Why is Airdrop Taking So Long?

AirDrop is an easy way to wirelessly share files like photos, videos, documents, and more between Apple devices. It uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to make transfers quick without needing cables.

But sometimes AirDrop can be slow or not work at all. When you want to send a file fast, delays are frustrating!

This guide explains why AirDrop may be slow and how to speed it up. Follow these troubleshooting tips to fix slow AirDrops and transfer files faster between your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more.

Common Reasons AirDrop is Slow

There are several common issues that can make AirDrop transfers slow or fail:

Weak Wi-Fi Connection

AirDrop needs a strong Wi-Fi network to work well. Weak signals or interference will slow transfers. Being far from the router or obstructions blocking the signal can cause problems.

Bluetooth Off or Disabled

Bluetooth must be on along with Wi-Fi for AirDrop. If Bluetooth is turned off or disabled on a device, AirDrop won't work properly.

Old iOS or macOS Version

Using outdated operating system versions can cause AirDrop compatibility issues. Keeping your devices updated provides better performance.

Common Reasons AirDrop is Slow
Common Reasons AirDrop is Slow

Large File Size

Big files like long videos take more time to transfer over AirDrop than small ones like photos. Compressing large files helps speed up transfers.

Incompatible File Type

Some files may need to be converted before AirDrop can transfer them. This conversion process adds time to the transfer.

Device Too Far Apart

AirDrop works best when devices are within 30 feet. Longer distances mean slower transfers. Bring devices closer together to improve speed.

Low Battery

Low battery power puts devices in power-saving modes that can disrupt AirDrop. Keep devices charged for optimal performance.

Fixes and Tips for Faster AirDrop

If you're experiencing slow AirDrop transfers, there are steps you can take to troubleshoot and speed things up:

Get Closer to the Wi-Fi Router

Move the devices into the same room as your Wi-Fi router for the strongest signal. This eliminates walls and distance decreasing speed.

Turn Bluetooth On

Check Bluetooth is enabled on both devices. Toggle it off and on again if needed to refresh the connection.

Update iOS and macOS

Download the latest operating system versions. Staying updated gives better AirDrop reliability.

Try a Smaller File

Send a smaller photo instead of a long video. Smaller files transfer significantly faster over AirDrop.

Compress Large Files First

Use an app to compress or zip big files before sending them to make them transfer faster.

Keep Devices Awake

Set auto-lock to never temporarily. Letting devices sleep during transfer can stall AirDrop.

Convert Incompatible Files

If a file format won't send, convert it to a compatible type like JPG, PNG, MP4, or MP3 first.

Move Devices Closer

Bring the devices to within 30 feet and in the same room for optimal AirDrop speed.

Check Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Ensure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on both devices. Toggle off and on to refresh.

Reset Network Settings

On iPhone, reset network settings to clear any AirDrop issues. You'll need to rejoin Wi-Fi networks.

Try Alternative Transfer Methods

For convenience across platforms, cloud storage or third-party apps offer alternatives to AirDrop.

Using iCloud or Third-Party Apps to Transfer Files

If you need to transfer files between Apple and non-Apple devices, AirDrop isn't an option. Here are some alternatives:

Using iCloud or Third-Party Apps to Transfer Files
Using iCloud or Third-Party Apps to Transfer Files

iCloud Photo Sharing

The iCloud Photos app lets you share albums of photos and videos that anyone can view and download. This works great for sharing between iPhone, iPad, and non-Apple devices.

iCloud Drive File Sharing

You can store files in iCloud Drive and share them by sending a link. This allows anyone to view and download files through a web browser.

Third-Party Apps

Apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive allow easy file sharing across devices and platforms. Upload files to share, then download where needed.

Email Attachments

Email lets you attach files to send them to non-Apple devices. It's simple but size limits apply to attachments.

Is AirDrop Secure?

With AirDrop transferring files between devices, you may wonder if it's secure. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Encryption – AirDrop uses end-to-end encryption when transferring files. This keeps your data secure.
  2. Proximity – AirDrop only works between devices within about 30 feet. You need physical proximity to transfer files.
  3. Permissions – You must accept each AirDrop request manually. You remain in control of what is sent to your device.
  4. Network – AirDrop creates a temporary Wi-Fi network to transfer files. It doesn't use any existing network.
  5. Visibility – Your device is only visible for AirDrop while the sharing window is open. It's not discoverable otherwise.

So in summary, AirDrop employs security measures to keep your data safe. But it's still important to only accept files from senders you know and trust.

Troubleshooting AirDrop Problems

If AirDrop is not working at all, here are some things to check:

  1. Wi-Fi is turned on and connected on both devices. AirDrop needs Wi-Fi.
  2. Bluetooth is enabled on both devices. AirDrop uses Bluetooth too.
  3. Both devices have AirDrop set to Everyone in settings. Contacts Only can cause issues.
  4. The devices are within 30 feet of each other. Long distances decrease reliability.
  5. Firewall or security software is not blocking AirDrop connections. Add exceptions if needed.
  6. On iPhone, check Airplane mode is off. It disables Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  7. Power off both devices, power back on, and retry AirDrop. A reboot can fix problems.
  8. Update to the latest iOS or macOS for compatibility improvements.
  9. On Mac, click the AirDrop icon in Finder to open the window. The icon initiates transfers.

If AirDrop still doesn't work after trying these troubleshooting tips, further technical support may be needed to resolve any software or hardware issues preventing AirDrop from functioning properly.

Summary of Fixing Slow AirDrop Transfers

To recap, follow this checklist if your AirDrop transfers are slower than expected:

  1. Get closer to the Wi-Fi router
  2. Make sure Bluetooth is on
  3. Update to the latest iOS and macOS versions
  4. Try sending a smaller file size
  5. Compress large files before sending
  6. Keep devices awake during transfers
  7. Convert incompatible file formats
  8. Move devices within 30 feet of each other
  9. Reset network settings on iPhone
  10. Use iCloud or third-party apps if needed
  11. Check security software isn't blocking AirDrop
  12. Reboot both devices to refresh connections

AirDrop is designed to provide a fast wireless transfer experience. But sometimes delays happen. With the troubleshooting tips in this guide, you can solve slow AirDrop issues and speed up sharing files between your Apple devices.