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How to AirDrop photos from iPhone to Mac [Easy and quick]

AirDrop is a handy function for seamless file transfer between Apple devices, and sometimes you may need to AirDrop photos from your iPhone to a Mac. Here's how to.

Emma Levine Updated on Jun 20, 2023 7:37 PM

You may fail to AirDrop photos from iPhone to Mac in bulk once at a time. Opting for a professional third-party tool such as iPhone Data Transfer presents a more effective alternative. This versatile software not only streamlines photo transfers between your iPhone and Mac in both directions, but also helps manage photos and albums in a clear structure.

You can easily transfer your iPhone photos to Mac with AirDrop when the devices are close to each other.

AirDrop is a cutting-edge feature that seamlessly enables the transfer of various file types, including photos, between compatible Apple devices nearby. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth activated on the devices, you can AirDrop your photos from iPhone to Mac effortlessly. In this guide, we'll show you how to AirDrop iPhone photos to your Mac with ease. Now, let's dive in.

Table of Contents

See also: How to move photos from iPhone to iCloud

How to AirDrop photos from iPhone to Mac

AirDrop, a revolutionary feature created by Apple, redefines the way we share photos and files across Apple devices. Before AirDropping pictures from your iPhone to Mac, here're some important points you need to know:

  • Your iPhone should run iOS 7 or later, and your Mac should be of Mac OS X Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) or later.
  • WIFI and Bluetooth should be enabled on both devices to make the connection. However, WIFI network is not an essential condition to use AirDrop.
  • The devices should stay within 30 feet from each other for stable detecting.
  • Turn off Personal Hotspot before your start to AirDrop iPhone photos to your Mac.
  • You can log in with different Apple ID accounts on the two devices.

Where is AirDrop on iPhone and Mac?

Below, you'll learn how to find and turn on AirDrop on both your devices before you AirDrop images from your iPhone to Mac. Go on to take the following steps.

On your iPhone: Go to Settings > General > AirDrop, and select Everyone or Contacts Only to set the visibility of your iPhone.

On your Mac: Click Control Center in the upper right corner on the computer screen, and hit AirDrop to choose Everyone or Contacts Only.

The "Everyone" option allows any nearby Apple device with AirDrop enabled to detect your device and send you files, even those not in your contacts, can see your device and initiate file transfers. While the "Contacts Only" option restricts AirDrop visibility to only the people listed as contacts on your iPhone or Mac.

Steps to Airdrop iPhone photos to Mac

After you've turned on AirDrop on your iPhone and Mac, you can try to select your photos and AirDrop them from the iPhone to Mac.

Step 1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone, then tap Library at the bottom and tap Select in the upper right corner.

Step 2. Select the photos that you need to AirDrop from your iPhone to your Mac, and tap the Share icon in the lower left.

Step 3. Choose AirDrop and choose your Mac's name, and tap Done at the upper right.

Step 4. On your Mac, click Accept on the AirDrop window pops up from the upper left to confirm receiving the photos sent from your iPhone.

Tip: If you are using the same Apple ID account on your iPhone and Mac, you don't have to confirm on your Mac every time you AirDrop your iPhone photos. It will automatically receive the photos after you AirDrop the photos from your iPhone to Mac for the first time.

How to find AirDrop photos on Mac

Open the Downloads folder on your Mac and you'll see the Airdropped iPhone photos placed in the time order. You can click on them to view in a larger size, or edit them as needed.

Wondering where to find other AirDrop files on different Apple devices? Here's a detailed guide: Where do AirDrop files and photos go? Find them on iPhone, iPad, Mac


  • If you send too many photos from your iPhone to Mac using AirDrop once at a time, the transfer process may suspend and you may need to send them again in batches. In this case, it's better to use an expert tool like iPhone Data Transfer to efficiently transfer photos in bulk.

AirDrop alternative - Quickly transfer photos in bulk between iPhone and Mac

When you need to transfer a significant number of photos from your iPhone to Mac or in the opposite directions, iPhone Data Transfer surpasses AirDrop in efficiency. With stable device connections, this tool allows for crash-free transfers of large photo collections. In just a few clicks, your selected iPhone photos will be swiftly transferred to your Mac.

Download Now!

for macOS | for Windows

In addition, this program provides a user-friendly photo management interface, featuring a clear album structure for effortless organization. Take full control as you can add, move, or delete photos between albums according to your preferences. And this excellent software will keep the photos in full resolution and automatically convert the HEIC photos in your iPhone to JPG and PNG files after the transfer.

Furthermore, this feature-rich tool extends its capabilities beyond transferring photos from iPhone to Mac. It can also transfer other media files like videos and songs between two iOS devices, or between iPhone and Windows PC in both directions.

How to transfer photos from your iPhone to Mac using iPhone Data Transfer:

1. Unlock your iPhone and connect it with your Mac using a cable. Allow your computer to access your iPhone by tapping Trust from the window on the device.

2. Launch the software on your Mac. Your iPhone will be automatically read by this program and you can see the device information from the main interface.

3. Click Photos on the left side and select the iPhone photos that you need to transfer to Mac. Once you get into the Photos section, you can see all the photos and albums clearly listed in the shooting time order. Choose the ones for transfer, or use the Check All option above the photos to select all the pictures.

4. Click the computer icon at the top to transfer the photos after selecting. Also, you'll need to choose a folder to store the chosen images, and click Open to start the transfer.

Learn more: How to transfer photos from iPhone to MacBook Air

Fixes to "Airdrop from iPhone to Mac not working" problems

1. Devices are not detected: Check whether Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on the devices, and their distance is within 30 feet. Or you can adjust AirDrop visibility settings to either "Everyone" or "Contacts Only." And you can also try restarting both your iPhone and Mac to refresh their systems and potentially resolve any temporary glitches.

2. The photos AirDrop process stopped halfway: Send pictures separately in batches rather than select too many photos at a time.

If you want to transfer photos from iPhone to USB, check our guide on how to transfer photos from iPhone to USB directly - 7 ways

Final words

In conclusion, it's just a breeze to AirDrop photos from an iPhone to a Mac. While AirDrop provides a built-in solution for transferring files between Apple devices, it may encounter limitations when dealing with a large number of photos or facing connectivity issues.

On the other hand, iPhone Data Transfer emerges as a reliable third-party tool that excels at efficiently handling bulk photo transfers while offering additional features like album management and format conversion. In short, it can surpass AirDrop in some degree.

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