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I have a 2011 Macbook Pro (Retina), and a 2011 iMac. Both are running macOS 10.12.6. I'm trying to share files between my iPad Mini 2 (retina) running iOS 10.3 using the app Groovebox.

Airdrop works perfectly fine between the iPad and Macbook, no issues at all, it "just works". But between the iPad and iMac doesn't work at all and I can't figure out why.

I've tried, in no particular order:

  • Rebooting iMac
  • Rebooting iPad
  • Quit & relaunch iOS App
  • Deactivate/reactivate Bluetooth and Wifi on iPad
  • Deactivate/Reactivate Wifi on iMac
  • Deactivate the iMac Ethernet Service leaving only Wifi running
  • Disconnect the physical ethernet cable from the iMac
  • Open Finder on iMac and open AirDrop window

I'm out of ideas on why this refuses to work. The iMac just doesn't appear to the iPad at all, only the MBP shows up.

EDIT: I'm wondering if it could actually be the same issue asked in this question? I seem to recall that my iMac didn't support Bluetooth LE but I could be wrong.

  • Do you have do not disturb enabled on any of the devices? – Harcker Mar 3 '18 at 6:16
  • As a matter of fact yes, it’s enabled on the iPad. It doesn’t have any effect though, airdrop works fine with the MacBook but not the iMac because the iMac is just too old to support Bluetooth LE. – Jonathan van Clute Mar 3 '18 at 7:10
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I beliieve I've managed to answer this for myself. All my previous research only turned up issues around Airdrop not working with laptops, but I think the issue is the same.

Found this thread on the Apple discussion forums that says that you need a 2012 or later iMac to use Aiirdrop. Missed it by that much!

AirDrop system requirements To send items to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, or to receive items from those devices, you need a 2012 or later Mac model with OS X Yosemite or later, excluding the Mac Pro (Mid 2012).

To send items to another Mac, you need:

  • MacBook Pro (Late 2008) or later, excluding the MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2008)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2010) or later
  • MacBook (Late 2008) or later, excluding the white MacBook (Late 2008)
  • iMac (Early 2009) or later
  • Mac Mini (Mid 2010) or later
  • Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010)

The good news is inexpensive and very small USB adapters can add BTLE and AirDrop to older Mac with macOS versions that otherwise support AirDrop.

  • Asus BT400, IOGEAR GBU521 and GMYLE all seem to do the trick in several articles
  • Ah I wasn't aware of the adapters for BTLE. I might look into that if I decide this is something I'm likely to want to do a lot. Thanks! – Jonathan van Clute Mar 3 '18 at 3:56

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