6 Simple Fixes to AirDrop Not Working on iPad Pro/Air/Mini

What to do if AirDrop stuck on waiting? This passage provides you 6 ways to troubleshoot AirDrop not working on iPad Pro/Air/Mini.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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AirDrop not working

Hi, I just bought a new iPad this week and I managed to transfer some files from my iPhone to my iPad. However, I either get an error message, inviting me to try again, or it seems it is working on my iPhone but I don’t receive any files on the iPad. What can it be?

- Question from Apple Community

When it comes to sending files from one Apple device to another wirelessly, you may think of using AirDrop for once. Indeed, AirDrop makes it convenient to share files between iDevices.

AirDrop Icon

However, you may not always succeed in sharing files with AirDrop. What can you do if AirDrop not working on iPad Pro/Air/Mini? In this passage, you can get 6 effective solutions to troubleshoot this issue.

Why AirDrop is not working on iPad Pro/Air/Mini?

Why on earth is your AirDrop stuck on waiting or fail to receive any data from the source device? Before fixing this issue, you may need to know how to turn on AirDrop on iPhone/iPad and the reasons why AirDrop not working.

• Poor connection between two devices. If the devices are not within Bluetooth and WiFi range, AirDrop will fail to transfer files.
• Wrong settings on either of the devices. Besides WiFi and Bluetooth, whether you can make full use of AirDrop is also influenced by many other settings, which will be mentioned in the following part of this guide.
• Incompatible version of iOS or device. AirDrop can only be used in iOS 7 and later. Besides, Airdrop is not available on iPhone 5 or before.

In addition to the main reasons, there are more unknown reasons like software errors that can result in AirDrop not working.

6 ways to fix AirDrop not working on iPad Pro/Air/Mini

It’s time to fix the issue AirDrop not working on iPad Pro/Air/Mini. You can try the following solutions one after another until your problem gets solved.

Solution 1. Check AirDrop settings

As we mentioned before, when AirDrop is not functioning properly, it is necessary to check all settings that are related to AirDrop. Follow the tutorials to check these settings.

>> Make sure WiFi and Bluetooth are on
When you are using AirDrop, Bluetooth is used to detect devices within its range, while Wi-Fi is used to perform data transfer. Therefore, data transfer via AirDrop is unable to manage without either of them.

>> Check if your iPad is discoverable in AirDrop
As you can see in the picture below, when you turn on AirDrop you will be asked to choose Receiving Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone. It is suggested to choose Everyone so that all devices that are nearby and have AirDrop on will be able to see your iPad.

Access AirDrop

>> Turn off Personal Hotspot if it is on
AirDrop doesn’t work when the Personal Hotspot is enabled on your iPad. You’ll need to turn it off to use AirDrop for file sharing from Control Center.

Solution 2. Toggle on and off Airplane mode

To avoid any network problems, especially those affecting wireless radios lead to AirDrop not working on iPad Pro/Air/Mini, toggle on and off Airplane mode can be a considerable option.

To toggle on Airplane mode, on your iPad, go to Settings > Airplane Mode to switch it on. You can also turn it on from the control center.

Turn On Off Airplane Mode

Now, all wireless radios on your iPad Pro are automatically disabled. Turn off it and enable AirDrop again to check whether your problem is solved.

Solution 3. Reset network settings on your iPad Pro/Air/Mini

To fix network issues, you can also reset network settings on your iPad Pro. You won’t lose any data on your iPad when resetting network settings. Instead, the WiFi passwords and Bluetooth connection history will be erased completely.

To reset network settings, go to Settings on your iPad Pro > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Reset Network Settings

Solution 4. Force restart your iPad Pro/Air/Mini

It is possible that your iPad Pro/Air/Mini gets stuck so that AirDrop fails to work well, then a simple reboot your iPad Pro/Air/Mini can help you out.

For iPad with a Home button, press and hold the top button until the power-off slider appears > Drag the slider to turn off iPad.
For iPad without a Home button, press and hold either the volume up or down button and the top button until the power-off slider appears > Drag the slider to turn off iPad.

force restart iPad

Solution 5. Log out and back into your iCloud account

You can try to log out and back into your iCloud account to refresh it to avoid account-related errors that cause AirDrop not working on iPad Pro. Just tap Settings from your Home screen of iPad Pro > [your name] > Scroll down and tap Sign out. If asked, enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off. After signing out of iCloud, you can restart your iPad Pro and go back to Settings to sign in with your iCloud account. 

sign out Apple ID iPad

Solution 6. Update iPad Pro/Air/Mini to the latest iPadOS version

When AirDrop is not working on iPad Pro/Air/Mini, you can also update the iPadOS to the latest version to fix possible software issues. You can go to Settings > General > Software Update, and follow the onscreen instructions to update it.

Best AirDrop alternatives to share files in batch between iDevices

Indeed, AirDrop is convenient but only when you share single files with others. You may find that it’s complicated and a waste of time to airdrop multiple photos. Here FoneTool app for iOS devices and FoneTool for Windows PC, are recommended to you.

Option 1. FoneTool (for iOS device)
The FoneTool app can be seen as one of the best AirDrop alternatives for iOS devices. What makes it most different from AirDrop is that you can transfer multiple files at a time. Search the name in the App Store or scan the QR code below to download and install the app on your iPad/iPhone. Let's take transfer photos from iPhone to iPad as an example.

MBackupper QR Code

Step 1. Turn on Wi-Fi on iPhone and iPad, place them close to each other > Open FoneTool on iPhone and click Connect Device < Tap the name of iPad to establish a connection between them.

Connect iPad

Step 2. On iPhone, tap File Transfer to preview the files and select the wanted photos, videos, etc. > Tap Send to start the transfer.

Tap Send Photos

Step 3. On your iPad, open the FoneTool app and receive the files. Then you can go to the relative apps to check the transferred files. For example, photos and videos are saved in the Photos app.

Option 2. FoneTool (for Windows PC)
Features and advantages of FoneTool
✓ Preview and selective process. During the transferring process, you can preview and select the wanted files and transfer them in batch.
✓ Stable and fast transfer performance. With a stable USB connection between iPad and a computer, it won’t take you much time to complete the task.
✓ Multiple transfer functions. FoneTool can enable you to transfer files not only from iDevice to iDevice, but also iDevice to computer and vice versa.

Detailed steps to transfer files via FoneTool
To better illustrate how to transfer files via FoneTool, let’s take transfer files from iPhone to iPad as an example. Firstly, download FoneTool on your computer by clicking the icon below.

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

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer with USB > Tap Trust on your iPhone.

Step 2. Open FoneTool, choose iPhone to PC > preview and select the wanted photos, music, videos, contacts, and click OK.

Choose Photos

Step 3. Click Start Transfer to save files to the computer and unplug your iPhone. Optionally, when the Transfer Settings prompt, you can choose a local folder or even an external hard drive as the storage path as you like > Click Start Transfer to start the task.


Step 4. Connect your iPad to computer > Click PC to iPhone on its homepage > Click the folder icon to open and add the transferred files.

Choose Photos

Step 5. Click Start Transfer > Finally, click OK when the transfer is completed.

Transfer Completed

Now, you can feel free transferring a large number of files between iOS devices. Besides, FoneTool is also professional backup software to enable you backup iPhone to PC selectively or fully. 


Hopefully, the issue AirDrop not working on iPad Pro/Air/Mini can be fixed with one of the six solutions introduced in this guide. Besides, it is more suggested to try FoneTool especially when you want to transfer multiple files. If this guide helps you, share it with more people.

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.