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  1. #1
    Unhappy Airdrop issue. Macbook doesn't discover devices and vice versa
    Hello guys.
    So I have this issue for a while and I can't fix it and I desperately need help.
    I can't transfer files from my devices to my Mac via Airdrop. The devices can't discover the MacBook.

    iPhone 11 / iPad Pro 12.9 (3th gen) / MacPro 15 mid 2015 All using latest OS

    • I have no trouble transferring between iPhone and iPad. All works fine and fast.
    • I notices that sometimes Mac become visible only when I turn on BOTH iPhone and iPad. But Macbook disappears after a while.
    • Sometimes MacBook finds the devices after a while, sometimes finds only one of the devices. But quickly looses them after that.
    • Also in the rare occasions that I make it work, when sending files the progress bar stops on various occasions as if the connection has dropped and sometimes it continuous, sometimes the transfer just fails.
    • MacBook discovers one of my colleges MacBooks on another networks, but doesn't discover the MacBooks of other colleagues on the same network.
    • I've tried signing out from iCloud on MacBook and iPad (iPhone is relatively new so didn't try signing it out)
    • I've tried turning off and on wifi & Bluetooth on mac
    • I've reset PRAM and SMC on mac
    • All settings and permission are properly set on all devices
    • The firewall is turned off on mac
    • I'm using only one iCloud account on all devices
    • All devices are in the same network.
    • I've tried restarting all devices.



    Guys has anyone had a similar problem?
    Any other ideas on how to solve this?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Airdrop issue. Macbook doesn't discover devices and vice versa
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, U.S.A.
    Posts
    7,383
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 15, iPhone 11 iOS 13, 1st Gen 12.9" iPad Pro iPadOS 13
    Rep Power
    14
    This happens occasionally between my devices.

    How close are the devices involved?
    Are there other Bluetooth connected devices between the two you are having issues with?

    See if this article helps, Use Continuity to connect your Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch - Apple Support
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Thank you for answering ferrarr.

    - The devices are right next to each other.
    - No other Bluetooth devices connected. (MacBook has the magic mouse paired but currently not connected, and the iPhone has some bluetooth headphones paired but not connected at the time of testing).

    Thank for the article, reading it I recall some cases:
    - I rearly even see the Handoff icon on my MBP anymore.
    - When I receive a call on the iPhone, my MBP almost never suggests me to take the call. That's something that used to happen before but not now.
    - Universal clipboard doesn't work
    - Instant Hotspot. Sometimes I see the icon of my iPhone among the available WIFIs on my MBP but most of the time I dont'
    - Sidecar is not supported by my MacBook (mid2015)
    - Haven't tested the rest.

    Could the problem be the bluetooth?

  4. #4
    Airdrop issue. Macbook doesn't discover devices and vice versa
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, U.S.A.
    Posts
    7,383
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 15, iPhone 11 iOS 13, 1st Gen 12.9" iPad Pro iPadOS 13
    Rep Power
    14
    I think you may need to "Reset Network Connections" on your iOS devices, under Settings>General>Reset?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    I think you may need to "Reset Network Connections" on your iOS devices, under Settings>General>Reset?
    This didn't worked as well.
    Thank you for helping me by the way.
    Do you have any other ideas? I've tried everything I've found on the internet. The one thing I haven't is complete reinstall of osx.
    My best guess so far is that it's something with the bluetooth but not really confident about that

  6. #6
    Airdrop issue. Macbook doesn't discover devices and vice versa
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    59,823
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Catalina
    Rep Power
    55
    It sounds like you're experiencing interference which may be blocking the signal. Generally, devices on the same network in close proximity to one another should be able to airdrop. BT is notorious for causing interference and being interfered with. The fact that you're having difficulty with the "hot spot" being picked up also points to some kind of interference.

    Where is all this happening? Is it at home or at your work place?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    It sounds like you're experiencing interference which may be blocking the signal. Generally, devices on the same network in close proximity to one another should be able to airdrop. BT is notorious for causing interference and being interfered with. The fact that you're having difficulty with the "hot spot" being picked up also points to some kind of interference.
    Where is all this happening? Is it at home or at your work place?
    Work network. Here we have 2 networks, so I'll try switching all devices to the other network and test it. Will tell you the results after that.
    I haven't tested my home network, I rarely bring this MBP home. But might test that as well when on the weekend.
    About the BT, I've reset all it settings and I've reset the SMC and PRAM which supposedly also resets the BT. So I don't know what else can be done about that

  8. #8
    MBAmtloin
    Guest
    I never has any 100% air drop connection flow with my  devices, macmini and macbook air.
    i always had to reset or reboot something which was frustrating when the iPad could not send to the macmini.
    Even after removing and replacing the metal furniture in the room, there were still problems.
    what did help was plugging these  products into a surge protector that boosted the electricity.

    does the new 13 iosx have a files sharing option were a USB drive can retrieve a psd or jpeg file now?

  9. #9
    So still no solution to this problem.
    However I've found a workaround that works in 70% of the cases.
    1. Open airdrop on MBP
    2. On iOS choose a photo and open airdrop as you are about to share it. (the screen where you choose device)
    3. MBP appears on iOS
    4. Only then iOS appears on MBP, and then I can use airdrop. But only if I'm fast, it disappears after 30-60sec.
    5. If this doesn't work, I turn off and on again wi-fi and bluetooth and repeat the steps above.

    This is an annoying solution to use daily but it works (most of the times). Hope this helps anybody with similar problem.

    I'm still searching for general solution to the problem. So if someone has more suggestions/ideas please share it with me.
    Thank you




    @MBAmtloin not sure about the file sharing option.

  10. #10
    MBAmtloin
    Guest
    we all know that airdrop is iffy, annoying and not stable when files wait to be sent, which is seldom, but this happens
    sometimes having metal can interfere with the connection or a wifi router that needs to be reset can cause delays in airdrop.
    there were may times airdrop had no issues and worked great, a few times, nothing.
    i wish there was a definite solution like a "power on-off toggle" "airdrop turbo" or a code to make airdrop 100% but we need to accept this file transfer system is not 100% accurate and be happy when that works.

  11. #11
    Airdrop issue. Macbook doesn't discover devices and vice versa
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    7,596
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone 11 Pro, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Rep Power
    29
    The issue is most likely interference from other BT devices at work. All of your colleagues have phones, all blasting out BT signals, plus if you have hand-free landlines, or wireless land-lines, those use the same frequency band as BT. Plus all of the other laptops in your office may well be sending out BT signals. Plus those on the floor above you and below you, or even across the street. BT works at about 30 feet, so every device in that globe around you could be interfering with your own connection.

    As for the connection disappearing after a bit, that is how I have seen it work. I think that's the way it is designed, but I'm not sure. What I do know is that when I invoke Airdrop, it connects, but if I don't use it within about 30 seconds or so the connection is dropped.
    Jake

  12. #12
    Hey guys

    So as now I'm working from home I have the time to test it a few days in my home network.
    There isn't much of a change. MBP still can't find any of the devices (iPad & iPhone). So the problem is not in my work network or having lots of devices at work. At home we have 6 wi-fi devices in total.

    Still the only way I've managed it to work (and it works most of the time) is when I first share image from a device to MBP, and only then for a short period of time MBP can see the device and share back whatever I want.

    So after so long I haven't found a solution. I guess the only way is to clean re-install the MBP, which I might do when the next OSX comes out.

    Thank you every one for the help.
    Ofcourse if you have any new ideas I'm up to test them.

  13. #13
    Airdrop issue. Macbook doesn't discover devices and vice versa
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, U.S.A.
    Posts
    7,383
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 15, iPhone 11 iOS 13, 1st Gen 12.9" iPad Pro iPadOS 13
    Rep Power
    14
    I don't know if you have tried this, but you can make a new user account on your MBP, sign in with your Apple ID, then see if connects using the new account? This might confirm that there is an issue with your current user account, or not.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  14. #14
    Turning off firewall Worked for me after searching the web for months and trying 100's of solutions!!!! FINALLY!!

  15. #15
    Airdrop issue. Macbook doesn't discover devices and vice versa
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, U.S.A.
    Posts
    7,383
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 15, iPhone 11 iOS 13, 1st Gen 12.9" iPad Pro iPadOS 13
    Rep Power
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by yuanyasmine View Post
    Turning off firewall Worked for me after searching the web for months and trying 100's of solutions!!!! FINALLY!!
    That's a good point. I don't have mine turned on, since I have a Mac Mini.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

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