Why is AirDrop so Inconsistent?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Bryan Bowler, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #1
    Ever since AirDrop became a feature a few years ago, it has never worked on a consistent basis. I was hoping OS X El Capitan would change that. I'm a huge Apple fan, but this is really disappointing. It's such a blatant problem and I don't know why they have not addressed this yet.

    All of my various Apple devices are less than 2 years old. I have very strong wi-fi. I always have bluetooth enabled. When I pull up AirDrop on both devices, they only see each other about 50% of the time. Sometimes it works, but 50% of the time they don't see each other and then I have to resort to using Dropbox or pulling out a portable hard drive to make the transfer. Frustrating.

    Does anyone else experience this? Is there anything I'm missing here or doing wrong?
     
  2. KenaiAndrews macrumors newbie

    KenaiAndrews

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    I've noticed that too. My 2011 Macbook Pro with Yosemite and now El Capitan has never been able to recognize my iPhone 6 Plus via AirDrop.
     
  3. ColdShadow macrumors 6502a

    ColdShadow

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    #3
    Yes..Airdrop is very hit and miss unfortunately.not reliable at all.I've tried it on many Apple devices and same inconsistancy every time.
    on one of the machines that I use (2012 iMac) it doesn't work at all! no matter how long you wait for it yo detect the other device.
    Basically it sucks and Apple doesn't seem to care about fixing it.
     
  4. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #4
    AirDrop is spotty for me also. I would like to use it often but I rarely try because of how hndependable it is.
     
  5. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #5
    Exactly. I don't use it often, because whenever I try it has failed so many times, so I have given up.
     
  6. fiveainone macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2011
    #6
    It works 100% of the time since Yosemite for me. Mavericks was very hit and miss.

    Make sure both wifi and bluetooth on both devices. Set airdrop to everyone on iOS, as well as in Finder (under the Airdrop link on the left pane of finder). See if that works. If not reset one or both machines and try again. It also takes a couple seconds for it to show up on the dialog box btw.
     
  7. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #7
    I'm glad it is working for you. All these things have a done for years and have restored various devices frequently and still find it to be unreliable. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes it works perfectly. Other times it's spotty. Therefore, I rarely attempt it.
     
  8. Bryan Bowler thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #8
    Thank you for trying to help -- it's much appreciated. I always have Bluetooth and Wi-fi enabled, and I even have the option selected for "Everyone". Yet, it still doesn't work about 50% of the time. I even just rebooted by 2-yr old MBP and my 5K iMac, and after rebooting, neither one can see each other and they are within 6 ft of each other.

    Software bugs exist and I get understand that, but this has been a problem for a few years now. And a blatant one at that since the entire thing doesn't even work.

    I really am considering writing to Apple on this one. They really should fix it or just eliminate the feature all together.
     
  9. fiveainone, Oct 3, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015

    fiveainone macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #9
    Do you set Airdrop off and on again on both? I remember on Mavericks I had to do that multiple times, and there were sequences I had to follow to make show up. Buggy back then for me, don't have to do that anymore.. but I guess you can try turning off/on everything multiple times and see..

    Edit- I just remembered when my mac was also connected to Apple TV, it would make the Airdrop not work. So make sure nothing else is connected to bluetooth.

    Edit 2 - Also try this.. click on the AirDrop in Finder first and have it see your phone, THEN tap the share button the phone..
     
  10. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #10
    I also get very mixed success with Airdrop to the mac.
    Works about 90% of the time between iOS devices however.
     
  11. Bryan Bowler thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #11
    Thank you for the suggestions. I've tried toggling it off and on. Every now and then, that works. But many times it doesn't. It's just inconsistent for me. I wish the feature actually worked because it would be really useful.
     
  12. beebarb macrumors 6502

    beebarb

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    #12
    It's inconsistent because of the way it works.
    It forces an ad-hoc hybrid Wi-Fi+Bluetooth network, in a manner incompatible with some network configurations.
    With some configurations, the incompatibility is so bad, that AirDrop can interfere with normal Wi-Fi connectivity.
     
  13. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    England
    #13
    In that case apple should also look to fix their AEs and TMs then - given I'm using their hardware to do this..
     
  14. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #14
    I've tried all those options and no luck so far

    Exactly how are we supposed to "have it see your phone" when we can't get it to do anything in the first place. :D

    The Mac and the iPhone are sitting next to each other and this is all I get, no matter what the settings are...

    image.png
    Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 10.56.46.png
     
  15. johnalan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #15
    I had the same problem as you. http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/airdrop-driving-me-nuts.1922653/#post-22018149

    It's now sorted in beta 2 of 10.11.1 - works every time, its amazing
     
  16. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #16
    That sounds promising. :cool:
     
  17. mattysouthall macrumors member

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    Jul 23, 2012
    #17
    We use it a lot at work between Yosemite machines, it is very unreliable, machines don't always show up properly. Hopefully it is fixed in 10.11.1 when we get around to updating our machines.
     
  18. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #18
    As long as I have the receiving device unlocked I have a relatively high success rate for AirDrop.
     
  19. Donga120 macrumors 6502

    Donga120

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Location:
    Derby
    #19
    I have a Macbook Pro Retina (Late 2013, with Bluetooth 4.0) and I have it all linked up to my iPhone (Email for iMessage, Handoff, iCloud and iCloud Drive etc). It is running El Capitan 10.11.1 Beta 2 and I can sometimes see my iPhone 6+ (Running 9.1 Beta 3) via AirDrop.

    However, my iPhone 6+ will not see my Macbook at all, and other devices such as an iPhone 5 running 9.1 Beta 2 will not pick my laptop up either.

    I have them all on the same Wi-Fi, bluetooth is all turned on (iPhone 6 wont connect to my Mac for some reason, says its unsupported), AirDrop is set to 'Everyone' on both devices.

    Anyone got any advice on why my iPhones cannot see my Mac.

    Thanks.
     
  20. deany, Oct 4, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015

    deany macrumors 68020

    deany

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    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #20
    AirDrop on ios is very unreliable too, can take up to 2 minutes if at all.

    My old Psion 3c, Sienna, Revo & Psion 5 could exchange data via IR with more or less 100% reliability!!

    Ps
    those days were expensive for tech though, just checked my contacts searching 'psion' and Simple Technology were selling a 32 mb flash for the Psion at £340.00 equal to a 500 GB flash costing £5,312,500 or $8,063,292 needless to say I didn't buy one.
     
  21. fiveainone macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #21
    I guess I'm just lucky. Had that exact screen just now.. so I looked at my phone, and turned wifi on. Nothing. On the finder, I changed Contacts Only to No One, nothing for 2 secs, changed to Everyone, showed up in 2 sec..
     
  22. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #22
    Unfortunately, 10.11.1 beta 2 has not resolved it at all. I can't get any of my devices - rMB, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6S to see each other (iOS devices running iOS9). It never works. Ever.
     
  23. Old Goat macrumors newbie

    Old Goat

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    Oct 5, 2015
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #23
    As some have said above, I find that airdrop between my iMac (late 2013), on Mavericks and my iPhone 5s (iOS 8), worked fine. But from Yosemite and on to El Capitan, nothing. Upgraded to iOS 9 on phone, still nothing. Yet my wife has a new iPad Air on iOS 9 and between that and my phone, no problem! But the Mac did pick up the pad the other day for about 10 seconds!! I think we should all bombard Apple with email about this.
     
  24. johnalan macrumors regular

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    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #24
    Do your iOS devices see each other ?
     
  25. Old Goat macrumors newbie

    Old Goat

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    Oct 5, 2015
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #25
    Yes, I can see iPad from phone and vice versa. My daughter came up yesterday and experimented with her phone to iPad etc and all ok...except the Mac!!
     

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