How to instantly share files between Macs with AirDrop

How to instantly share files between Macs with AirDrop

AirDrop is a convenient way to share files between Macs without the need for email, Dropbox, or any other file sharing service. As long as both parties are using a supported Mac and running OS X Lion or later, using AirDrop to share and transfer files between computers is as simple as dragging and dropping.

Not sure where to find AirDrop or how to use it? Follow along and we'll show you how.

How to share a file from another Mac using AirDrop

  1. Open a finder window on your Mac by holding down on the Finder icon in your dock and selecting New Finder Window.
  2. In the left hand navigation, click on AirDrop.
  3. Any other Mac users that have AirDrop open will automatically populate in the AirDrop window. They'll need to have it open too in order to accept a file.
  4. Now just simply drag the file you'd like to share to the icon for their Mac.
  5. You'll be asked to confirm that you'd like to share the specified file, simply click Send.
  6. You'll see a message saying AirDrop is waiting for the user to accept it. Once they do, you'll see a blue circle go around their icon as the data transfers. Once the circle makes its way all the way around and disappears, the file transfer is complete.

How to accept a shared file from another Mac using AirDrop

  1. Open a finder window on your Mac by holding down on the Finder icon in your dock and selecting New Finder Window.
  2. In the left hand navigation, click on AirDrop.
  3. Any other Mac users that have AirDrop open will automatically populate in the AirDrop window. Both parties must have it open in order to send and receive files.
  4. If you've received a file, a notification will show up by that person's icon. Either click on Save or Save and Open.
  5. If you selected the regular save option, the file will be automatically stored in the Downloads folder of your Mac. You can access it there anytime you'd like.

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 8 comments. Add yours.

GeniusUnleashed says:

Airdrop doesn't even show up for me. I'm using a late 2009 MBP running Mountain Lion.

Tilman Mueller says:

Well... I'm using a late 2008 MacBook, running OSX 10.8.3 and it works like a charm.
Take a look at Finder/Preferences and see if the box for Airdrop is checked.

downieabz says:

According to the Apple support page at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4783?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US, your MBP should support Airdrop as support started with the late 2008 MBP (except for the 17" model), but it also says that if it doesn't appear in the sidebar or in the Go menu, your computer doesn't support it. Maybe you have a 17" MBP? The other thing is that there is no late 2009 MBP of any sort listed by Apple - just early and mid.

What does it say when you click on the About this Mac in the Apple menu and then More Info ... On my MacBook Pro (sadly) it says "15-inch" Early 2008 - the one before Airdrop.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

You also need to be running at least OS X Lion

GeniusUnleashed says:

Damn Apple and buying refurbs. When I bought it years ago I thought I was buying a early (you were right) 2009. Now that I actually check, it's early 2008. Lame. Thanks for the info.