With AirDrop you can quickly and securely transfer files between the Mac and iPhones and iPads.

AirDrop uses Bluetooth Low Energy to broadcast to and detect other Apple devices in your vicinity, and Wi-Fi to speedily send files between them. As long as you're within Bluetooth LE range, and you have Wi-Fi enabled, there's virtually no file type or size restriction, which can make AirDrop even more convenient than mailing, messaging, or online sharing as well.

How to turn on (or off) AirDrop for Mac

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. Launch the Finder on your Macs.
  2. Click on AirDrop in the left navigation.
  3. Select Off to disable AirDrop, Contacts Only to enable only your contacts to AirDrop you, or Everyone to let everyone AirDrop you.


How to AriDrop from your Mac using the drag and drop

If you want to grab some files and quickly throw them into AirDrop, the fastest way to do it is using drag and drop.

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Find the files you want to AirDrop.
  3. Drag the files over AirDrop in the sidebar.
  4. Hover there until the Finder changes to the AirDrop window.
  5. Drop the files onto the picture of the contact you want to share them with.


How to AirDrop from your Mac using the context menu

If you prefer to control/right-click on your Mac, you can access AirDrop that way as well.

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Find the file you want to share.
  3. Control/right click on the file and then choose Share from the menu.
  4. Choose AirDrop from the sub-menu.
  5. Click on the picture of the person you want to share with.


How to AirDrop from your Mac using the Share sheet

You can also AirDrop files using the Share sheet on OS X.

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Find the file you want to share.
  3. Click on the file to select it.
  4. Click on the Share button at the top right.
  5. Select AirDrop
  6. Click on the picture of the person you want to share with.


That includes web links in Safari:

  1. Launch Safari on your Mac.
  2. Go to the link you want to share.
  3. Click on the Share button at the top right.
  4. Click on the Share button.
  5. Select AirDrop
  6. Click on the picture of the person you want to share with.
  7. Click Done on your Mac when you're finished.


How to troubleshoot AirDrop on on Mac

If contacts don't show up in the AirDrop interface, try these solutions, in order:

  • Toggle Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi off and back on to reset the connections.
  • Turn off Instant Hotspot to free up the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.
  • Temporarily switch to Everyone to remove any chance of contact mismatch.

How to AirDrop from your iPhone or iPad

Ally Kazmucha contributed to an earlier version of this article.