Fix 2: Check AirDrop Visibility to Fix AirDrop Waiting
If the source iPhone is stuck on AirDrop waiting, it’s possible that the receiving iPhone’s AirDrop visibility is set to Receiving Off. This blocks all attempts to detect and establish a connection with the device. You need to make sure that it’s either set to Contacts Only or Everyone, depending on the situation.
Go to the Control Center and tap on the WIFI/Bluetooth card to see more options. There, the AirDrop icon should be in Green/Blue.
If not, you may tap on the icon to enable it. Then, choose Contacts Only or Everyone. After that, proceed to the source iPhone and try AirDropping again. You should be able to see the device.
Fix 3: Reboot iPhone to Fix AirDrop Not Working
It’s probably a glitch or bug if the phone’s Bluetooth, WIFI, and AirDrop are already set, but it still doesn’t work. The best course of action when this happens is to reboot or restart the device. Yes! For starters, a reboot can refresh all system settings and possibly remove unknown glitches that may be causing the issue.
For iPhone X and later models:
Press and hold the Side Key and the Volume Down button simultaneously. Release them both once you “Slide to Power Off” on the screen.
Next, slide it to the right to start rebooting the device. You may need to wait for at least 30 seconds until it’s completely turned off. After that, just hold down the Side key to power on. Release it when you see the Apple logo.
For iPhone 8 and earlier models or iPhone SE and later iterations:
Hold the Side button or the top key until you see the power-off slide on the screen. Drag it to the right and wait for 30 seconds to make sure the device is fully powered off.
Then, press and hold the Side/Top key and release it when you reach the Apple Logo.
That’s it. After successfully rebooting/restarting your iPhone, try if you can use AirDrop without any issue. If AirDrop still won’t work, the problem is perhaps with the iPhone’s current iOS version.
Fix 4: Update your iPhone to Fix AirDrop Not Finding Anyone
Bugs and glitches are part of an ever-changing software like iOS. Some bugs can affect features such as Bluetooth, WIFI, and AirDrop. The good thing is Apple typically sends out bug fixes through updates. So, you really don’t have to worry as you can update to the latest iOS version to fix all the bugs.
However, you need to make sure that the phone is at 50% or higher battery percentage when updating to avoid bricking it due to interruption.
Connect your iPhone to a WIFI network. Then, go to Settings and proceed to General. There, tap on Software Update. If there’s an available update, tap Download and Install. You may need to enter your iPhone’s Apple ID or Passcode for verification.
When the download is complete, just tap on the Install Now option. The update will start. Just wait until it’s done. Just make sure that you don’t turn off the phone while the process is ongoing.
After that, try AirDropping files again and see if the bugs have been resolved.
If there’s no available update, your last resort is to factory reset your iPhone. This will delete all data and restore the device to factory settings (before the issue occurred). We recommend backing up your important data beforehand. You can access Factory Reset in the General section, too.
Bonus: Export/Import Files with iCareFone Instead of AirDrop
The methods above could fix the issue, but if they can’t, there’s still a way for you to export/import files on iPhone. There’s an app called iCareFone that is made for managing iPhone data and you can use it to transfer files across devices.