Where Do AirDrop Files Go on iPhone, iPad & Mac?

AirDrop allows you to quickly send photos, videos, documents, links, music and whatever between Apple devices. If you’re a new user and don’t know where to look for the files that your friends have sent you via AirDrop, then you’ve come to the right place.

This post will show you where AirDrop files are stored and how to access their location on iPhone, iPad & Mac.


Where Do AirDrop Files Go on iPhone, iPad?

iOS doesn’t provide an official user accessible file system so you cannot find a location that stores all AirDrop files. On iOS, your files are stored and handled separately by apps. And received Airdrop files will open automatically on their respective apps.

For instance, photos and videos will be saved in the Photos app. If someone sent you a photo, you will receive an alert with a preview of the photo and can select Accept or Decline. The moment you choose to accept the photo, it will launch and appear in the Photos app.

Where airdrop files go on iPhone

Web links will be opened in the Safari browser, while app links will be opened in the App Store.

You can literally send any file type to your iPhone or iPad, but you will need the right app to handle it. When you receive a file such as text files, PDFs, Words, Rar, ZIP files, etc…, a dialog will appear on your screen, offering app options to open the file. The app options include installed apps on your device that can open the file.

Where rar files go over Airdrop

For instance, I have installed the Documents app on my iPhone. If I drop a .rar file from my Mac to my iPhone, the dialog will include an option to open the file with the Documents app.


Where Do AirDrop Files Go on Mac?

For Mac devices, things are obvious. Files received via AirDrop are stored in the Downloads folder by default. To open the Downloads folder, you can navigate through Finder > Go or through the Dock. Clicking on the Downloads folder icon on the Dock will quickly show you recent downloaded files including your AirDrop files.

In case two or more Apple devices share the same Apple ID, you won’t need to Accept or Decline shared files as they’ll automatically appear on the receiving device.

Now you know where do AirDrop files go. Do you have any questions about your iOS and Mac devices? Let me know in the comments!

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The program I chose to open the file in wasn’t available. Where is the file go on my iPad mini?

The Best Admin

You need to install the app that supports the file. Otherwise, it will not be saved. Can you tell me what file type is it?


Dear Dan, where do subtitles files for movies go? I do not want to open them, just have them to add them as subtitle files to movies. On my Mac, they are in the VLC folder. Thank you in advance Beatrice


I sent a .dav file from my one phone to another through airdrop but i was not asked about the app option at that time and file was sent immediately now i am unable to find where that file had gone