How to AirDrop from iPhone to Mac/Windows PC

July 11, 2017

There are many ways to share files between iOS devices and PC. You can use iTunes or some other third-party software that makes the procedure simpler. Or you can use a third-party storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive. But I’ve found that using AirDrop is the most convenient method. It’s wireless, reliable and fast.


In this article, AirDrop from iPhone to Mac is the focus. To be able to transfer files using AirDrop, you’ll need a 2012 Mac model or later running OS X Yosemite or later. PC computers running Windows are not able to use AirDrop but I’ll show you some alternatives that can help you send files wirelessly from your iPhone. Let’s see how this great feature works.

How to AirDrop from iPhone to iPad to a Mac

Make sure both your iPhone or iPad and Mac are connected to Wi-Fi. They aren’t required to use the same Wi-Fi network. And the app that stores your files must support file sharing. Here are the instructions to AirDrop from your iOS device to Mac:

Step 1: On the Mac, go to Finder -> Menu Bar -> Go -> AirDrop -> Click “Allow me to be discovered by:” -> Choose “Contacts Only” or “Everyone”). Keep this window open as it enables AirDrop.

AirDrop from iPhone to Mac

Step 2: Open the app that has the file you want to share with the Mac. For example, I will use the Photos app in this article. Now just open the photo and tap the Share button. This will bring up a list of sharing options including AirDrop at the top. In other application, just open the file and select the sharing functionality.

Step 3: Tap the AirDrop icon, wait for both devices to recognize and connect to each other. You will then see the Mac with AirDrop enabled appears in the list. Tapping on it will start sending files to the Mac immediately. If your computer is not using the same iCloud account as the iPhone/iPad, a prompt will appear on the Mac asking you to accept the file.

When finished, you can find the files in the Downloads folder as default. As long as the AirDrop Finder window is open on the Mac, you can continue to send files from your iPhone.

It’s also important to note that AirDrop utilizes Bluetooth to locate other AirDrop-enabled devices nearby. So it adheres to a common Bluetooth range, which requires devices to be within 33 feet/10 meters of each other (the closer the better).

Also read: How to Download and Open ZIP/RAR Files on Your iPhone

AirDrop Alternatives for Windows

AirDrop is unfortunately not compatible with Windows. Luckily, there are several alternatives that do a great job when it comes to transferring files. One of the like-AirDrop applications that work best for me is Zapya and now I will show you how to use this tool to transfer files from your iPhone/iPad to PC running Windows.


Zapya allows you to share all types of files between your devices wirelessly using Wi-Fi tethering or hotspot feature to connect to other devices. It just utilizes the connection so your mobile data won’t be used, in case you use the hotspot functionality. The developer claims that the transmission speed can be up to 10MB per second, it is even much faster than AirDrop.

Zapya is completely free and cross-platform. On your PC, go to Zapya’s home page and download and install the version for Windows PC. On your iPhone/iPad, launch App Store, look for the Zapya app and install it.

How to use Zapya

First off, connect your iPhone/iPad and your Windows PC to the same Wi-Fi network or with hotspot and then launch Zapya on both devices.

Now on your PC, in the Connect tab, select “Join Group”. It will scan and list out the Zapya-enabled device. Click “Connect” to start connecting two devices. Or you can connect from your iPhone by using the Radar functionality.

Once both devices are connected, you can start sending files between them. You can send photos, videos in the Photos app, music, contacts. Files that are imported from other applications will be shown in the File section.

Just mark the files and tap the send button, the files will immediately be transmitted. On your PC, you can find the files in the Record tab. Click on the folder icon next to each file to open them in the folder window.

Transferring file using Zapya is just that easy. Moreover, it is free across all platforms so this is great for people who have several devices from different makers.

Are you using Mac or Windows? If it’s Mac, then do you have any tips or comments about AirDropping between iOS and Mac OS? If you are a Windows user, do you know any other applications for such thing? Either way, let me and other readers know in the comments!

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