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I'm on a wifi network with a whole bunch of other computers, all of which have AirDrop set to "Allow me to be discovered by: Everyone." (And I do not control these other computers, so I can't go turn off their AirDrop.)

When I open AirDrop in Finder, I see 8 of these other machines' hostnames, but not the specific one I want to communicate with.

  • Is there a way to show all AirDroppable machines, not just the first eight?

  • Even better, is there a way to say "I only care about the machine with hostname foobar; please show me that one"?


I have found two workarounds:

  • Carry both computers to a Starbucks or something, where there is a wifi network without so many other Macs on it.

  • Tunnel via what AirDrop calls an "older Mac". (That is, airdrop the files from the source machine to the older Mac, then airdrop the files from the older Mac onto the destination machine.) This works because the newer Mac can see the older Mac only when the latter has its AirDrop window open, and the older Mac can see the newer Mac only when the latter is "Searching for older Macs...". As long as the wifi network doesn't have eight older Macs on it (and all with their AirDrop windows open!), this will work.

  • Something might be wrong with AirDrop. How about enabling file sharing on your destination computer and just connecting to it via the sidebar, instead? – Harv Dec 8 '17 at 8:55
  • @Harv: I have no reason to believe that anything is wrong with AirDrop on my machine specifically. Why do you suspect it? Can you (Harv) see more than the top eight machines in AirDrop, usually? – Quuxplusone Dec 8 '17 at 18:39
  • I don't think I've ever tried with 8+ machines. But I have had issues with AirDrop in the past, and I'm never surprised if it doesn't work. IMO it's a but flaky. I'm an IT consultant by trade so my hands are on many people's Macs and networks all day every day. – Harv Dec 8 '17 at 18:40

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