AirDrop is an amazing data transfer feature that Apple has integrated with almost all iOS devices. Sometimes, the users face the issue of AirDrop from iPhone to Mac not working.
The issue arises in various forms including the constant message saying ‘no people found’.
This problem frustrates you especially if you want to transfer an important file immediately. This can happen due to an issue with your iPhone or Mac.
The real culprit can be found out after trying some troubleshooting techniques. But, do not worry, the issue is not grave.
It requires just a few minutes to solve because we have found the best and easiest solutions for you.
How Does AirDrop Work?
Before troubleshooting your devices, let us have a brief idea of how AirDrop works.
AirDrop works both with Bluetooth and Wifi. It discovers the nearby device through Bluetooth. Then, it sends the files over Wifi.
So, it means that if you want to transfer files from iPhone to Mac, both should be connected to Wifi and Bluetooth must be ON. It makes a point-to-point connection.
Therefore, AirDrop is a safe, secure, and efficient method of data transfer on iOS devices.
1. Some Quick Actions
The next thing is to check that your iPhone is connected to the right Mac and not to a different Mac.
The wifi connection must be working on both devices and also check the strength of the connection.
The Bluetooth has a specific working range. Both devices must be within 30 feet range, otherwise, file transfer is not possible. So, keep your iPhone and Mac very close to each other.
Using cellular data instead of Wifi can also create problems. The personal hotspot should not be enabled on your iPhone.
Open the Control Center on your iPhone, press, and hold the ‘Cellular’ icon. Turn OFF the ‘Personal Hotspot’ by changing its status to “Not Discoverable”.
AirDrop from iPhone to Mac fails working if the window is not opened.
On your Mac, bring up the Finder and then select AirDrop appearing on the sidebar. Now, try sending the files again.
2. Confirm the AirDrop Compatibility on Mac
Some older iOS devices do not support AirDrop. Thus, you need to make sure that your iPhone and Mac are compatible with AirDrop.
For example, the iPhone with iOS 7 and later, iPad with iOS 13, and later do not support AirDrop.
Similarly, Mac with OS X 10.10 and those introduced before 2012 (except Mac Pro 2012) are also incompatible with this feature.
You can check your Mac compatibility by the following method;
On your Mac screen, click the Apple icon located at the top left corner. This will open the main menu, select the “About this Mac” option.
Complete information about your Mac operating system will be displayed in a popup window. You can check the operating system here.
3. Reconnect Both Devices
Sometimes, the devices cannot discover each other due to a temporary network issue. So, disable the Bluetooth and Wifi on Mac and iPhone.
Reboot both devices and wait for a few moments. Enable the connections again and try sending files from your iPhone to Mac.
4. Restart Your iPhone and Mac
If the issue is temporary, restarting both devices can help. This will remove the software glitches and cache that may be interfering with AirDrop connectivity.
The restart method varies across different iPhone models. So, you can learn the exact restart method for your respective iPhone from the Apple website.
In addition to iPhone, you also need to restart your Mac by the following method;
- Tap the Apple icon located at the top left corner of your Mac screen.
- From the drop-down menu, select “Restart”.
- Your Mac will shut down and restart automatically.
- If you want to restart your Mac afresh without reopening the app windows that were previously open, uncheck the option “Reopen windows when logging back in.”
- Now, reconnect your devices again, hopefully, the AirDrop from iPhone to Mac is working now.
5. Update iOS on Your Mac and iPhone
If your devices are running older operating systems, it can create problems in connectivity. Because an older firmware version may lack some latest features.
While the latest software version comes with security features thus removing any glitches or errors. The update method is as follows;
- On your Mac, open the menu by clicking the ‘Apple’ icon.
- Choose ‘System Preferences’ and then ‘Software Update’.
- If updates are available, tap “Update Now”.
- Do not perform any function while your Mac is updating.
- On your iPhone, open the ‘Settings’ app and select ‘General’.
- Next, click on ‘Software Update’, the pending updates will be shown here.
- Click ‘Download and Install’ to start the update process.
- Now, check if the AirDrop from your iPhone to Mac is working.
Related: Fix iPhone Charging Port Not Working
6. Reset Network Settings on Your iPhone
The wrong network settings may be causing the AirDrop not to work. It happens due to corrupt Bluetooth or Wifi that hinders the file transfer from iPhone to Mac.
Resetting them is likely to solve the problem. Follow these steps correctly to reset the network settings on your iPhone;
- On your iPhone, go to ‘Settings’ and then open ‘General’ settings.
- Next, choose ‘Reset’ and then ‘Reset Network Settings’.
- Select this option again to confirm the process.
- Reconnect your devices and check whether AirDrop is working or not.
7. Reset Network Settings on Your Mac
If the issue still persists, reset the network settings on your Mac. You need to delete the PLIST (Property List) on your Mac.
It will reset Bluetooth and Wifi settings. The Mac automatically recreates the files when you restart it.
Deleting Bluetooth PLIST Files
- On your Mac, open the Finder window and tap “Go”.
- Next, choose “Go to Folder” and then type “/Library/Preferences/”.
- Click “Go” to proceed further.
- Finally, Control-click the “com.apple.Bluetooth.plist” file and then select “Move to Trash”.
Deleting Wifi PLIST Files
- Open the Finder window on your Mac, tap “Go” and then “Go to Folder”.
- Type “/Library/Preferences/System Configuration/” path and then click “Go”.
- Next, Control-click the following files and delete them by choosing “Move to Trash”.
8. Change Some Settings on Your Mac
There are various settings on your Mac. Unknowingly, you set the wrong settings thereby stopping AirDrop from working.
So, we are listing here all these important settings, changing them as mentioned.
i. Disable the ‘Do not Disturb’
The ‘Do not Disturb’ feature on your Mac hinders the file transfer from iPhone. In this mode, the Mac neither displays AirDrop notification nor discovers it.
Hence, you need to disable this function. On your Mac, open the Control Center, find the “Do not Disturb” option and disable it.
On macOS Catalina or earlier, this option is available in Notification Center.
ii. Allow being Discovered by Everyone
By default, AirDrop allows only ‘Contact’ transfer. In this case, you cannot send files from someone else’s iPhone. So, you need to change this setting.
- Open the AirDrop window on your Mac.
- Then change the ‘Contacts Only’ setting to “Allow me to be discovered by: to Everyone”.
- Once, your file transfer is complete, change the permission back to “Contacts Only”.
- Otherwise, your Mac will receive a lot of AirDrop requests from nearby devices.
iii. Check Firewall Options
When Firewall is enabled on your Mac, it blocks the incoming AirDrop requests and other connections. So, you need to check it by the following method;
- On your Mac, click the ‘Apple’ icon on the top left corner.
- Select ‘System Preferences’ from the drop-down menu.
- Next, choose ‘Security & Privacy’ and then ‘Firewall’ tab.
- Tap ‘Click the lock to make changes’, enter your ‘administrator password’.
- Now, choose ‘Firewall’ options, deselect the “Block all incoming connections”.
- Click the ‘OK’ button to confirm and apply the settings.
iv. Reset NVRAM
NVRAM stands for non-volatile random-access memory. Resetting it can solve the issue if AirDrop from iPhone to Mac is not working.
You can do it by the following method;
- First of all, turn OFF your Mac and turn it ON quickly.
- Now, press and hold the ‘Option+Command+P+R’ together. Release these keys when your Mac gives a startup chime once again.
- However, if your Mac is ‘T2 Security Chip’ supported then keep holding the keys until the Apple logo appears and reappears twice.
- This will reboot your Mac and will change some minor settings. So, customize the time zone, keyboard preferences, and volume again.
- It will surely solve your problem of AirDrop working or saying ‘no people found’.
You can bring AirDrop back to working by trying the simple tips mentioned in this guide. These are the basic troubleshooting methods that are best to solve your problem.
Because it is caused by software or network errors and no hardware issue is involved in it. So, you need just a few minutes to perform these tricks.
In many cases, reconnecting or restarting the devices solves the issue quickly. While in other cases, you may need to apply further solutions.
Hopefully, we have fixed your problem of AirDrop not working from iPhone to Mac. Let us know in the comments section.
Hi, I’m Noor Alam, founder of SpeakersMag.com. I love music and got my Bachelor’s degree in Sound Engineering. Now I have started my own blog about music products. Just like you, I also love different music products and in my spare time, I share my knowledge with audio lovers on this site.