9 Fixes: AirDrop Not Working On Mac

Whew! What an adventure I’ve just had trying to navigate the often misunderstood labyrinth that is troubleshooting AirDrop on my Mac. I reckon you’re reading this because you’re facing the same conundrum, so don’t worry. Let’s demystify this together, shall we? But before we dig into these solutions, you might want to make sure you have your favourite beverage on hand. This might take a minute or two.

1. Check AirDrop Settings:

One of the most overlooked yet simple fixes is checking the AirDrop settings on your Mac. Ensure that it’s set to be discoverable to ‘Everyone’ or ‘Contacts Only’.

Check AirDrop Settings:


2. Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Check:

The foundations of AirDrop are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Verify both are enabled. If they are, try toggling them off and on to give them a refreshing jolt. This solution sounds too simple to work, but sometimes your Mac just needs a little nudge.

3. Firewall Settings:

Your Mac’s firewall settings can sometimes interfere with AirDrop. Here’s how to check if that’s the case:

  1. Open ‘System Preferences.’
  2. Click ‘Security & Privacy,’ then click the ‘Firewall’ tab.
  3. If your firewall is turned on, click the lock to unlock it and enter your admin password.
  4. Click ‘Firewall Options.’
  5. Ensure that ‘Block all incoming connections’ is unchecked.
  6. Click ‘OK,’ then click the lock again to prevent further changes.

Hopefully, these detailed instructions bring you one step closer to resolving your AirDrop woes!

Firewall Settings:

4. Software Updates:

Keeping your Mac updated is essential. An outdated software version might cause issues with AirDrop. To make sure you’re on top of your game, go to System Preferences > Software Update.

5. Distance and Orientation:

AirDrop depends on Bluetooth to create a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi network between devices. This means that devices must be close to each other and not oriented in a way that physically blocks the path of the Bluetooth signal.

6. Restart Your Mac:

Sometimes your Mac just needs a little siesta. Restarting might clear any temporary issues causing AirDrop to misbehave. If you’ve been pushing your machine hard, give it a little rest.

Restart Your Mac:

7. Sign Out and In to iCloud:

Sometimes, the issue lies within your iCloud settings. To sort this out:

  1. Go to the Apple menu and select ‘System Preferences.’
  2. Click ‘Apple ID,’ then ‘Overview.’
  3. Click ‘Sign Out.’
  4. Sign in again and see if this solves your AirDrop issue.

8. Check for Interference:

Other electronic devices can interfere with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals that AirDrop uses. Make sure there are no other electronic devices near your Mac or the device you’re trying to connect with.

9. User Permission & Parental Controls

Mac devices, as well as other Apple devices, are equipped with user permissions and parental controls. These features are designed to help administrators or parents manage and restrict the capabilities and functionalities available to certain users. When it comes to functionalities like AirDrop, these controls can play a pivotal role in whether or not the feature works properly.

User Permissions:

  • MacOS Account Types: There are different types of user accounts on macOS – Administrator, Standard, Managed with Parental Controls, Sharing Only, and Group. Each has varying levels of access and control over system functionalities.
  • Effect on AirDrop: An Administrator has complete access to AirDrop unless intentionally restricted. However, Managed accounts with Parental Controls might have restrictions that could disable AirDrop. It’s crucial to ensure that the user account trying to access AirDrop has the necessary permissions.

Parental Controls:

  • Purpose: Parental Controls are tools provided by macOS to help parents or administrators set up protective barriers or limits on what younger or less experienced users can do.
  • Settings Affecting AirDrop: Within Parental Controls, one can manage the apps a user can use, the websites they can visit, the people they can email or chat with, and more. If AirDrop is not working, it might be due to restrictions set in this section.
    • For example, if the ability to modify system settings is restricted, a user might not be able to turn on AirDrop or make it visible to everyone.
    • Another potential restriction could be on which contacts the user can communicate with, affecting the “Contacts Only” setting in AirDrop.

How to Check and Modify:

  1. Access Parental Controls:
    • Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner.
    • Select “System Preferences.”
    • Choose “Parental Controls.”
  2. Choose the Account: If you have multiple accounts set up with Parental Controls, select the relevant one.
  3. Check Restrictions: Go through each tab—Apps, Web, People, Time, and Other—to ensure there are no settings that could be interfering with AirDrop.
    • In the “Apps” tab, ensure that no restrictions prevent the use of AirDrop.
    • In the “People” tab, check to see if there are any restrictions on who the user can communicate with. This might affect AirDrop if set to “Contacts Only.”
  4. Modify as Needed: If you find any settings that could be hindering AirDrop, make the necessary changes to provide access.
  5. Save & Test: After making modifications, ensure you save any changes. Then, test AirDrop to see if the issue is resolved.

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Benjamin Johnson

Hey there, I'm Ben, the tech-savvy Founder and CEO of WinFixo.com. I've dedicated my life to helping fellow Windows users optimize their PCs for peak performance. Join me on this journey as we unlock the full potential of your Windows devices together!

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