Where do airdrop photos go on iPhone and Macbook?

Airdrop is a service provided by Apple specifically for their users only. The service allows users to send different types of media via Bluetooth from one device to the other.

Many people choose this service as their preferred method for sending photos, in particular, due to the speed and ease of the process – though sometimes you may find that Airdrop is not working.

One thing that often catches people out, though, is the understanding of where these photos go on your phone once they’ve been transferred to you via airdrop.

If you are one of these people then luckily for you we are about to reveal exactly what happens to these photos once they land on your device. Let’s take a look.

The answer to this questions depends on what device you are using.

As we know, Apple have various different models within their catalogue including phones, tablets and macs and airdrop is available on each and every one.

Where do airdrop photos go on iPhone and iPad?

The method to access your airdropped photos on your iPhone is as follows;

On a phone or tablet, all items sent via airdrop can be accessed in the most suitable location available. For example, word documents will land in the files folder and presentations will be located in the keynote app.

This means that any photos received via airdrop on your phone or tablet will automatically be stored within your photos app.

How to use airdrop on your iPhone

To get to the point of being able to receive airdropped photos, you obviously need to know how to use airdrop. To do this on an iPhone please follow these instructions:

  1. Navigate to the settings app and select the Bluetooth tab. From here, make sure the green bar next to Bluetooth is slid over to green.
  2. Once Bluetooth has been activated, open up whatever you want to send and select ‘share’ on it.
  3. Select the airdrop button and make sure your phone is in close proximity to the iOS user who you want to airdrop a file to.
  4. Then tap the the name of the user who you want to send it to.

It is also imperative that the person receiving your airdrop also has Bluetooth turned on otherwise their name will not appear on the options available when you go to send an airdrop.

They will also need to ensure that their phone has permission to receive airdropped files – this can be checked visiting settings – general – airdrop.

Where do airdrop photos go on Mac?

The process on Macs is slightly different in the sense that the mac doesn’t differentiate between the type of media that has been received.

As a result, absolutely everything that is received via airdrop on your mac is stored in the downloads folder. You can find this folder by selecting ‘Go’ and then downloads.

How to use airdrop on your mac

There are two different ways to use airdrop on your mac, both equally as handy with neither being particularly better than the other – it’s just a case of personal preference.

Method 1: Open the file that you want to send and then click the share button. From here, select airdrop from the list of sharing options available to you.

Your mac will then bring up a list of possible recipients – select the user you want to share a file with.

Method 2: Open the airdrop window via the sidebar on your mac. If it isn’t on your sidebar then you can find it by selecting ‘Go’ and then ‘Airdrop’.

The airdrop window displays all nearby airdrop users meaning that all you have to do is select the relevant user and then drag your chosen files in to the window.

In order for you to be able to receive airdropped files on a mac you need head to ‘Go’ and then ‘AirDrop’ from the menu bar in Finder.

Then, Select ‘allow me to be discovered by’ and choose whether you want to be visible to everyone or just your contacts.

When someone is trying to send you a file via airdrop you will see their request pop up as a notification on your mac, or as a message in the airdrop window.

To receive the file(s) simply click accept and the files will be saved in your downloads folder.


All in all, airdrop is a really handy feature that all iOS users should be making use of. It’s a quicker and more efficient way of transferring files to other iOS users and is really easy to use.

We hope that after reading this article you now have a clearer picture on what happens to files that you send and receive via airdrop and also know what you have to do to get it working.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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