Air Drop on unsupported devices

bmac89

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 3, 2014
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Hello,

I realise my old iMac (model 9,1 early 2009) does not meet the official requirements for air drop but I came across an article that has steps to activate airdrop (using terminal command) even on unsupported macs back to 2008.

http://osxdaily.com/2011/09/16/enable-airdrop-ethernet-and-unsupported-macs/

I realise it is an old article and maybe the newer versions of OS X no longer have this workaround.


So my iMac (running El Capitan) already has the air drop icon in finder by default but of course does not work. I followed the steps in the article but I still can not see my iPad listed under air drop (iPad Pro iOS 11 beta), nor can I see my Mac on the iPad.

I don’t hold much hope of getting this working but If I know others have got this method to work I can persist and possibly narrow down a solution.

So has anyone successfully used this method to enable air drop on unsupported devices?

Thanks
 

iModFrenzy

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Jan 15, 2015
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Our actions define our legacy
I believe it depends on your wifi card, which one do you have?

My MBP 2010 doesn't airdrop with my iPhone 6S however it detects my 2015 MBA just fine. I read somewhere that you need a AC wifi card, which my MBP 2010 doesn't have but the MBA does.
 

bmac89

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 3, 2014
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I believe it depends on your wifi card, which one do you have?

My MBP 2010 doesn't airdrop with my iPhone 6S however it detects my 2015 MBA just fine. I read somewhere that you need a AC wifi card, which my MBP 2010 doesn't have but the MBA does.
Thanks for the reply.

I have an early 2009 iMac (9,1) with an AirPort Extreme card (0x14E4, 0x8E).

Under system information > network > wifi it says AirDrop: supported
Not sure if this is just after entering the terminal command or whether it has always said that.
 

iModFrenzy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2015
802
665
Our actions define our legacy
Thanks for the reply.

I have an early 2009 iMac (9,1) with an AirPort Extreme card (0x14E4, 0x8E).

Under system information > network > wifi it says AirDrop: supported
Not sure if this is just after entering the terminal command or whether it has always said that.
(Removed it cause it has my IP/Mac Address)
Could you tell me what Support PHY Modes there are? This is a screenshot from my MBA that Airdrops fine with my iOS 11 iPhone 6S, my MBP 2010 only says A/B/G/N but can't do it to my iPhone 6S(has a AirDrop folder though as if I can)
 
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bmac89

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 3, 2014
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Just like my MBP 2010, no AC wifi.

You might be able to upgrade the wifi card to an AC wifi card, that should allow you to airdrop. I could try testing the theory on my iMac Mid-2007, just got to find a wifi card.
Thanks heaps for your help.

I don’t think upgrading the wifi card would be worthwhile? Maybe it will work as is between my old iMac and MacBook (both non-AC wifi cards)? ...but I would need to update OS X on my MacBook first.

In the meantime I have found some air drop alternatives. So far I have tried intashare airdrop which works with wifi & Bluetooth between iPad and iMac but I’m only using the free trial app on Mac.

I wonder if anyone has any recommendations for air drop alternatives? (preferably free but paid ok as well)

Thanks again :)
 

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