Can AirDrop Work Without Wi-Fi? Here is the Answer

AirDrop lets you quickly transfer files between iOS devices, but does AirDrop work without Wi-Fi? Read this guide to find out the answer.


By Dylan / Updated on May 31, 2024

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Why does AirDrop need Wi-Fi?

AirDrop is the simplest way to transfer files wirelessly between iOS devices and Mac devices. It lets you quickly share and receive photos, videos, contacts, webpages, and everything from other Apple devices nearby. 

airdrop icon

AirDrop utilizes Bluetooth to find nearby devices you can send to and create a secure point-to-point Wi-Fi network connection with the device you send from to transfer files. To use AirDrop, it is necessary to turn on Wi-Fi or cellular data and Bluetooth. With a Wifi connection, the transfer speed is faster.

However, some users would wonder can AirDrop work without Wi-Fi/internet? Or does AirDrop only work on Wi-Fi? Actually, AirDrop is available without Wi-Fi network. Although Wi-Fi needs to be turned on, you don't need to be on a Wi-Fi network. Because this transfer does not use the internet, nor a local Wi-Fi network.

Now, follow the next section to find out how to set up AirDrop and use it without Wi-Fi or cellular data, and know how to airdrop files from iPhone to computer/iPhone/iPad easily.

AirDrop work without Wi-Fi

In fact, AirDrop only works with devices within a range of about 10 meters or 30 feet because it uses Bluetooth to create the connection. Therefore, Airdrop can work with Bluetooth, and no Wi-Fi required.

1. How to AirDrop with Bluetooth

To make the AirDrop share files or data without Wi-Fi, you need to activate the Bluetooth and the Location Services. And then turn on AirDrop.

Step 1. Open the Control Center, press and hold the top left area that displays the airplane mode, wireless, cellular, and Bluetooth icons to expand the section.

Step 2. Tap AirDrop to turn it on. Select Everyone.

turn on airdrop

2. How to AirDrop without Wi-Fi on Mac

Does airdrop use data? In fact, you can use airdrop on your Mac without data and Wi-Fi. Just connect your iPhone to the Finder on your Mac to execute it.

Step 1. Run the Finder on the Mac, go to the AirDrop or press Command-Shift-R. A window will display available devices.

airdrop mac

Step 2. Drag a file onto one of the icons. A notification will appear on both Mac and other iOS devices, and then tap the Accept option.

How to airdrop/share files between iDevices without Wi-Fi connection

While AirDrop can transfer data using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, this doesn't seem like a good approach if you're transferring a lot of files. You can try other tools to transfer hundreds or thousands of data.

An AirDrop alternative called FoneTool is one professional iOS data transfer & backup software that can help you transfer photos, videos, music, messages, contacts from iPhone to iPhone/iPad or iPhone to computer. Also, its iPhone backup feature can help you save your precious data. Here are some of its advantages.

❤ All kinds of files type:  You can choose to transfer selected photos, videos, contacts, music, messages from iPhone to another one.
❤ Fast transfer speed: Transfer data in seconds with FoneTool, faster than AirDrop.
❤ Easy-to-use: With an easy operation interface, anyone can easily perform the transfer task by following the prompts.
❤ No data loss: If you need the data, you can restore the backup to the target iPhone without data loss.

Now, download and follow the steps below to see how to transfer files.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Open FoneTool, plug in your iPhone.

Step 2. Click the Phone Transfer > iPhone to PC option and click Start Transfer.

transfer to computer

Step 3. Click the “+” icon to choose the photos you want to transfer, and click OK.

choose photos

Step 4. Select a destination from Transfer Settings to save the photos, click Start Transfer to start.


In addition, there is an Airdrop alternative to share files between iOS devices- FoneTool iOS app. With this tool, you can easily transfer PDF documents, photos, videos, music from iPhone to iPhone/iPad without any data/Wi-Fi network.


Can airdrop work without Wi-Fi? The answer is yes. You can transfer data by using airdrop even without Wi-Fi network. Besides, it is recommended that you use FoneTool to transfer data, which supports multiple methods to easily transfer a large amount of data for free. 

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.