Best Fixes for AirDrop Stuck on Waiting on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

AirDrop is a convenient feature offered by Apple devices that allows seamless file sharing between iPhones, iPads, and Macs. However, users sometimes encounter an issue where AirDrop gets stuck on the “Waiting” status, preventing them from sending or receiving files. This can be frustrating, especially when you need to quickly share important documents or media. In this article, we will explore the 10 best fixes for resolving the AirDrop stuck on waiting issue on your Apple devices.

Understanding AirDrop and the Waiting Issue

AirDrop employs a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology to enable swift and secure file transfers between nearby Apple devices. When a user initiates an AirDrop transfer, the device creates a temporary peer-to-peer connection with the recipient’s device. However, at times, this process can encounter glitches, causing the transfer to become stuck on the “Waiting” status. This issue can occur due to various reasons, including network connectivity problems, software bugs, or conflicting settings.

Fix 1: Check Device Compatibility and Proximity

AirDrop operates effectively only between compatible devices that are within close proximity of each other. Ensure that both the sending and receiving devices support AirDrop and are close enough for a reliable connection. Make sure that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on for both devices, as they are essential for AirDrop functionality.

Fix 2: Verify Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Settings

In some cases, the AirDrop waiting issue can be attributed to connectivity problems. Check if Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on both devices and that they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Weak or unstable Wi-Fi signals can lead to transfer interruptions. Switching to a stronger network connection might help resolve the issue.

Fix 3: Toggle AirDrop and Bluetooth Off and On

Resetting AirDrop and Bluetooth settings can sometimes eliminate the waiting issue. Start by turning off both AirDrop and Bluetooth on both devices. After a few seconds, turn them back on. This action refreshes the connections and can resolve minor connectivity glitches that might be causing the problem.

Fix 4: Restart Devices

A simple yet effective solution for many technical glitches is restarting the devices. Reboot both the sender and receiver devices to clear any temporary software issues that might be affecting the AirDrop functionality. After the devices are restarted, attempt the file transfer again.

Fix 5: Adjust AirDrop Settings

AirDrop offers three visibility settings: “Everyone,” “Contacts Only,” and “Off.” If your AirDrop is stuck on waiting, it’s worth checking if both devices have compatible visibility settings. To do this:

  1. On iOS: Go to Settings > General > AirDrop and select the desired visibility setting.
  2. On Mac: Open the Finder, click on AirDrop in the sidebar, and adjust the visibility setting at the bottom of the window.

Choosing “Everyone” temporarily can help troubleshoot the issue, but remember to set it back to your preferred setting for privacy reasons.

Fix 6: Disable Personal Hotspot

If the sender device is using Personal Hotspot, it might interfere with AirDrop functionality. Disable Personal Hotspot temporarily to see if it resolves the issue. Navigate to Settings > Personal Hotspot and turn it off.

Fix 7: Reset Network Settings

Sometimes, the problem might be rooted in network-related settings. Resetting network settings can help address connectivity issues that could be causing AirDrop to get stuck on waiting. To reset network settings:

  1. On iOS: Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This action will reset Wi-Fi, Cellular, and Bluetooth settings to their default values.
  2. On Mac: Open System Preferences > Network, select your active network connection, and click the Advanced button. From there, you can choose to Reset Wi-Fi or Reset Bluetooth settings.

Keep in mind that after resetting network settings, you’ll need to reconfigure Wi-Fi passwords and reconnect to Bluetooth devices.

Fix 8: Update Software

Outdated software can lead to compatibility issues and bugs that might affect AirDrop functionality. Ensure that both the sending and receiving devices have the latest version of iOS or macOS installed. To check for updates:

  1. On iOS: Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  2. On Mac: Click on the Apple menu, then select System Preferences > Software Update.

If updates are available, install them and then attempt the AirDrop transfer again.

Fix 9: Disable VPN and Third-Party Firewalls

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and third-party firewalls can sometimes interfere with the peer-to-peer connections required for AirDrop. Temporarily disable any active VPNs and third-party firewalls on both devices and test the AirDrop functionality. If the issue is resolved, you can consider reconfiguring these tools to allow AirDrop connections.

Fix 10: Perform a Hard Reset

If none of the above solutions work, performing a hard reset on both devices might be the last resort. A hard reset can help eliminate persistent software glitches. The method to perform a hard reset varies depending on the device:

  1. On iPhones and iPads: Press and hold the Power button along with the Volume Down button (for iPhones with Face ID) or the Home button (for iPhones with a physical Home button) until the Apple logo appears.
  2. On Macs: Shut down the Mac, then turn it back on while holding down the Shift key. Release the key when you see the Apple logo.

After the devices are reset, attempt the AirDrop transfer again.


AirDrop is undoubtedly a valuable feature for seamless file sharing among Apple devices, but encountering the “Waiting” issue can be frustrating. By following the 10 fixes outlined in this article, you can troubleshoot and resolve the problem effectively. Remember that the root cause of the issue can vary, so it might take some trial and error to find the solution that works for your specific situation. Whether it’s adjusting settings, resetting network configurations, or updating software, these steps should help you get AirDrop back to its reliable functionality, allowing you to effortlessly share files between your iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Leave a Comment