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Note - my IMac doesn’t have a functioning WiFi card.

The workaround to this before High Sierra was released now doesn’t work for me without a Wi-Fi Card to enable AirDrop.

*additional information: My Wi-Fi Card was removed or disabled due to damage. AirDrop continued to work just fine over ethernet. The lack of a Wi-Fi Card might be what is causing AirDrop not to enable it self in High Sierra.

Is there any third-party app or system modification that performs the same functionality on 10.13?

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    So basically this is not a High Sierra specific problem then? Can you edit your question to make this more obvious? – nohillside Nov 12 '17 at 17:11
  • @patrix yup.. I updated the question. – Frank Barcenas Nov 12 '17 at 17:16
  • Would have been good to know before taking the effort to answer. :/ Hope you find a workable solution. Cheers! – bjbk Nov 12 '17 at 17:49
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    I’ve tried to edit this to reduce the chance that more people try to answer assuming WiFi is working. Also - why not add a third party external USB WiFi card so you can just use AirDrop as designed? – bmike Nov 12 '17 at 18:09
  • @bmike You think that is possible? Will it work? I have a bunch of USB based WIFI adapters. I can try each one. Let me check. – Frank Barcenas Nov 12 '17 at 21:23
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Please note that my answer has not been updated after it was made clear that the Wi-Fi hardware had been disabled/removed.

You can add AirDrop to Finder favourites by going to Preferences->Sidebar and ticking the box next to AirDrop.

If it's missing from there, you can reset the Finder settings by deleting the following files:

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist

Log out/reboot/force quit Finder to reload the settings.

The Apple support page says AirDrop is supported on 2009 and newer models

  • nope not there. I'm on a iMac (27-inch, Late 2013) maybe they dropped support for this model?? dunno. – Frank Barcenas Nov 12 '17 at 15:48
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    Frank has non-functioning hardware - this isn’t an obvious configuration question and more of a hack the system to extend designed functionality type question – bmike Nov 12 '17 at 18:07
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    My answer was written before he added the additional information. I will add a note about it. – Astralis Nov 12 '17 at 18:29
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    Yes - I wonder if there’s another question where your good answer could go live. Thanks for being clear with the edit! I wonder if we could salvage it with a step 1 - use this external USB WiFi adapter that’s known to support AirDrop and turn it on. Then your steps would be a perfect answer for many if not the asker of the question. – bmike Nov 12 '17 at 18:57
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EDIT: Below was in answer to the original High Sierra question, but it appears that the original question has changed when the hardware issue came to light. I am leaving the answer below posted in case others find it useful when coming across this question. The hardware should either be fixed or a third party WiFi USB dongle that supports 5GHz 802.11n or 802.11ac can be used to re-enable AirDrop.

Apple has not removed Airdrop from macOS 10.13 "High Sierra" but if one doesn't see it in the Finder Sidebar, try restoring it.

  • Go to Finder > Preferences +,

  • Select Sidebar

  • Tick the Airdrop checkbox


Finder Preferences


This article from Ars Technica review High Sierra and computable Macs.

From the article:

For a handful of macOS features, mostly related to graphics and wireless communications, you’ll need a system that’s slightly newer than the minimum baseline. For “Continuity” features like AirDrop and Handoff, you’ll need a Mac with both Bluetooth 4.0 and a 5GHz 802.11n or 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter:

MacBook (Early 2015 and later)
iMac (Late 2012 and later)
MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later)
MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later)
Mac Mini (Late 2012 and later)
Mac Pro (Late 2013)

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