How to AirDrop From Your iPhone or iPad to Your Mac

AirDrop is a convenient way to transfer photos, notes, documents, and more from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. Here's how to use AirDrop to send content from your phone to your Mac.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

What is AirDrop, and how does it work? AirDrop uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to transfer files back and forth between Apple devices within range. You can use AirDrop to transfer from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac; it's faster and easier than using email! Here's how to AirDrop content from your iPhone to your Mac. 

Related: How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Computer (Mac, PC, iCloud & AirDrop)

How to Turn On AirDrop & Use AirDrop to Share Content between an iPhone or iPad & Mac

We've shown you how to turn on AirDrop and how to receive AirDrop files on your iPhone. For more convenient ways to use your AirDrop, check out our free Tip of the Day. Now, let's go over how to AirDrop files from your iPhone to your Mac. To do this, you'll need to be sure that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on for both your iPhone or iPad and computer, and that neither device has a Personal Hotspot turned on. AirDrop also requires a 2012 or later Mac updated to at least macOS Yosemite to transfer files between your computer and iPhone or iPad. Let's begin.

  1. Open the app that has the file you'd like to share with your Mac.
  2. Tap the file, then tap the Share icon (a box with an up arrow through it).

    iphone photos appapple share icon
  3. Tap AirDrop. Once you've AirDropped to this computer, your iPhone may offer the option to tap an icon of it with an AirDrop icon, so you'll be able to skip step four in the future.
  4. Tap your computer’s name.

    airdrop phototap your computer's name in the menu
  5. You'll hear a ping and see a notification on your Mac's screen; click Open to see the file you just AirDropped.

    click open to see the airdrop
  6. You can also find the file by opening the Finder and clicking Downloads.

    open the finder and click downloads to see the file

Pro Tip: There is no size limit of files that you can send using AirDrop. However, there are better and faster methods to send large files.

Now that you know how to transfer files with ease using AirDrop, you may also want to learn some Mac organizaion tips to keep your desktop files tidy. AirDrop not working? Check out these AirDrop troubleshooting tips. Next, learn how to change your name on AirDrop!

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.