Problem: Airdrop is not working in Macbook pro 2015 model ( OSX 10.11.6 El Capitan ) with iPhone 6s (iOS 9.3.5). Both OS are latest updated. Note: Tried mac connecting with two iphones (6 ans 6s). Although both iphones are able to connect with each other using Airdrop

When I open Airdrop in finder window in Mac it is not showing me my iPhone. Also when i try to share some image in iPhone then it doesn't show me mac in Airdrop.

Steps Tried :- I have set airdrop settings to Everyone. Also bluetooth and wifi are working perfect on both the devices. In firewall also nothing is blocked. Even tried with firewall disabled. Also tested in safe mode and test user but not working. Also tested with icloud signed out but that also not worked.

Should i reinstall the Mac OS X again? Any suggestions.


1 Answer 1


I would not expect AirDrop to work in SafeMode as most kernel extensions and features are hobbled / disabled. I also wouldn't reinstall unless you feel that's needed for another issue.

I don't see a good troubleshooting article from Apple - but this has some hints: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203106

Specifically - when you have hotspot enabled on iOS - AriDrop doesn't work.

Additionally, if you have any internet security, firewall, vpn software installed, that can cause problems on the Mac side.

The initial discovery of devices happens over bluetooth - so if you don't see other devices - look for bluetooth interference or issues with that hardware. If you see the other device, but the transfer is slow or fails, you can track that on the Mac side:

netstat -nr | grep awdl0

That will show all the IPv6 network connections and you can run sudo tcpdump -i awdl0 to trace the network traffic that is used to transfer files over AirDrop.

You are on the right track - powering off bluetooth and wifi, restarting both devices, powering on bluetooth and WiFi and then retesting. Worst case, you need a third device to see which of the two works with another device that you know works with AirDrop.

If that doesn't work - look at this answer on the thread below for more in-depth tools to debug AirDrop using graphical tools and the command line:

  • I will try the in-depth debugging technique shared by you. I reinstalled the OS yesterday but that didnt help. FYI bluetooth of Macbook is able to connect with JBL speakers for playing music. BTW mike if my wifi/bluetooth works fine then also airdrop issue can come from hardware?
    – Mani
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 3:43
  • Powering off bluetooth and wifi, restarting both devices, powering on bluetooth and WiFi and then retesting - Already done. Tested with another iphone also. Another iphone which is able to airdrop between my iphone and another mac couldnt airdrop with my mac. - Tested third device.
    – Mani
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 3:47
  • So the Mac is the problem. That changes things. Reinstall or repair seem likely next steps, @Mani
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 5:38
  • I have already reinstalled the Mac OS X again yesterday. Can it be the hardware issue ?
    – Mani
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 5:45
  • 1
    Finally airdrop in my macbook(in same wifi) started working after upgrading to newer version of MacOs i.e. MacOsSierra.
    – Mani
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 5:47

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