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How to use Airdrop on macOS

Airdrop is a feature on iOS and macOS that lets you wirelessly share files between other Apple devices. This means you can share files from one Mac to another, from an iOS device to another iOS device, or between a Mac and an iOS device. It works really well though it requires you have Bluetooth turned on. Here’s how to use Airdrop on macOS.

Windows 10 has its own version of this feature called Nearby Share that works between Windows 10 desktops only.

Airdrop on macOS

AirDrop works from the Finder. Open Finder and look at the column on the left. It should have Airdrop listed. Click it.

Airdrop won’t be available on exceptionally old, think 10 or 12 year old Mac models, but anything that’s 5 years old will support Airdrop.

Click Airdrop and you will see the following interface. Normally, all other devices that can receive files from you should appear here but if they don’t, all you have to do it drag and drop a file on it. The file won’t send but it will get the available devices to show up.

Once some appears in the Airdrop pane, all you have to do is drag & drop the files you want to send on to their device.

As far as receiving files goes, it’s pretty simple. The file, when sent to you, is accepted automatically. If you want to restrict who can send you files, limit it to just your contacts. If you look at the very bottom of the Airdrop folder, you will see an ‘Allow me to be discovered by’ dropdown. Open it and select who can send you files.

Alternatively, you can set it to No One and set it to contacts only when you know you have to receive a file. Unfortunately, as of Mojave, there is no way to disable Airdrop completely, yet.

When you receive a file, you will get an alert. That’s about it. The file is, by default, saved to your Downloads folder.

You can click the alert to open the file from there, or you can open it from Finder.

If you want to ‘disable’ Airdrop, your only choice for now is to turn off Bluetooth which may not be a practical option for you if you happen to use Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, or Magic Trackpad. All three devices are pretty awesome and if you have an iMac, chances are you can’t use your system without them. This makes turning Bluetooth off an impractical way to disable Airdrop.

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