Apple AirDrop

What is Apple AirDrop?

Apple AirDrop is a native feature in iOS and macOS that lets users share data from one device to another on the same Wi-Fi network.

AirDrop allows users to share photos, videos, websites and locations between devices that are up to about 30 feet apart. The feature can be activated through the Control Center on iPhones and iPads with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on. When users have a piece of content open, they can click share, select the AirDrop icon from the list of options and then choose the name of the AirDrop user they want to share with.

The other user receives a preview of the content and can accept or decline it. The process on a Mac computer is slightly different: The user accesses AirDrop through the Finder, Share menu or Open and Save windows, and then shares files by dragging and dropping them onto the other user's device icon.

Without management, users could leak sensitive or proprietary work data via AirDrop. IT administrations can apply some controls to limit AirDrop usage on managed Apple devices via Apple Business Essentials or a third-party mobile device management (MDM).

Users can also transfer data from an iOS device to a Mac computer and vice versa. As far back as iOS 7, users could only use AirDrop to transfer data across like devices. A user could only move data from one iOS device to another iOS device, for example.

This was last updated in March 2023

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