How to fix AirDrop suddenly not working on iPhone Xs/Xs Max

AirDrop is a secure and Bluetooth-like feature on MacOS and iOS devices. With Airdrop, you can wirelessly beam several contents from your Mac, iPhone, iPad to other MacOS and iOS devices. AirDrop requires Bluetooth 4.x for power-efficient transmission and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to transfer files faster.

If you have some trouble with AirDrop on your new iPhone Xs/Xs Max when it’s not possible to transfer files from your iPhone/Mac to other Apple devices, then this post will help you out. Here are generic solutions to resolve AirDrop transfer issues on your iPhone Xs/Xs Max. Refer to this walkthrough when you feel necessary.

What to do if AirDrop stops working on iPhone Xs/Xs Max

Before getting started, make sure that your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth is also enabled. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be turned on to connect two devices over-the-air with AirDrop. The other Apple device you want to pair with your iPhone Xs/Xs Max through AirDrop needs to be enabled. If you see AirDrop is not working with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your phone and other Apple device, you should try these highlighted methods below.

Solution 1: Restart your iPhone Xs/Xs Max

To clear out minor system errors on your iPhone XS that may be affecting AirDrop functions, try performing a reboot. This is not only the simplest solution to several types of software problems from corrupted data, but it also dumps junk files stored among other caches from your iPhone memory. This method does not require you to back up files since it does not affect any saved data on your phone. Here’s how to get it done:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds.
  2. When the Slide to Power Off command appears on the screen, simply release the button
  3. Drag the slider to the right.
  4. After 1 minute, press and hold the Power button again until your device boots up.

Now, head to settings and make sure that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features are enabled. Your iPhone is now ready and you can reattempt AirDrop file transfer.

Solution 2: Enable/Disable Airplane Mode

If you could use AirDrop on your iPhone previously but then not anymore, the problem is due to random network issues that are making Wi-Fi or Bluetooth functions work incorrectly. Should it is the case, the Airplane mode trick can possibly fix it. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Go to Settings-> Airplane Mode toggle Airplane Mode switch to ON.
  2. After the Airplane mode is enabled, restart your iPhone Xs/Xs Max
  3. Now, return to Settings-> Airplane Mode, and toggle the Airplane Mode switch OFF.

This simple trick can help clear out minor errors that are causing damage to wireless radios and refresh both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features on your iPhone.

Solution 3: Sign out and log back into iCloud account

Some iPhone Xs/Xs Max users who have dealt with AirDrop problems when it did not work could find permanent remedy just by signing out and logging back in their iCloud accounts. So, you can also consider giving it a try and check if it works on your end. Here’s how to get it done:

  1. Launch Settings app from the Home screen.
  2. Tap on iCloud > choose Sign out option
  3. Once you have successfully signed out of iCloud, just reboot your iPhone Xs/Xs Max
  4. Return to Settings-> iCloud menu.
  5. Tap on Sign In option to log into iCloud again.

Now, you can try using AirDrop on your iPhone Xs/Xs again and check if it’s already working. If it’s not, you should restore to software resets.

Solution 4: Reset network settings

To get rid of network-related errors caused by the underlying cause, a network settings reset can be a good solution. To do so:

  1. Open Settings app from the Home screen.
  2. Tap on General > Reset.
  3. Choose Reset network settings option
  4. Enter your passcode when prompted.
  5. Tap on the popup to confirm network settings reset on your phone.

Once the reset is completed, your iPhone will automatically reboot itself and load default network settings. You then need to re-enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features to use AirDrop on your iPhone Xs/Xs Max

  1. Navigate to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu, then toggle Wi-Fi switch ON.
  2. To enable Bluetooth, simply head to Settings-> Bluetooth menu, then toggle it ON.

Now, check if that could fix the problem and bring your iPhone XS AirDrop feature back to work properly again.

Also see: How to fix an iPhone XS/XS Max gets unresponsive after updating to the latest iOS version

Solution 5: Install the latest iOS update for your iPhone

If there are some system errors or bugs to blame, updating your iPhone to the latest iOS version a potential solution. Software updates usually include patches to fix existing problems caused by random bugs and data corruption. You can check for the latest iOS update on your iPhone in settings. Here’s how to do so:

  • Head to Settings-> General and tap on Software Update

If there is an update available, you will see an update notification showing up. Simply read and review the details and system requirements and then follow the onscreen instructions to install the new update on your iPhone Xs/Xs Max.

If none of the above solutions helps you fix your iPhone Xs/Xs Max’s AirDrop function, you should consider other options listed below.

  • Check and manage AirDrop settings.

AirDrop offers three options, including Receiving Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone.

  • Contacts Only is the most complex because it requires verifying who knows who.
  • In this case, you can use Everyone and retry to use AirDrop. To do so, navigate to Settings-> General-> AirDrop and select Everyone. If you are using AirDrop from your new iPhone to your Mac device, but Mac isn’t visible, open Finder on your Mac. After that, go to the sidebar and click on AirDrop. From there, you can toggle among EveryoneContactsNo One Your Mac will be put in an AirDrop-ready state, allowing your iPhone to recognize it.
  • Use alternative file transfer tools

There are still a number of alternative iOS file transfer tools that can help you transfer file on your iPhone. If you already run out of options and the AirDrop could not work on your iPhone Xs/Xs Max, you can then try other alternative file transfer app based on your preferences. Pick up the most credible and effective software that’s compatible with both your iOS and Mac devices.