When I'm sending things to my desktop from my iPhone, it randomly doesn't show my computer until I open up AirDrop in the Finder. Does anyone know why this is? (it just shows the blue circles instead of my Mac Pro)


  • Mac Pro Late 2013 (OS 10.12.3)
  • iPhone 6s (10.2.1)

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According to your devices, it should work reliably. But Apple documentation makes two relevant observations:

  1. Find out if the Mac has “Block all incoming connections” turned on in Security & Privacy preferences. A Mac won't receive items using AirDrop if this setting is turned on.

    1. If AirDrop on the receiving device is set up to receive items from contacts only, make sure that both devices are signed in to iCloud. Also make sure that the email address or phone number associated with your Apple ID is in the Contacts app of the receiving device.

If your Mac Pro is located on a safe environment, I would go to Finder > AirDrop and set it to accept files from anyone. It made my devices find each other much faster in my experience. It might do the trick for you.


It depends of when your devices were built.

AirDrop works differently on Macs from before 2012 -- AirDrop used Bonjour and personal area networking (PAN) to discover and transfer files between Macs. When AirDrop came to iOS 7 in 2013, it used Bluetooth LE and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to transfer data. It was an incredibly secure implementation, but it wasn't compatible with the older version present on the Mac. MacOS now supports both versions of AirDrop — the Bluetooth LE/Wi-Fi protocol and the Bonjour/PAN combo — but it defaults to the former.

Can you please post your Mac and iPhone specific models?

  • Added models/versions to my post. – ffxsam Feb 28 '17 at 4:49

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