How To Use AirDrop on iOS 17: The Complete Guide


Use Airdrop on ios 17 is one of the handiest ways to share files, photos, videos and more between Apple devices. The feature allows you to quickly and easily transfer data between iPhones, iPads, Macs and more.

With the release of iOS 17, Apple has introduced several new AirDrop on ios 17 features and enhancements that make sharing even simpler. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to master AirDrop on iOS 17, including how to turn on AirDrop, choose who can see your device, share with multiple people, use proximity sharing by holding devices close together, and more.

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What is AirDrop and How Does it Work?

AirDrop is Apple’s proprietary close proximity sharing platform. It uses Bluetooth and WiFi to establish a peer-to-peer connection between devices to transfer files.

To use AirDrop, both devices need to have Bluetooth and WiFi turned on. The devices also need to be within 30 feet of one another. Older devices may also need to be on the same WiFi network.

When you select a file to share via AirDrop, it creates a temporary WiFi network between the devices. This allows for a quick transfer that is also encrypted end-to-end for security.

Turning on AirDrop on iOS 17

Before you can start using AirDrop to send or receive files on iOS 17, you first need to turn on the feature. Here’s how:

  1. Open Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of your iPhone or iPad screen.
  2. Long press on the connectivity section at the top of Control Center.
  3. Tap the AirDrop icon to turn it on.

The icon will turn blue to indicate AirDrop is now active. If it remains grayed out, check that both Bluetooth and WiFi are enabled.

You can also turn AirDrop on or off from the Settings app by going to General > AirDrop.

Choosing Your AirDrop Visibility

With iOS 17, Apple has expanded the AirDrop visibility options to allow more control over who can share with you. There are now three modes:

  • Contacts Only: Only people in your contacts can share with you via AirDrop. This ensures maximum privacy.
  • Everyone: Allows anyone nearby to share with you via AirDrop. Best for public sharing scenarios.
  • Receive Off: Disables AirDrop receiving capabilities while still allowing you to share with others.

To change the visibility, open Control Center and long press on the AirDrop icon, then tap your preferred visibility option.

You can also adjust this in Settings under General > AirDrop. The option with the checkmark will be your current visibility setting.

Sharing an Item via AirDrop

AirDropping an item to another device is quick and simple on iOS 17. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the file, photo, video or other item you want to share.
  2. Tap the share icon (a box with an arrow pointing up).
  3. Choose AirDrop from the share sheet.
  4. Select the nearby device you want to share with by tapping it.
  5. Confirm that you want to share the item on both devices.

The transfer will begin immediately – look for the progress indicators on both devices. Once complete, the item will appear on the receiving device.

For photos and videos, you can share multiple items in one batch by selecting them first before starting AirDrop.

Using Proximity Sharing

A brand new addition to AirDrop in iOS 17 is proximity sharing. This allows you to instantly share an item with someone by simply bringing your iPhones close together.

To use proximity sharing:

  1. Make sure both devices have AirDrop turned on and set toContacts Only or Everyone visibility.
  2. Open the item you want to share on one device.
  3. Hold the back of that iPhone within an inch of the back of the receiving iPhone.
  4. Tap the Share button, then confirm sharing the item.
  5. Accept the item on the receiving device.

That’s it! The proximity sensor will detect the other device and rapidly transfer the file. Proximity sharing is amazing for quickly sharing photos and more between friends and family.

AirDropping to Macs

Thanks to the seamless Apple ecosystem, you can also use AirDrop to share between your iPhone and Macs. To AirDrop between devices, follow the same sharing process:

On the Mac:

  1. Make sure Bluetooth and WiFi are on.
  2. Open Finder and click AirDrop in the Favorites sidebar.
  3. Set who can share with you by clicking the AirDrop settings.

On iPhone:

  1. Open the item you want to share.
  2. Tap Share and select the Mac from the AirDrop list.
  3. Allow the transfer on both devices.

The Mac will automatically save AirDropped files and media to the Downloads folder for easy access.

Customizing Share Sheet Actions

When you tap the Share button, you’ll see a list of different sharing options like Messages, Mail, AirDrop and more. The Share Sheet in iOS 17 allows you to customize which actions appear for quick access.

To edit your Share Sheet:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Share Sheet
  2. Tap the green + button to add more actions.
  3. Drag and drop to reorder the actions.
  4. Tap the minus circle to remove any action.
  5. Tap Done to save changes.

Now your Share Sheet will showcase the sharing options you use most frequently.

Enabling SharePlay While AirDropping

SharePlay is a fun new feature in iOS 17 that lets you share synchronized streaming content via FaceTime. You can also utilize SharePlay while AirDropping files between Apple devices.

Here’s how to AirDrop with SharePlay:

  1. Start a FaceTime call and tap the SharePlay icon.
  2. Choose a streaming app or content to watch or listen to together.
  3. Open the AirDrop sharing menu from the streaming app.
  4. Select the person you’re on the FaceTime call with.
  5. Tap SharePlay to stream the content to them as it AirDrops.

The recipient can then open the AirDropped content and it will automatically sync up with the shared streaming over FaceTime!

Choosing Which Contacts Can See You

In your AirDrop settings, you can choose to be visible only to your contacts. But iOS 17 takes this a step further by allowing you to select which contacts can detect your device for AirDropping.

To limit contact visibility:

  1. Go to Settings > General > AirDrop.
  2. Tap My Contacts.
  3. Choose Hide My Email or select specific contacts to hide from.

Now only your selected contacts will be able to find your device when AirDropping files and data.

Using AirDrop with Family Sharing

The Family Sharing feature allows you to easily share content like music, movies, apps and more with family members. You can also utilize Family Sharing with AirDrop.

To AirDrop within your family:

  1. Make sure all family members have AirDrop set to Contacts Only.
  2. Share an item via AirDrop and select the family member’s device.
  3. Accept the AirDrop request on their device.

Since you are family contacts, you will be able to identify and share with each other using AirDrop.

You can also use proximity sharing by holding your iPhones close together to quickly send photos and files between family members.

Troubleshooting AirDrop Issues

AirDrop makes sharing effortless when it’s working properly. But sometimes you may encounter issues getting AirDrop to work right. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Make sure Bluetooth and WiFi are enabled on both devices. AirDrop requires both.
  • Check that both devices have AirDrop visibility set to Contacts Only or Everyone – not Receive Off.
  • Update both devices to the latest iOS or macOS version. AirDrop connectivity improves with updates.
  • Move the devices closer together if sharing fails between iPhones. Proximity matters.
  • Reboot both the sending and receiving device, then try AirDropping again.
  • If AirDrop is taking a long time, move the devices to a clearer area with less wireless interference.
  • On iPhone go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings to troubleshoot connectivity issues.
  • If problems persist, contact Apple support for further troubleshooting assistance.

Following these tips should get AirDrop working smoothly again in no time.

AirDrop Security and Safety Tips

While very convenient, it’s important to keep security in mind when using AirDrop:

  • Only accept AirDrop files from senders you know and trust.
  • For sensitive information, set your AirDrop visibility to Contacts Only.
  • Make sure you are comfortable sharing the file contents before AirDropping. Some things are better sent via email or messaging.
  • iOS 17 blurs AirDrop previews from untrusted senders as a safety measure. This helps identify sketchy AirDrops.
  • Transferring pirated movies or other copyrighted content via AirDrop may constitute piracy in some cases.
  • When in public, consider turning off AirDrop or setting visibility to Contacts Only to prevent unwanted sharing.

By following basic security best practices, you can safely enjoy the simplicity and convenience of AirDrop on iOS 17.

AirDrop Requirements

To take advantage of the full features of AirDrop, you’ll need the following hardware:

  • iPhone 5 or newer.
  • 4th generation iPad or newer.
  • All iPad Pros and iPad Air/mini models.
  • Mac released in 2012 or later.
  • Both devices will need to be on iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra and above.

Older models may still be able to use AirDrop, but will be limited to WiFi sharing only. Proximity sharing requires Apple’s U1 ultrawideband chip which is only available in newer models like iPhone 11 and up.


AirDrop for iOS 17 makes sharing files, photos, videos, websites and more between Apple devices easier than ever. Whether you need to quickly send a document to a co-worker’s Mac or want to share a hilarious meme with a friend, AirDrop helps cut the cords and cables.

With handy features like proximity sharing, SharePlay integration, customizable Share Sheets and expanded visibility controls, Apple continues improving AirDrop with each iOS release. So grab your nearest iPhone or Mac and start wirelessly slinging data like never before. AirDrop is one of those features that just works – and you’ll soon be wondering how you ever lived without it!

Summary of Key Points:

  • AirDrop allows quick, wireless sharing between Apple devices via Bluetooth and WiFi.
  • Turn on AirDrop in Control Center or Settings app. Choose Contacts, Everyone or Receiving Off.
  • Share any file by tapping Share then selecting a nearby device. Accept on both devices.
  • iOS 17 introduces proximity sharing by holding devices close together.
  • You can AirDrop between iPhone and Mac as long as both have it enabled.
  • SharePlay lets you stream synced content via FaceTime plus AirDrop.
  • Refine sharing options in Settings to customize your Share Sheet.
  • Follow basic security practices to safely use AirDrop.
  • Make sure your devices meet minimum requirements for all AirDrop features.

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