Apple

What is AirDrop and how does it work?


air drop

If you have just arrived in the Apple ecosystem and still do not know what is air drop, in this article we explain it to you. In addition, we are also going to show you how it works and what are the best alternatives for Windows.

AirDrop is an Apple proprietary service that allows Quickly transfer files between an iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac. Being a proprietary service of Apple, it is not outside of its ecosystem, so you will not be able to use it with a Windows PC or an Android device.

The Cupertino-based company launched this new functionality in 2011, so it is available on most mobile devices and Mac that are still working, even if they are not updated to the latest version.

Minimum AirDrop Requirements

In order to use AirDrop to share any type of file between an iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac, the mobile device must be managed, at least by iOS 8 and the Mac by OS X 10.0 Yosemite and be one of the following devices.

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad 4th generation or later and iPad mini 1st generation or later.
  • iPad Pro 1st generation or later
  • iPod Touch 5th generation or later
  • MacBook Air from mid 2012 or later
  • MacBook Pro from mid 2012 or later
  • iMac from mid 2012 or later
  • Mac Mini from mid 2012 or later
  • Mac Pro from mid 2013 or later

Although Apple introduced AirDrop technology in 2011, this feature it was not limited to equipment that came to market from that year.

It is also available on the following Macs but with macOS 10.7 onwardsalthough only to share content with other Macs.

  • All MacBook Pros from Late 2008 or later, except the 17-inch MacBook Pro from Late 2008
  • MacBook Air from late 2010 or later
  • MacBooks from late 2008 or later, except for the white MacBook Pro (Late 2008)
  • iMac from early 2009 or later
  • Mac mini from mid 2010 or later
  • Mac Pro from early 2009 (model with AirPort Extreme card) or mid 2010
  • iMac Pro (all models)

If your computer is among the models that Apple launched to the market from 2008 to 2011you will only be able to use AirDrop to share files between those Mac models.

You won’t be able to use it to share or receive files from a compatible iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

If your iPhone or iPad is managed by iOS 7 You can only use this functionality to share content between devices as long as it is one of the following models:

  • iPhone 5 or later.
  • iPad 4th generation or later and iPad Mini 1st generation or later
  • iPad Pro 1st generation or later
  • iPod Touch 5th generation or later

What can we do with AirDrop

Apple’s AirDrop transfer technology allows us to send any type of content between devices from Apple compatible. With AirDrop we can share images, videos, phonebook contacts, passwords…

How AirDrop works

air drop uses both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection to establish communication between devices by establishing a connection with TLS encryption.

The technology that allows us to use AirDrop, does not require an internet connection neither for the device that shares nor for the one that receives the files.

How to set up AirDrop


Configure AirDop

air drop does not allow us to configure its operation. The only configuration option (to call it something) is to set its scope.

Apple allows users to be visible to and receive files from:

  • Everyone. If we set AirDrop to Everyone, anyone around us can send us any type of file. Another thing is that we agree to receive it.
  • Only contacts. If we choose this option, only the contacts that we have in the agenda will be able to find us among the devices to which we can send files via AirDrop.
  • Reception disabled. By selecting this option, we will disable AirDrop on our device.

The AirDrop settings on iPhone and iPadit is located in the path Settings > General > AirDrop.

For configure how AirDrop works on a Macwe must access System Preferences> Dock Menu bar> AirDop and activate Show in menu bar.

Next, click on the AirDrop button in the menu bar and we establish if we want it to be in operation, available only for contacts or for everyone.

How to share files using AirDrop

Share files between an iPhone and Mac with AirDrop


Send photos to Mac

To transfer photos to a Mac or any other type of file to a Macwe must perform the steps that I show you below:

  • The first thing we must do is go to the application where it is located the file we want to share.
  • Next, We select it and click on the Share button. If it is a file, we keep it pressed until an options menu is displayed where we must select Share.
  • In the next step, if the device to which we want to send it is not automatically displayed, click on AirDrop and we wait for it to appear.
    • If it does not appear, we must check and within the configuration options you do not have the Reception deactivated option selected.
  • When the device to which we want to send the file is displayed, we click on it.

If this is the first time we’ve AirDroped a file to that device, we need to confirm that we want to receive content from that device.

Share files between a Mac and an iPhone with AirDop

If you want to share images, videos or any other type of file from a Mac to an iPhone or iPadyou must perform the steps that I show you below:


Send file from Mac to iPhone with AirDrop

  • We go to the file we want to share and click on the right mouse button.
  • Next, we go to the menu Share and we select AirDrop.
  • Next, we must turn on the device screen with which we want to share the file, since otherwise our Mac will not be able to locate it.


Send file from Mac to iPhone with AirDrop

  • Finally, we select the name of the device with which we want to share the file and click on it.

If this is the first time we’ve AirDroped a file to that device, we’ll need to confirm that we want to receive the file.

How to disable AirDrop

The only method that Apple offers us to disable AirDrop is by selecting Reception disabled between the AirDrop settings options.

AirDrop for Windows


AirDrop for Windows

Being a proprietary Windows technology, AirDrop not available on Windows just as it is also not found on Android devices.

The best alternative for users with Windows and an iPhone or iPad is to use AirDroid. With this application, also available for Android, we can also share files between iOS, macOS, Windows and Android devices.

AirDroid is a free app that allows us to share any type of files between a PC / Android device and an iPhone or iPad and vice versa.

The app works through a Web navigator and through a Windows application available on their website.

AirDroid - File Transfer&Share (AppStore Link)

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