One of the iPhone’s biggest selling points is the way Apple lets it interact with its other devices. You can receive a text message from the iPhone and respond from a Mac; it’s that seamless. On the road to making the interaction more integrated, Apple introduced AirDrop seven years ago promising to let iPhone users easily transfer files without any hassle.
The promise was impressively fulfilled as sharing files with fellow iPhone (or iPad and Mac) users became super easy. You probably heard of the feature by now, it’s quite popular among iPhone users, but just in case you haven’t, I’m here to walk you through the process.
Turn it on
First, you need to know how to access it. The first way is through the Settings menu. Go to Settings > General > AirDrop and you’ll be given the option to change the settings to three different categories: Receiving Off (turns off the feature), Contacts Only (lets you AirDrop with just your contacts) or Everyone (lets you AirDrop with any Apple user).
The second way is through Control Center. If on an iPhone X or newer, swipe down from the top right hand corner and if on an iPhone 8 or later, swipe up from the bottom. Now just press and hold or 3D Touch on the menu with AirPlane mode to access a deeper menu. Here you can toggle the same three options as in the Settings menu.
Select files to share
Now you can share just about any file you want to: photos, videos, documents, contacts, notes, links and more. Those are all worthy options, but the function you’ll presumably use it most with is photos so lets focus on that, though it’ll work the same way with any other file you want to AirDrop.
While in Photos, select any picture or video you want to share and tap the Share button (it’s a square with an arrow pointing up). Once the Share menu is open, you will see the AirDrop section appear at the top with all of the people and their Apple products you can share with.
While in the AirDrop menu, the names of the contacts and other people you want to share with will begin to appear. It’s important to make sure your settings are set right. In case the person you want to share the file with is not a contact of yours, you are going to want to set the AirDrop settings to Everyone or else they won’t appear. If the person you are sharing with is a contact, the process will be super easy as they should appear right away.
After you tap on the person you want to share with, the status under the name of the person will go from waiting, to sending, to sent, confirming the person received the file you just shared. As a side note, the person you share the file with will have the option to accept or decline it.
There you have it. The process of using AirDrop is that simple. Now you can begin sharing files easily with fellow iPhone users.