6 Solutions to AirDrop not Showing Up on iPhone 15/14/13/12/11

If you find the AirDrop not showing up on iPhone Control Center, you may try five solutions mentioned in this guide to fix it. Besides, an AirDrop alternative is also available for you.


By Demi / Updated on June 4, 2024

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AirDrop not discoverable

Hi there. AirDrop is working on all devices, except my new iPhone. It is not discoverable and not giving me any options (to select everyone etc.) Bluetooth is on, and WiFi is connected. Any help would be great, thank you!

- Question from Mac Rumors

AirDrop is such a powerful feature that enables you to share files with nearby friends using iPhones, iPads, and iPods easily and quickly. However, there are chances that AirDrop not working at all in iOS so that prevents you from sharing anything let alone finding someone to share it with. Luckily, for one of the most common problematic issues - AirDrop not showing up on iPhone 15/4/13/12/11/X, this guide will assume some easy fixes to help you out.

Part 1. 6 common fixes to AirDrop not showing up on iPhone 15/4/13/12

If the AirDrop is still not showing up on iPhone, the five common fixes below will be nice tries. Just follow the solutions one after another to check if your problem can be solved. Selectively, you can turn to Part 3 to try AirDrop alternative to transfer files.

Check the device compatibility

You may need to check the compatibility of your iPhone firstly since old iPhones might not be able to use AirDrop. Please make sure your iPhone supports iOS 7 or later, so does the device you’d like to share files with.

Check AirDrop Restiction

If you find AirDrop not showing up on iPhone Control Center, please note that it’s possible that AirDrop is there but it is hidden. Just in case, if your iPhone is running iOS 11 or later, you can reveal AirDrop by hard pressing on the networking panel of Control Center to reveal other network settings, including AirDrop.

Additionally, you can also try the other resolution for when AirDrop is not discoverable on iPhone Control Center. The steps are as follows.

On your iPhone, go to Settings app > General > Restrictions and enter the password if asked. Under the Restrictions list, switch on the AirDrop option.

AirDrop Restriction

Check relative settings

Although AirDrop makes it convenient to share files between two iDevices, you may fail to get access to AirDrop unless you set up it properly. Please check the settings below to see if your issue can be fixed.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
If you’d like to transfer songs from iPhone to iPhone using AirDrop, WiFi and Bluetooth should be enabled on both iPhones. Correspondingly, the two iPhones need to be within a close range so that they can be discoverable by each other.

Personal Hotspot
An enabled Personal Hotspot will stop you from using AirDrop. Therefore, if either iPhone has an enabled Personal Hotspot, please turn it off from Control Center or Settings app.

AirDrop receiving settings
When you intend to share or receive files but find AirDrop notification not showing up on iPhone, the receiving settings may be set up wrongly.

By default, your AirDrop setup may be set to receive files from “Contacts Only”, you can go to Control Center > Hard press the wireless control box to open AirDrop > Choose Everyone instead. You can perform the steps on both devices to make sure your AirDrop can be visible.

Access AirDrop

If you insist on setting to Contacts Only for some privacy purposes, make sure you both have signed in iCloud. You also need to save each other’s contact info using the phone number or email address associated with your respective iCloud accounts.

Network settings
Sometimes, AirDrop maybe not showing up on iPhone because your iPhone doesn’t connect with others properly. You can try resetting network settings to fix it. Reset Network settings does no harm to your data but erases Wi-Fi password and Bluetooth history.

To reset network settings, go to Settings > General > Reset (Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset for iOS 15 and later) > Reset Network Settings. Enter your onscreen password to confirm.

Reset Network Settings On iPhone

Force restart iPhones

Even though force restarting iPhones may seem to be useless, it is one of the easiest solutions to fix unclear software issues, including ones that might cause AirDrop not working on iPhone.

The way to force restart iPhone differs from the types, you can follow the instructions below to make it.

• iPhone 8 and later: Press the Volume + button and release it quickly. Press the Volume - button and release it quickly. Press the Power button for seconds until the Apple logo appears.
• iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Press both the Power button and Volume - button for seconds until the Apple logo appears.
• iPhone 6s or earlier: Press both the Power button and the Home button for seconds until you see the Apple logo.

Hard Reset iPhone

Check for iOS update

Generally speaking, Apple will release new operating system frequently to fix the software issues. You can check if there is a new version of iOS available. To protect your data, it is suggested to backup iPhone before iOS update.

On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Software Update to grab the latest iOS update if it’s available.

iOS Software Update

Reset iPhone to factory settings

Hopefully, your AirDrop can be used properly after trying the methods above. If not, you may have to factory reset your iPhone. Please keep in mind that factory reset your iPhone will erase all the data. therefore, make sure you have the latest full iPhone backup.

To factory reset your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Click Reset, or Transfer or Reset iPhone if you’re using iOS 15, then choose Erase All Content and Settings. Enter your password to continue if asked.

Erase All Content And Settings

Part 3. Best AirDrop alternative for iPhone - FoneTool

Apart from complicated preparations and steps when using AirDrop, you may find that AirDrop cannot work as well as you expected. What’s more, AirDrop is not suitable enough when it comes to transferring multiple files at a time.

Here comes one of the best AirDrop alternatives - FoneTool to transfer multiple files at a time among iDevices and Windows PCs.

What you can benefit from FoneTool:
✓ Faster transfer speed. Compared with its WiFi and Bluetooth counterparts, the USB connection promises you a faster speed to transfer files. It just takes 2 seconds to transfer 100 photos via FoneTool.
✓ Simpler design and operation. It just requires you a few clicks to complete transferring task.
✓ No data loss. It neither compresses the size of your previous data nor deletes your original data.
✓ Wider compatibility. FoneTool supports iPhones from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 15 series, as well as different types of iPad and iPod. It can also work well with versions of iOS including the latest iOS 17.

Now, free download FoneTool by clicking the icon below. Let’s take transferring contacts from one iPhone to another as an example.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect the source iPhone to the computer with USB > Go to FoneTool, and click Phone Transfer in the left bar. Move the mouse to iPhone to PC, and click Start Transfer.

Transfer To Computer

Step 2. Click the + icon to preview and select contacts you’d like to transfer. You’re also allowed to select photos, music, and videos at the same time > Click OK if you have checked all wanted files.

Select Contacts

Step 3. Click Start Transfer. When the Transfer Settings prompts, you can choose a path to save the files. Then click Transfer to start the process.


Step 4. When the task is finished, unplug the source iPhone and plug the target iPhone into the computer > Click Phone Transfer > PC to iPhone.

Transfer To iPhone

Step 5. Select the files to transfer to the target iPhone. When it is over, tap OK.

Transfer Completed

Optionally, you can choose the “Selective Backup” to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone, and backup your iPhone at the same time.

The app version - FoneTool app is released recently, enabling you to airdrop multiple files without computer. Scan the QR code below to seach the name of it in the App Store to get the app for free.

MBackupper QR Code


Hopefully, your problem AirDrop not showing up on iPhone can be solved. If not, you can contact professors from Apple Support. After all, they know Apple products best.

The AirDrop alternative mentioned in this guide can also be a decent choice for you to share files with your friends and families.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.