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Grow Your Business Technology

How to Use Apple's AirDrop

File sharing on with airdrop
Credit: Gaudilab/Shutterstock

Apple's AirDrop feature can be very handy. It allows you to quickly and easily transfer files between iPhones, iPads and Macs using Bluetooth LE technology. With it, your phone, laptop or tablet can broadcast and negotiate connections via point-to-point Wi-Fi to send photos, videos, contacts, Passbook passes, Voice Memos, map locations and more.

But it's not a technology that should be unsecured. If you don't lock down the settings, anyone could potentially send you anything, including malicious items of all types. Here's how to lock down your AirDrop settings on an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone or iPad screen to launch the Control Center.
  2. Tap to turn on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It isn't necessary to be connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  3. Tap AirDrop.
  4. Tap Contacts Only rather than Anyway.

You'll also want to lock down your AirDrop settings on a Mac:

  1. Launch the Finder on your Mac.
  2. Click AirDrop on the left side of the screen.
  3. Click Contacts Only.

Once you've secured your device from strangers, you can start sharing. Here's how to share on an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Log in to iCloud.
  2. Locate the file you want to share.
  3. Tap the Share button on the bottom right of your screen.
  4. Tap the person or device you want to share with.
  5. The file will show up in the proper location. For instance, photos will show up in Photos.

Here's how to share on a Mac:

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Locate the file you want to share.
  3. Click and drag that file to AirDrop on the left side of the screen.
  4. Hover there until the menu for AirDrop appears.
  5. Drop the files onto the picture of the contact or device you want to share with.
Anna Attkisson

After getting infected with the tech bug at Wireless World and Cellular Business magazines as an intern in 1998, Anna Attkisson went on to dabble in all sorts of publications covering everything from children’s fashion to financial planning, cars and travel. During the last 10 years, she’s returned to her roots where she’s been writing and editing for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide, before moving on to Tom’s IT Pro, Business.com and Business News Daily. She has a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas.