How to activate AirDrop on iPhone

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When you turn on AirDrop on your iPhone, you allow nearby iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices to send and receive files to you. You can enable this feature for just your contacts or for everyone. We’ll show you how.

In case you are new to the feature, AirDrop is Apple’s file transfer feature that allows you to share files between your Apple devices. This feature works wirelessly so you don’t have to use cables to transfer your files.

When you’re done using the feature, you can turn off AirDrop to prevent people from sending you files.

RELATED: How to share files instantly with AirDrop on iPhone, iPad and Mac

Enable AirDrop on your iPhone

To activate the feature, first, launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

In Settings, select General > AirDrop.

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On the “AirDrop” page, choose one of the following options:

  • Reception disabled: Select this option to disable AirDrop on your iPhone.
  • Only contacts: Choose this option to allow people saved in your contacts to send you files.
  • All the world: Select this option to allow everyone to discover your iPhone and send you files.

Select who to enable AirDrop for.

When you’ve enabled AirDrop, nearby AirDrop-enabled devices can find your device and ask you to send them files. Enjoy!

How to send files with AirDrop on iPhone

If you want to use AirDrop to share files, first launch the app that contains the file you want to share. For the example, we will use the Photos app.

In the Photos app, tap the photo or video to share. Then, in the bottom left corner of the full screen item, tap the share icon (an arrow pointing up from a box).

In the Share menu at the top, select an AirDrop-enabled device to send your file to.

Select an AirDrop device.

Your recipient will receive a prompt to accept or decline your file transfer request. If they accept it, your file will be sent. And everything is ready.

How to Receive Files with AirDrop on iPhone

To receive files on your iPhone via AirDrop, simply ask the sender to select your iPhone from their list of AirDrop devices.

When they do, you’ll see a notice on your iPhone. Accept this notice and you will receive the file from the sender.

And that’s how you turn on and use AirDrop for file transfer tasks on your iPhone. Very useful!


Do you want to know if AirDrop works on Windows or Android devices? Take a look at our guide on that.

RELATED: Can you use AirDrop on Windows PC or Android phone?