AirDrop photos, videos, contacts, Passbook passes, Voice Memos, Map location, and any and everything else that appears on a Share sheet.

How to turn AirDrop on or off for iPhone or iPad

AirDrop lets you choose between enabling it for just your contacts or for everyone. "Contacts" requires more work, as you and the person you want to AirDrop with both have to be logged into iCloud and be in each other's Contacts. "Everyone" is easier but means random people you don't know can send you prank AirDrops.

 

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen (iPhone 8 or older) or swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen (iPhone X) to launch Control Center.
  2. Press firmly (iPhone 6s or newer) or press and hold (iPads or older iPhones) on the wireless control box on the upper left side of Control Center.

    Swipe up, press firmly

  3. Tap on AirDrop.
  4. Choose who can send things to you through AirDrop by tapping Receiving Off, Contacts Only, or Everyone.

    Tap AirDrop, choose who can send things to you

If you choose Contacts Only, make sure you're logged into iCloud.

How to AirDrop files from your iPhone or iPad

You can AirDrop files from any iPhone or iPad app that includes the built-in Share sheet, and you can share with anyone, and any of their devices, that show up in the Share sheet.

  1. Open the app that you want to share something from (e.g. Photos).
  2. Select the item you want to share.

    Open app, choose item to share

  3. Tap the share button (looks like a box with an arrow pointing up, or sometimes just the word "Share").
  4. Tap the intended recipient's avatar when it appears in the AirDrop row.

    Tap Share, tap recipient's avatar

Because AirDrop shows your picture for any and all contacts, if you're trying to AirDrop to someone with multiple devices, you could see their picture multiple times in the Sheet. You will see their device name, however, which should make sure you pick the right one.

 

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