You might already use text messages and email messages to share files with other people, but you can turn on a feature called “AirDrop” on your iPhone that provides another option. AirDrop is a way to share files, like pictures and videos, with people over a Wi-Fi network.
Using AirDrop to share files can be more effective if you have a large video, or a high number of files, that you want to send to someone else. AirDrop sharing is fast and easy, and turning it on requires only a few steps. However, the way to turn on AirDrop on your iPhone is not something that is very intuitive if you haven’t done it before, so our steps below will walk you through the process.
Turning On AirDrop on an iPhone
The steps in this guide were performed on an iPhone 7 Plus, in IOS 10.2, but will work for other iPhone models that are using the same version of iOS.
Enabling the AirDrop setting to Everyone on a large, public Wi-Fi network, such as a hotel or an airport, could make it easy for unwanted individuals to send you pictures or other files. The safer option is to enable AirDrop for Contacts and, if you want to share files with someone that isn’t a contact, create a new contact for them.
Step 1: Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open the Control Center.
Step 2: Tap the AirDrop button.
Step 3: Select the Everyone option if you want to allow everyone on the Wi-Fi network to send you files, or select the Contacts option if you only want to allow file sharing from people on your contact list.
You can turn off AirDrop by returning to this menu and selecting the Receiving Off option.
Note that AirDrop is only available on the iPhone 5 and newer models, the iPad Mini and newer, the iPad 4 and newer, and the iPod Touch 5 and newer. Any device that wants to use AirDrop will need iOS 7 or newer.
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Kermit Matthews is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than a decade of experience writing technology guides. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science and has spent much of his professional career in IT management.
He specializes in writing content about iPhones, Android devices, Microsoft Office and many other popular applications and devices.