Why isn’t my airdrop working? – Here’s why

Airdrop is a feature that is available to Apple users which allows them to conveniently share media, links, documents, passwords and more via Bluetooth to other users who are within a certain range.

It’s quicker than sending these types of things via message or email and is an easy and slick service to use.

That is of course, when everything is going to plan! There are occasions when you will try and airdrop something to another user and find that the function isn’t playing ball.

In this article, we are going to look at the main reasons which cause airdrop to stop working and explain in simple terms how you can get around each problem.

Why your airdrop isn’t working? – The most common reason

The most common reason why airdrop doesn’t work is to do with Bluetooth connectivity. As mentioned at the top of the piece, airdrop relies on a secure Bluetooth connection in order to work.

While most people connect to the internet at all times as standard, the same can’t be said for Bluetooth.

In order to turn you Bluetooth connection on you need to head to the settings app on your iOS device.

From here, you need to select ‘Bluetooth’ and then ensure that the bar on the subsequent screen is slid over to green.

In addition, you may see a prompt asking you to allow new connections – if so, make sure you do allow new connections because you will need this to perform a successful airdrop.

Making sure that you allow new connections and have your Bluetooth enabled is important for using Airdrop, as this is necessary to transfer data.

There are other reasons why your airdrop might not be working. Let’s take a look at some of the other most common reasons.

Incorrect airdrop settings

You can be forgiven for thinking that all apps will automatically be set on the correct settings but this isn’t always the case.

If airdrop is not working then it’s worth checking out the apps settings and making sure everything is as it should be.

To do this, head to the settings app on your iOS device and then select ‘General’. From this page, you need to select ‘airdrop’ and then consider the options that the page presents.

This page lets you select who you want to be able to receive airdrops from – either your contacts or everyone.

For the interests of giving the system the best chance of working we would recommend that you select everyone here.

If you think that there may be an issue with your network connection, you can always reset network settings to try and resolve this.

Glitches within the iOS system

Sometimes, the software within your system can glitch or contain bugs which can cause certain components of your device to fail, including airdrop.

If you are getting nowhere with airdrop despite having your Bluetooth settings and airdrop settings as stated above, then you may have to go for a hard reset of your iOS device.

The best way to do this is to go down the good old fashioned route of turning it off and on again.

To do this on your iOS device, hold down the button on the upper right hand side of your phone in unison with the upper volume button on the left hand side of your phone.

Once you’ve swiped to turn your phone off on the subsequent screen, wait 30 seconds and then press the same two buttons again to turn your phone back up.

This should ensure that your phone reloads in a fresh and clean way and therefore increasing your chances of airdrop working.

Decrease the range

One final thing worth considering is the range between yourself and the person you are trying to share content with via airdrop.

As mentioned above, you need to be in close proximity to another iOS user in order for the airdrop to be successful.

If you are trying to airdrop with someone who isn’t nearby then forget about the process altogether and use email instead.

Another point worth making in regards to the person you’re looking to airdrop with – their Bluetooth and airdrop settings will need to be exactly the same as yours.

There is no point in you having your Bluetooth turned on and have access to everyone on airdrop if your acquaintance has Bluetooth turned off and/or has their airdrop settings on ‘receiving off’.


To conclude, there are a couple of different reasons why your airdrop might not be working on your iOS device.

Ultimately though, if you are connected to Bluetooth, have the correct settings on your airdrop options and are in close proximity to the person you are looking to airdrop with then you should be absolutely fine.

Airdrop images should go into your Photos app automatically, which you can access easily on iOS devices.

If the issue persists, then we would recommend that you get in touch with Apple’s own support team who may be able to offer you further advice.

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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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