My wife and I both have Iphone 8 running 11.4 (or at least mine is 11.4)

Very weird behavior that I noticed happened recently. I usually set my Airdrop to "Contacts Only" and leave it as such. I remember being able to send/receive photos or videos between our phones in the past using Airdrop.

However, yesterday, I had to set my Airdrop to "Everyone" so her phone could see my phone to send photos/videos. Why did the behavior change? She is a contact in my contact list. I even tested to make sure when I called, my contact name/photo pops up and vice versa.

  • 3
    Is she in your Contacts with the same Apple ID that she was signed in to her iPhone? Air drop in the older ios versions was very flaky and inconsistent.
    – fsb
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 3:34
  • @fsb, thanks for your interest in my question. the phone 6 months ago is the same phone now. However, we did migrate from older iphones to our current iphone 8. would migrating somehow experience this behavior? I am a little confused b/c it used to work 6 months ago with the new iphone 8.
    – Classified
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 3:40
  • I don't think migrating would affect it. The usual troubleshooting steps are about the best you can do. Check with other devices. Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on both devices and you're on the same wifi network. Sign-out and back in to icloud. Restart the device. Pray. If those don't work, search this site for similar problems and see if any of those answers help.
    – fsb
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 3:46

2 Answers 2


I just solved this problem after google brought me to this question. This problem has been bugging me for months.

My wife and I couldnt airdrop to each other unless we set airdrop to everyone and then we could send if we showed up in the "other people" section when using airdrop.

In my case I we had been using one apple id across both our phones and after we setup an appleid for my wife there were some issues.

I'm not sure if all of this is related but it seems that AirDrop is a feature of or at least linked to contacts. So after checking that all of our iCloud details were distinct I started to look at contacts.

Not sure if this is directly related but her 'My Info' in Settings/Contacts was still set to me. So I fixed that.

Did a restart of both hers and my phones.

Then she had multiple contacts for me. I beleive this is due to her and I working at the same organisation and both our phones being managed by the corporate MDM. When trying to link the two different contacts it would show a third contact with one of her email addresses, like the second contact had some link to a third contact that I couldnt see in her contacts list. Seemed a bit like an errant record. So in the end, I deleted all contacts entries for me from her phone and added myself back using the minimum appleid email address and mobile phone number.

I also deleted the instant messaging details for each other from both of our phones contacts.

After this I got the 5 airdrop requests that I had tried to send to her contact from my phone.

This is a bit of a ramble and I'm not sure if all steps are required for others in this situation but figured more information for others struggling with this issue.

  • Thanks for the detailed answer, I was having a similar problem since like a year ago and I was finally able to fix it by reviewing my contacts, it turns out that I had myself as a duplicate contact and for some reason that was preventing AirDrop to work. Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 3:36

I also struggled for a very long time, but in the end, the solution was simply to check my wife’s phone.

I discovered that my contact information on her phone was missing my iCloud email. Adding it instantly fixed the problem.

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