How to Fix Airdrop Stuck on Waiting iPhone 15/14/13/12/Mac

AirDrop allows users to share and transfer files between iOS and macOS device. But sometimes, users may face Airdrop stuck on waiting issue. In this article, we'll discuss some of the causes and how-tos of this problem.


By Dylan / Updated on February 5, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

AirDrop waiting?

My airdrop stuck on waiting iphone 13, and I can't share files! Help!!



Airdrop waiting forever 

When I use Airdrop to share pictures with my family, it gets stuck without any response for a long time. What happened?

- Question from Apple Forum

AirDrop is one such ad hoc service that makes it easy for iOS users to share files. Thanks to AirDrop, users can quickly share and transfer photos, videos, contacts, music and other data.

airdrop icon

However, this is not a perfect feature and sometimes crashes, for example, AirDrop stuck on waiting on iPhone 15/14/13/12/11/Mac/iPad, AirDrop not working on iPhone in iOS 17/16. Why airdrop gets stuck on waiting and how to fix this problem? After reading this article, you will find the answer.

Why does AirDrop say waiting?

Let's first look at some of the reasons why does AirDrop says waiting on iPhone 15/14/13/12/iPad/Mac.

Software glitches: A glitch software error on your device will prevent AirDrop from working properly and stuck on waiting.
iOS update: Update to the latest version may bring some bugs that conflict with AirDrop. Some users have reported that AirDrop not working after updating to iOS 17.
Wrong settings: Maybe the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth is not turned on, personal Hotspot is not turned off, which may cause AirDrop not working and stuck on waiting.

How to fix Airdrop stuck on waiting iPhone/Mac

Now, keep reading to try the following solutions one by one until your problem is resolved.

1#. Turn on AirDrop restriction

AirDrop restriction is turned off might be a reason for Airdrop stuck on waiting then failed, you need to enable it.

Go to the Settings app > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps, then turn on the toggle of AirDrop.

turn on airdrop restriction

2#. Check related settings

As we mentioned before, some wrong settings can cause AirDrop just says waiting. Therefore, it is necessary to check all settings related to AirDrop. Follow the tips below.

Tip 1. Re-enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

AirDrop requires a Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth to work properly. Try disabling and re-enabling Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both Mac and iPhone/iPad. Wait a few seconds and restart the AirDrop.

Note: Make sure your two devices are nearby and within the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth range (30 feet, preferably closer).

Tip 2. Check three discovery settings.

There are three levels for AirDrop: Receiving Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone. If you are trying to airdrop from iPhone to Mac but stuck on waiting, it is suggested that you choose Everyone on both macOS and iOS.

Contacts Only: You will only be able to send and receive files from people in your contacts.
☛ Everyone: You can share with everyone.

Tip 3. Check personal Hotspot to turn it off.

AirDrop may stuck on waiting when Personal Hotspot is enabled on iPhone/iPad. You need to turn it off from the Control Center.

Tip 4. Disable Do Not Disturb.

If the Do Not Disturb Mode is enabled on your Mac or iPhone device. Airdrop may not work well. So, you need to turn off the DND Mode.

On iPhone or iPad, turn off it on the Control Center.

On Mac, go to the Notifications icon in the top-right corner, turn off the DND Mode.

do not disturb

3#. Reset network working

If you have problems with Wi-Fi connection, you can reset network settings to connect your device for airdropping. Just go to Settings General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

reset network setting

4#. Log out and back into iCloud

Signing in and back into iCloud can refresh your account to avoid account-related errors that could cause 'AirDrop keeps saying waiting'.

Step 1. Open Settings > click [your name] > tap Sign Out.

Step 2. Enter your Apple ID password to confirm and tap Turn Off.

Step 3. Go back to Settings to Sign in with your iCloud account. 

5#. Force reboot iPhone/restart the device

It is possible that your device gets stuck on and cause AirDrop waiting iPhone to mac, so just restart your iPhone or Mac.

For iPhone 6 and earlier: Press the Sleep/Wake button and Home button until the Apple logo appears.
For iPhone 7 and Plus: Press the Sleep/Wake button and Volume Down button until the Apple logo appears.
For iPhone 8/X and later: Press the both Volume Up and Volume Down buttons together, then hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

reset iphone

For Mac: Click on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen, and choose the Restart option.

restart mac

6#. Update the system

Sometimes software updates occasionally cause troubles, but sometimes can fix them. You can try to update macOS or iOS version.

For iOS: Go to Settings  > General  Software Update, and check if a new version of iOS is available.

ios software update

For macOS: Click the Apple icon > System Preferences or About This MacSoftware Update Update Now.

macos update

Bonus: Alternative to AirDrop for transferring files 

Sharing files using AirDrop requires many complex preparations and steps, and you'll find that AirDrop doesn't work well as expected and airdrop waiting issue may occur. Especially if you’re transferring large amounts of data at once, AirDrop cannot meet your need of airdropping multiple photos, messages, contacts, and more files.

Here we recommend FoneTool as the best alternative to AirDrop. Features and advantages of this tool:

🚩 Stable and fast transfer: Unlike AirDrop showing waiting to stuck, FoneTool can transfer data at a higher speed between iPhone/iPad and computer via USB connection.
💥 Preview and selective data: You can preview and select the specific items you want during the transfer.
🔥 No data loss: You won't lose the original data when transferring files in batch.
🔊 Simple operation interface: The transfer process can be completed with just a few clicks.

Now, download FoneTool on your computer to transfer data by clicking the icon below.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Run FoneTool, connect your iPhone/iPad to the computer with USB, click Phone Transfer and go to iPhone to PC.

transfer to computer

Step 2. Click the “+” icon to choose the files you want to transfer, and click OK.

choose photos

Step 3. Click Start Transfer > Select a storage path on the Transfer Settings and click the Transfer button to start.

click transfer



Hope this article can help you solve the AirDrop stuck on waiting issue. If not, you can ask Apple Support for help. If your AirDrop waiting too long, or you need to share large files, it is suggested to try FoneTool. In addition to transferring data, it can also create a full iPhone backup to better manage iOS device files.

If this guide helps you, please share it with more people.

Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.