Trying to send a file or photo but your iPhone 11 AirDrop won’t work? Is your iPhone 11 AirDrop not seeing the device you want to send to? Wondering where the AirDrop files have gone? Here we show you how to fix AirDrop problems on iPhone 11.
AirDrop let’s you wirelessly send documents, photos, videos, websites, map locations, and more to a nearby Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The entire process isn’t just simple; it’s incredibly secure… when it works.
If AirDrop is not working on your iPhone 11, there are some troubleshooting steps you can try to fix the issue and get you back to transferring files with ease. Here are some steps you can try to troubleshoot many problems with AirDrop if it’s not working on iPhone 11. Lets get started:
How to fix AirDrop not working on iPhone 11
If you are having trouble with an iPhone 11 not showing up for AirDrop, not receiving files via AirDrop, or iPhone 11 AirDrop not working at all, read on for advice about what to do.
Note: The fixes explained in this article applies to iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
1. Make sure AirDrop is On and Visible
This is a very crucial aspect that we sometimes tend to ignore. AirDrop uses three discovery settings:
- Receiving Off: This means your device is not discoverable at all. However, you can still AirDrop files to other visible devices.
- Contacts only: Perhaps the trickiest option that adds a layer of security. Your device is discoverable only to people who are in your contacts list. However, for this to work, both sending and receiving devices have to be signed into iCloud and have each other’s Apple ID or phone number as contact details.
- Everyone: The generally recommended option. Any nearby AirDrop enabled device can see your device.
As you might have guessed, you need to check these settings on your receiving device as a priority, and preferably set them to Everyone to ensure smooth connectivity.
To confirm or change the AirDrop discovery settings in your iPhone 11 perform the following steps:
- Start the Settings app.
- Select General > AirDrop.
- Change your discoverability setting to “Everyone.”
2. Check your device’s radios
This is probably the no-brainer step, but one that you should definitely try if AirDrop is not working on iPhone 11. AirDrop relies on both Bluetooth to detect devices and Wi-Fi to perform the actual data transfer. If either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is not turned on AirDrop will not function. Therefore, on both the sending and receiving devices, ensure that both these radios are actually turned on. You can check the status for both using the Control Center. If either of the radios was turned off, turn it on and try AirDrop once again.
- Bluetooth Not Working on iPhone 11? Here Are The Fixes!
- Wi-Fi Not Working on iPhone 11? Here Are The Fixes!
3. Check Airplane Mode and Focus Mode
Another common error that causes iPhone 11 AirDrop problems is to forget that your device is in Airplane Mode or in Focus Mode.
Airplane Mode disabled all wireless radios including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that AirDrop relies on to operate.
You can verify Airplane mode as well as change its setting by selecting Settings > Airplane Mode. You can also access the AirPlane mode setting from the Control Panel by swiping down from the top right of the screen.
Focus Mode in iOS devices can prevent AirDrop from working correctly. Focus Mode disables notifications from being delivered. This not only prevents you from seeing any AirDrop request, but it makes your device undiscoverable as well.
The opposite is not true, though, while you are in Focus mode you can send information via AirDrop.
On your iPhone 11, swipe down from the top right of the screen to bring up the Control Center, and then tap Focus icon) to toggle off the setting.
4. Update iOS
Apple frequently releases new updates to iOS that are designed to fix software bugs. If AirDrop isn’t working on iPhone 11, install the latest updates for your devices as they may fix it.
On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Software Update. If an update is available, tap download and install.
5. Restart Both Devices
Restarting your devices may seem like cliché fix, but it might be all you need to fix AirDrop not working on iPhone 11 issue. And it only takes a moment to try it. To restart your iPhone, go to settings > General > shut down.
6. Check distance between devices
AirDrop’s effective range of operation is 30ft, since it relies on Bluetooth and WiFi for connectivity. Therefore, if the distance between your devices is more than this, try bringing them closer. It’s also worth pointing out that this 30ft ideal distance should be taken with a grain of salt, because in real-world scenarios, electromagnetic fields, walls and physical objects, and other electronic devices can interfere and reduce this distance to something much lesser. Bottomline: just try bringing your devices closer to fix AirDrop not working on iPhone 11 issue.
7. Turn Off Personal Hotspot on your iPhone
Personal Hotspot on an iPhone has been known to interfere with AirDrop, perhaps because it engages the WiFi radio. It would be even more troublesome if you enabled Bluetooth tethering as well. Hence, it helps if you turn off Personal Hotspot on the iPhone 11, before attempting AirDrop. To do so, head over to Settings on your iPhone and toggle the Personal Hotspot switch to Off.
8. Manage File Types On AirDrop
On an iPhone 11, when you receive a file via AirDrop, the expected behavior of the OS is to open it in an appropriate app (hence receiving a photo will open it in the native Photos app). This prevents an iPhone to receive an AirDrop that has multiple file types, resulting in failure. You’d be greeted by a message in such cases that says, “Cannot receive all of these items at the same time.”
Fixing this is as simple as ensuring that only ONE file type is being sent in one AirDrop session. That means you can send and receive multiple files as long as they are all, say, photos, or all PDFs, or all MP3s and so on.
9. Restart Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on Both Devices
A particularly useful solution if AirDrop is not working after iOS 15 update is to disable and re-enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. To do this, launch the Control Center and tap the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons to turn them off and on.
10. Disable VPN for AirDrop to Work
Some iPhone 11 users found that AirDrop didn’t work until they turned off the VPN on their device. You might need to do this in the VPN app or in your device settings.
On your iPhone, go to Settings and turn off the VPN toggle.
11. Check the Downloads Folder for Missing Files
If AirDrop sent a file to your device but you can’t find it, take a look in the Downloads folder. On an iPhone, open the Files app and look for a Downloads folder in iCloud Drive.
12. Sign Into Your Apple ID Account Again
On your iPhone, head over to Settings > [Your Name] > Sign Out. Choose the data to keep on your device, then confirm you want to Sign Out. After signing out, return to Settings to sign in to your Apple ID again.
13. Reset the Network Settings on Your iPhone
If non of the above solutions works for you, restart the network settings on your iPhone to fix all kinds of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth problems, including problems with AirDrop not working on iPhone 11. When you reset these settings, your device forgets any Wi-Fi passwords you’ve saved, so you’ll have to reconnect to trusted networks again. To do this, head over to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > reset and tap Reset Network Settings. Hopefully, AirDrop starts working again after the reset.
If AirDrop Still Isn’t Working on iPhone 11
Sometimes a problem really is a problem. Like any electronics, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios and the various connections to them can have problems. If your device is still under warranty, don’t walk; run to your nearest Apple Store to get it checked out.
Fix AirDrop Problems on Your iPhone 11
AirDrop is something that we use a lot, as it’s a great way to share files among different Apple devices. Well, these tips should solve your iPhone 11 AirDrop issues in most situations. If we missed something, let us know in the comments section below.
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