Skip to main content

How to use AirDrop on a Mac

AirDrop is one of Apple’s most useful features for its ecosystem. AirDrop allows users to wirelessly send files between their Apple devices, everything from documents to photos and videos. It’s especially handy for sending files to your computer from your phone, but using AirDrop on a Mac is an equally simple and convenient feature.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Mac with MacOS X 10.7 or later

Here is everything you need to know about how to use AirDrop on a Mac.

Make sure AirDrop is turned on

Before you can use AirDrop, you need to make sure that it is turned on.

Step 1: Open Finder and select AirDrop from the top left in the sidebar. You can also pull it up hitting Command + Space and typing "AirDrop" into Spotlight.

how to use airplay mac airdrop in finder

Step 2: Once you are in the* AirDrop* menu, you should see some blue text at the bottom that reads Allow Me To Be Discovered By. Hit the Blue Down Arrow to the right of this text, and select either* Everyone* or Contacts Only. The latter is the safer choice if you don’t want unsolicited files while in public.

how to use airplay mac airdrop be discovered

Step 3: Once AirDrop is on, you should see some options pull up if there is an Apple device nearby with AirDrop enabled.

Drag and drop files into AirDrop

Step 1: With the AirDrop window open, pull up another Finder by hovering your mouse over the Finder icon, clicking with two fingers, and selecting New Finder Window.

how to use airplay mac airdrop menu

Step 2: In the new Finder window, find the file you want to send and drag it into the* AirDrop* window. Hover the file over the appropriate device icon and release it. The file should automatically AirDrop to that device, and the user can either accept or decline it.

Step 3: Alternatively, if the file is on your desktop, you can just drag and drop it from the desktop to the AirDrop menu.

how to use airplay mac airdrop shortcut

Double-click and share

If dragging and dropping is too much of a hassle, there is an easier way. In the Finder window, hover over the file you want to share and click with two fingers. Scroll down to Share and then select AirDrop from the submenu.

A new window will pop up showing potential devices. Select which one you want to AirDrop to, and the file should send automatically.

how to use airplay mac airdrop preview

AirDrop with the file open

If you have the file open in front of you, you can typically AirDrop from right there. If you are viewing a document or photo in Preview, you can find the Share button in the top-center of the window. It looks like a square with an arrow pointing out of it.

how to use airplay mac airdrop quicktime

AirDrop with QuickTime

If you’re viewing a video in QuickTime Player, the Share button is in the media controls.

Those are the main ways to use AirDrop on Mac. For more on the Mac, check out our guide on how to use AirPlay, as well as our review for the latest MacBook Pro.

Editors' Recommendations

Caleb Clark
Caleb Clark is a full-time writer that primarily covers consumer tech and gaming. He also writes frequently on Medium about…
Here’s why WWDC could be a ‘critical event’ for Apple
Apple CEO Tim Cook looks at a display of brand new redesigned MacBook Air laptop during the WWDC22

Apple is planning a packed line-up for its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5, which could become “one of the most critical events in the company’s history.” Aside from the company’s upcoming Reality Pro headset, there will be major updates to Apple’s software systems, including the biggest watchOS revamp since the Apple Watch launched in 2015.

That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who has a history of accurate predictions and leaks surrounding Apple products. It suggests that WWDC will be a chance for Apple to set out its future ambitions for a “post-iPhone era.”

Read more
This little-known feature is my favorite part of using a Mac and iPhone together
Person using iPhone and MacBook.

Apple’s ecosystem attracts plenty of praise for how all the company’s devices work seamlessly together -- and rightly so. But among all the admiring glances cast toward AirDrop, Continuity Camera and Sidecar, there’s another feature that feels a little unloved -- yet it’s a superb perk of using multiple Apple devices together.

That feature is Universal Clipboard, a handy little timesaver that shuns the spotlight and simply works diligently in the background. Yet that simple nature -- it just works, as the saying goes -- is part of what makes it so great to use.

Read more
9 new Apple products that could launch in 2023
The back of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

As it currently stands, 2023 has already been a busy year for Apple. The company launched a new yellow iPhone 14, brought back the HomePod, and refreshed its Mac lineup with an M2 Mac mini and M2 MacBook Pro. But what else is on the docket? As it turns out, a lot more. From new iPhones, an upgraded Apple Watch, and possibly an AR headset, here are nine products we still expect from Apple in 2023.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro

If there is any Apple product with an upgrade cycle that’s literally like clockwork, it’s the iPhone, which is always out in the fall. This year, we can expect the iPhone 15 lineup to include an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, it is rumored that the iPhone 15 will have a bigger 6.2-inch display this year, but the rest of the lineup will have the same sizes as before.

Read more