Top 6 Fixes to iPhone SE AirDrop not Working

What can you do when iPhone SE AirDrop is not working? You may need to try the 6 quick fixes in this guide. An AirDrop alternative is also available for you.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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AirDrop not working on iPhone SE

I just got a new iPhone SE 2020 and I am unable to receive the file from my iPad via AirDrop. I have airdrop set up to receive from everyone. It appears that my iPhone is not connecting with my iPad.

- Question from Apple Community

It’s convenient to share files wirelessly between two iOS devices. It is pretty useful but sometimes it may refuse to work. Why on earth AirDrop suddenly stops working on your iPhone SE and how can you fix the issue? This guide will elaborate on every detail to you.

AirDrop Icon

Why AirDrop not working on iPhone SE?

The issue AirDrop not working on iPhone SE can result from kinds of aspects and here are some of them. They may bring you some inspiration to how to fix the issue.

• Long distance between two devices. If your iPhone SE and the other iOS device are not in the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth range (usually within 40 feet), AirDrop cannot work.
• Wrong AirDrop settings. You can only utilize AirDrop unless you set up it properly, which will be introduced in detail in the next part.
• Software glitches. Any minor software bugs or an outdated version of iOS may cause your iPhone SE AirDrop not working problem. 

6 fixes to iPhone SE AirDrop not working

Here are six quick methods to help you fix iPhone SE AirDrop not working issue. The methods are also helpful if you encounter the same issue on other models of iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Alternatively, two AirDrop-like tool are available for you in the next part.

Fix 1. Check AirDrop-related settings

When AirDrop is not working on your iPhone SE, you may need to check AirDrop settings in the first place. The relative settings you need to check are as follows.

Make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled
During the data transfer using AirDrop, Bluetooth is used to detect devices while Wi-Fi helps you transfer files. Therefore, you need to check the two prerequisites before utilizing the AirDrop function.

Besides, please make the two devices close to each other within the Bluetooth range during the process.

Make sure AirDrop is discoverable
Only when your iPhone SE AirDrop is discoverable by others, can you share files with other iOS devices. Thus, You need to set the AirDrop to Contacts Only or Everyone. Go to the control center or the Settings app to have a check.

Access AirDrop

If you have set up AirDrop properly, but it still doesn’t work, you can try the other methods below to get yourself out of the trouble.

Fix 2. Force restart iPhone SE

You can try to refresh your iPhone SE by force restarting it. It is one of the simplest solutions to fix common issues you encounter on iOS devices. It may be also workable when AirDrop is not working on iPhone SE.

For iPhone SE (1st Gen): Press both the Home button and the Top/Side button at the same time > Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone SE (2nd Gen): Quickly press and release the Volume + button > Quickly press and release the Volume - button > Press the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

Restart iPhone

Fix 3. Turn on and off Airplane mode

Toggle on and off Airplane mode on your iPhone SE can be a decent choice to avoid any network problems especially those affecting wireless radios that cause AirDrop stops working.

You can locate the Airplane Mode settings from the control center or by visiting the Settings app > Airplane Mode. Turn it on to disable all wireless radios.

Turn On Off Airplane Mode

After waiting for seconds, you can turn it off and set up your AirDrop again to check whether your issue is solved.

Fix 4. Reset network settings

You can reset network settings to refresh it to avoid any other network issues as well. Resetting network settings doesn’t erase any data on your iPhone SE. Instead, all Wi-Fi password and Bluetooth connection history will be wiped clean.

To reset network settings, go to the Settings app on your iPhone SE > General > Reset (Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset for iOS 15 or later) > Reset Network Settings > Sign in with your passwords to confirm.

Reset Network Settings On iPhone

Fix 5. Update to the latest iOS version

As mentioned above, an outdated version of iOS may contain some bugs that result in iPhone SE AirDrop not working. Therefore, if there is a new version of iOS available, please update it. You can check iOS updates by visiting Settings > General > Software Update to check for updates.

Software Update

Fix 6. Log out & in iCloud account

Account-related errors can also lead to AirDrop not working on your iPhone SE. It’s easy to fix such errors by logging out your iCloud account and logging in again.

Here are the detailed steps. Tap Settings from your home screen > Choose [your name] > Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap Sign out > Enter your Apple ID password when asked and tap Turn Off.

Sign Out  Of iCloud

AirDrop alternatives for file sharing across iOS devices

Hopefully, one of the methods above has troubleshot your problem. You may need to try some AirDrop alternatives to transfer files. Here recommend two AirDrop alternatives for you.

Option 1. FoneTool (App)
FoneTool can be seen as one of the best AirDrop alternatives. What is the biggest different is that you can be free to transfer multiple files at a time using the FoneTool app. Without complicated settings, FoneTool provides you with a simple and fast way to share across iOS devices. Search FoneTool in the App Store or scan the QR code below to download and install FoneTool. Let's take transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone as an example.

MBackupper QR Code

Step 1. Turn on Wi-Fi on both iPhones and place them close to each other > Open the FoneTool app > Click Connect Device and tap the name of the iPhone to establish a connection between them.

Connect To iPhone

Step 2. On the source iPhone, click File Transfer > Tap Photos to browse and choose the wanted photos > Tap Send to begin the task.

Tap Send Photos

Step 3. Receive the files on the target iPhone. The transferred photos will be saved in the Photos app directly and automatically. You can go to the Photos app to have a check.

Option 2. FoneTool (Software for Windows PC)
Honestly speaking, FoneTool is not an AirDrop-like tool, but its transfer functions may provide you with an excellent experience of file transfer from iPhone to iPhone, iPhone to computer, and vice versa.

What FoneTool differs from AirDrop and AirDrop-like tools:
• Offline transfer process. Without influence from Internet, you can transfer files in a stable way with USB connection.
•Transfer batch files in seconds. You can select and transfer files in batch. For example, you can transfer 100 photos in no more than 3 seconds.

Transfer To Computer


That’s all for the 6 solutions to “iPhone SE AirDrop not working” issue. Hope one of the methods can help you out. If you have any other queries, feedback, or suggestions, please contact us.

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.