How To Transfer Files Wirelessly From One Ios Device To Another?

Have you ever thought about how many files of all kinds we use in our daily lives?

It's kind of mind bending, if you think back just 20 years it was a completely different subject. Someone had a digital camera, and maybe the flip phone from matrix with some fancy ringtones on it... 

Today, a brave new world in which we use and share dozens if not hundreds of files every single day.

Think about funny memes, funny videos, business related files or simply notes you use for your next visit at the grocery store...

But there are moments when it comes in handy to be able to share files, without having to send them via email or text message, or maybe a chat application. For example very large files, that you cannot send via E-Mail or messaging application.

So how can you do that with your iPhone, iPad, Macbook, iMac or Mac Pro?

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How to transfer files wirelessly from one iOS device to another?

How to transfer files wirelessly from one iOS device to another? authorMarc

Let's start with how you can transfer files from one iOS device to another, maybe one you own or to a friends or colleagues iOS device.

Transfer Files Wirelessly On iOS Devices:

iOS has a built-in, native method for this called "AirDrop". AirDrop transmits files from one device to another via Bluetooth, even very large files can be transmitted relatively speedy. The speed depends heavily on the proximity of devices to each other, so if your two devices are very close to each other the transfer speed increases greatly.

One of the advantages of AirDrop is, that you can easily share a file with multiple devices / friends etc.

AirDrop also features privacy settings so that you can for example choose to only receive files from people on your contact list, while file transfer requests from strangers are silently dropped.

This is the preferred method of file transfer on iOS, simply because it works very well and you don't need any accessories like cables or maybe a third-party app.

How To Configure AirDrop For Secure File Transfers:

Before we can start transferring files, let's make sure your AirDrop is set up correctly to allow for maximum security while sharing files.

First, lock your phone. Now press the Home button once so your screen illuminates.

Now use one finger to swipe up, one fluid swipe motion from the bottom to the top. You will see a menu with all kinds of shortcuts has opened up, in the top left corner you find the shortcuts for Wi-Fi, Airplane mode etc.

Now you should tap & hold the Wi-Fi icon (The icon on the leftmost side):

Tap & Hold the bottom left icon

After a short moment, like a second or so, you see a new menu will open up. This menu allows you to change your Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth connectivity and some others.

For us, Bluetooth connectivity and AirDrop are important.

  • Make sure "Bluetooth" has a blue background and says "On". 
  • "AirDrop" should also be blue, and say "Contacts Only" below the icon

If yours says something else, or isn't blue simply tap once on the icon.

You'll now be presented with the AirDrop menu, where you can select the allowed sharing mode, or disable AirDrop entirely.

Here you should tap once on "Contacts Only":

Now your AirDrop is configured correctly, and we can start sharing some files, yeah!

How To Transfer Images Via AirDrop:

You can transfer just about any image via AirDrop, all you have to do is to save it to your camera roll first, in case it's not in there yet. For example images you received in iMessage (now boringly called Messages), you tap & hold the image and wait until the menu opens. There you tap on "Save" and then you can open your camera app.

You'll find that the image is now there, and when you again tap on the small icon in the bottom left corner of your screen (The icon with the arrow pointing upwards) you see the sharing menu open.

In the sharing menu, right at the top you can find the AirDrop menu, it is labelled "Tap to share with AirDrop". Right below that you will find one or many icons labelled with the name of the device it belongs to. Maybe also names of friends if any of them are close-by.

Now simply tap the icon, or icons you want to share the image with, now a message should pop up on the other device(s) asking if it's okay to accept the file. You can of course accept now, knowing your transfer is secured.

That was easy, right? Lets try to share some other types of files now that you're already an AirDrop pro!

How To Share Files Via AirDrop:

Another great feature of AirDrop is that you can share & transfer any file you have in your files application.

This app contains everything you have in your iCloud Drive, but can also contain files that you only have on one of your devices. You can save everything neatly in folders and sub-folders.

Now if you want to share or transfer a file from the file app, you simply navigate to the file in question, and then tap on it once. You might have to download it before if it is in your iCloud Drive but not downloaded onto your device yet. You download the file, also just by tapping on it one time.

Now the file is opened, and again you can see the sharing icon (The one with the upwards arrow) in the bottom left corner of your screen.

Same process as before, you tap it once, wait for the AirDrop menu to appear and tap on the device or person you would like to share this file with.


How To Share Notes Via AirDrop

The ability to share notes with your other devices, or maybe a family member (Think sharing the grocery list with your significant other) is really extremely convenient.

The process is very similar to sharing images & files. You need to open up your Notes app and navigate to the Note you'd like to share or transfer, then tap on it once so the Note opens.

The only difference is, here the sharing icon is in the top-right corner this time! Sneaky Apple, sneaky...

Otherwise the process is the same.

Now, AirDrop can also be used from some apps that support it. Not all apps have this feature, as it depends on the developer to integrate it. For some apps obviously it also wouldn't make sense.

In general all you have to do, is to look out for the sharing icon, whenever this icon is present you can tap it one time and see if the AirDrop menu comes up. Whenever it does, it means you can share this file via AirDrop.