How to fix AirDrop not working on iPhone after iOS 17 update

By Dave Johnson - Senior Staff Writer
5 Min Read

Is AirDrop not working on your iPhone after iOS 17 update? Here are several troubleshooting tips to fix AirDrop on your iPhone.


  • If AirDrop isn’t working on your iPhone after iOS 17 update, ensure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are working properly.
  • Make sure that your receiving settings are properly configured, and then unlock the devices to make them discoverable.
  • Be sure to restart your devices after making changes to your settings and try AirDrop again.

iPhone showing an incoming AirDrop, a photo of a tree swing, with options to decline or accept.  

Note: Information in this article applies to the iPhone 11 series, 12 series, 13, 14, and 15 series iPhones.

It appears that some iPhone 15, iPhone 14, iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 users are experiencing AirDrop problems after upgrading to the latest version of iOS 17. When you experience this problem, you may not be able to send or receive AirDrop files. More specifically, you may experience one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Unable to send or receive a file from an iPhone running iOS 17 using AirDrop.
  • Unable to detect other devices.
  • AirDrop transfers are failed or declined.

AirDrop lets you send and receive photos, videos, documents, contacts, passwords and more and it can be used between Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

AirDrop uses Bluetooth to discover the nearby devices and Wi-Fi to wirelessly share and receive the content. With iOS 17, Apple added the ability to continue AirDrop transfers over a cellular connection if the two connected devices move out of Wi-Fi range after the sending process has started. I use AirDrop frequently to share things quickly and it is a great feature when it works. , but what if AirDrop stopped working after iOS 17 update? What then? Here are ten fixes to get it back up and running again.

How to fix AirDrop not working on iPhone in iOS 17

1. Switch off your VPN

Let’s start with a simple fix. If you have enabled a VPN on your iPhone, then disable it. AirDrop relies on Bluetooth to detect the recipient’s device, and Bluetooth is only effective to a maximum range of 10 meters (30 feet). If your VPN is redirecting your internet traffic to a location further than that, then the recipient’s device will not be detected by AirDrop. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go into General.
  3. Tap VPN & Device Management.
  4. Tap VPN.
  5. If Status says Connected, turn it off.

2. Check AirDrop Settings

If the other Apple devices nearby cannot AirDrop to you or if you cannot send files via AirDrop, you should make sure that your settings are correct. There is one inactive setting and two active settings for AirDrop: Receiving Off prevents anyone from sharing anything with you over AirDrop, Contacts Only limits shares to people whose email address or mobile number appears in your contacts, and Everyone for 10 Minutes temporarily accepts shares from any sender. The 10-minute limit was introduced to help prevent users from becoming the victim of an unsolicited AirDrop share.)

If you’re having trouble getting AirDrop to work after installing iOS 17 on your iPhone, try switching to Everyone for 10 Minutes if it’s not already selected. Here’s how:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your 1. Launch Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Go into General.
  3. Tap AirDrop.
  4. Choose Everyone for 10 Minutes.

3. Toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

AirDrop relies on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to transfer files over the air. So, the obvious question is, is your Wi-Fi even working, and is your Bluetooth switched on? If you’re experiencing an internet outage, then you may not have noticed. So, if you’re still having trouble getting AirDrop to work on your iOS 17 device, try rebooting the router, then try switching off both radios completely on your device, then turn them back on again.

To reboot your router, follow the steps below:

  1. Unplug your router from the power source.
  2. Wait about 15 seconds.
  3. Replug the router to the power source.

To toggle Wi-Fi on iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings on your iOS 17 device.
  2. Go into Wi-Fi.
  3. Toggle off the switch next to Wi-Fi, then toggle it back on.

To toggle Bluetooth on iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Settings on your iOS 17 device.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the switch next to Bluetooth to toggle it off, then tap it again to turn it back on.

4. Disable Personal Hotspot

Wi-Fi mobile hotspots are extremely popular if you need to quickly jump online and you can’t find another Wi-Fi connection. But if you or the person you are AirDropping are hosting a Personal Hotspot, AirDrop won’t work.

Therefore, you need to turn it off and rely on a Wi-Fi connection. To turn off your hotspot, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Personal Hotspot.
  3. Swipe the button for Allow Others to Join to the left. Your personal hotspot is now disabled and you can try to AirDrop again.

5. Make Sure Your iPhone is Unlocked

If your devices are locked and sleeping, then they won’t appear to one another, and therefore, AirDrop won’t work.

In order to make the devices discoverable, you need to unlock the devices and keep the screens awake for the duration of the file transfer.

6. Bring the Devices Closer to Each Other

When a shared Wi-Fi network isn’t available, AirDrop relies exclusively on Bluetooth to find devices and transfer files.

Bluetooth has a range of about 33 feet (10 meters) on modern iPhones, so make sure the two devices you want to use AirDrop between are within this range, otherwise it might not work.

Please note: with iOS 17 update, you can start transferring a file to a friend while you are in the same room. But if you have to leave the spot, the transfer can continue over cellular data.

This is useful when you have to send a bunch of photos and videos to a friend, but you have to leave.

This option is turned on by default. You can check if it’s enabled on your iPhone by heading to Settings > General > Airdrop > Out of range.

7. Update your iPhone

Ensure that your iPhone or iPad has the latest version of iOS 17. Apple periodically releases updates to its operating systems to fix bugs. Here’s how to check for iOS update:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Update. If an update is available, follow the on screen instructions to update your iPhone.

8. Hard Reset Your Device

If none of the above have solved AirDrop issues on an iOS 17 device, try doing a hard reset. A hard reset of your iPhone will not delete any data from it. It’ll just reboot the phone from scratch.

To hard reset your iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Upbutton.
  2. Now press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Press and hold the Power button.
  4. When the Apple logo appears, release the button.

9. Reset your iOS 17 device

If AirDrop is still not working on your iPhone, go ahead and reset your device.

You can start by doing a soft reset, which is resetting the Network Settings. This will not delete your personal data. Instead, network settings is just what the name suggests – everything to do with the network will be reset back to factory settings. This includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – the two things AirDrop needs to work.

To reset network settings, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Tap Reset.
  5. Select ** and follow onscreen instructions**. And follow the onscreen instructions.

If that doesn’t work, then you need to do a full wipe of the iPhone and go back to scratch. Make sure you have an iCloud backup of all your data because this will wipe everything you have.

To erase your iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Tap Erase All Content & Settings, then follow the onscreen instructions.

10. Contact Apple Support

If none of the above steps have solved your iOS 17 AirDrop problems, it could be down to a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi hardware issue. If in doubt, the best course of action is to contact Apple Support or check in to a Genius Bar at your nearest Apple store and they can run a diagnostic check on your iPhone.

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By Dave Johnson Senior Staff Writer
Dave Johnson is a staff writer for GeeksChalk based in New Jersey. He covers news, how-tos, and user guides for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.
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