“I’ve been trying to share files from my iPhone, but Airdrop says waiting. What should I do?”

When you’re an iPhone user, there’s no denying that AirDrop is the most convenient feature for sharing data and files with other iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Well, yes! It’s user-friendly and can transfer quickly.

While AirDrop is a pretty great feature, it can also encounter issues like when it’s stuck on waiting. That means you won’t be able to transfer any files to other Apple devices. This AirDrop Waiting issue has been troublesome for some users for quite some time now. If you are also dealing with the same problem, you might be losing hope.

Well, good news! We’ve curated effective methods to fix AirDrop stuck on Waiting and you can try them yourself by following the tutorials below. Stay tuned!

AirDrop Waiting Poster

FYI: Possible Reasons Why AirDrop Stuck on Waiting Occurs

Before we dig directly into the solutions, it’s crucial that you understand what causes the “AirDrop Waiting” issue. That way, you’d know which method can best fix the issue. Here are some of the possible reasons according to users’ complaints and experiences:

  • Both devices are not physically close.
  • AirDrop fails to detect other People/devices
  • Receiving iPhone is locked
  • Bluetooth/WIFI is disabled
  • There are system bugs and glitches
  • iOS update issues

If none of the causes above is the culprit, it’s possible that the problem is hardware in origin. Perhaps, it’s an issue with the WIFI/Bluetooth module. You should take your phone to a professional technician if you think that’s the case.

Still, it’s too early to jump to conclusions. There are ways you can fix this issue yourself and save time, money, and effort.

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Solution 1: Place Both iPhones Together to Fix AirDrop Stuck on Waiting

AirDrop can get stuck on waiting when both phones are not near each other. Yes! Even though AirDrop has a big range when it comes to detecting other iPhones, you may need to place both phones side by side sometimes, as illustrated in the image below. This could happen when there are external interference from other devices.

AirDrop iPhone

Your iPhone should be able to detect the other iPhone once it’s in a nearby range. To be sure, you can even place both phones really close together.

Solution 2: Unlock Receiving iPhone to Fix AirDrop Stuck on Waiting

This is pretty simple. You just need to make sure that the target iPhone is awake and its lock screen is unlocked. Yes! When the receiving iPhone is locked, AirDrop gets disabled which makes it hard for the source iPhone to detect nearby devices. That’s why you’d get the “AirDrop Waiting” message

Solution 3: Restart Bluetooth to Fix AirDrop Stuck on Waiting

AirDrop uses Bluetooth to detect nearby Apple devices. Like any other smartphone features, BT could encounter glitches that may result in AirDrop waiting. If it’s only a minor glitch, restarting Bluetooth on the iPhones involved could fix it.

Bluetooth Settings iPhone

All you need to do is go to your iPhone’s Settings and look for Bluetooth. There, toggle it off. After a few seconds (around 15-30 seconds), enable it again and see if you see “AirDrop Waiting”. You may also do the same with WIFI in Settings.

Note:

If Bluetooth and WIFI are turned off when attempting to send data, AirDrop will certainly get stuck on waiting. Just enable them before you start sharing files.

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Solution 4: Disable Personal Hotspot to Fix AirDrop Stuck on Waiting

AirDrop may get stuck on waiting when your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot is enabled. It could interfere with AirDrop’s ability to detect nearby Apple devices. Fortunately, it’s to disable Personal Hotspot.

Step 1

From the bottom of your iPhone’s Home Screen, scroll up to reveal Control Center. There, tap on the WIFI/Bluetooth card.

Personal Hotspot iPhone

Step 2

Then, you will see more quick options. Look for the icon with the Personal Hotspot label. If it’s green, it means it’s enabled. Just tap on it to disable the feature. Otherwise, just let it be.

Solution 5: Reboot Your iPhone to Fix AirDrop Stuck on Waiting

Like any other smartphone these days, you can also reboot or restart an iPhone to fix software issues. Performing a reboot can refresh your phone’s settings, getting rid of bugs and glitches. So, if you think they’re the ones causing AirDrop to get stuck on waiting, reboot your phone now!

Step 1

Hold the Side/Power and Volume Up buttons for  5-10 seconds until you see options on the screen. Then, just slide to power off.

Slide To Power Off iPhone

Step 2

Your iPhone will be turned off immediately. After 30 seconds, hold the Power key again to turn on the phone. When it’s booted up completely, you can retry AirDropping files and see if it’s still stuck.

Solution 6: Update Your iPhone to Fix AirDrop Stuck on Waiting

Major bugs and glitches caused by previous iOS versions could be the reason why AirDrop is stuck on Waiting. If there’s an available iOS version update (latest one), we recommend installing it, More often than not, OS updates include bug fixes. Just make sure the phone is at 50% and up battery.

Step 1

Open Settings and go to General. There, tap on Software Update. If there’s an available update, download and install it.

iOS Update

Step 2

You may be asked to enter your passcode. After that, the update will start and you just have to wait until it’s done. Then, you can try AirDropping files again and see if it works.

Note:

If your iPhone is already on the latest version, your only option is to factory reset the device. However, we suggest you back up your important data first before you proceed.

Bonus: Transfer Files via MobileTrans if AirDrop Is Stuck on Waiting

In case you were not able to fix the problem, you don’t need to wait for a technician to resolve it so you can transfer files again. There’s an app called MobileTrans that can manage and transfer your iPhone’s files to other iPhones and iPads.

All you need to do is install it on your computer (Mac/Windows) and connect both devices via USB cables. Then, the app will scan all the files and sort them into categories, making it easier for you to find them.

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  • Transfer between Android & iPhone, Android & Android
  • Back up phone to PC & Mac, Restore in one-click
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*Compatible with iOS/iPadOS 17, Windows 10/11, Android 13, and macOS Ventura.

Once all the files are scanned, you can start selecting the files you wish to share with the target iPhone. Yes, you can select files individually or in bulk. It’s up to your needs. After that, you can transfer them all in just one click.

MobileTrans can transfer various files and phone data such as:

  • Photos, videos
  • SMS, contacts, call logs
  • Documents, notes, mails
  • Music files and voice memos
  • Apps (with data)
  • More

You’d also be glad MobileTrans is much faster than AirDrop. When transferring heavy files, AirDrop can take 45 minutes for 64GB of data. MobileTrans can transfer the same size in just 5-10 minutes. How quick is that? And since it’s wired, it doesn’t matter if your phone’s Bluetooth/WIFI is broken.

MobileTrans Home

Moreover, MobileTrans supports transfer between iPhones running on iOS 5.0 and up. So, compatibility is not a cause for concern at all.

Now, if you wish to check out this app, you can get it for free by interacting with the banner above. Download it now!

Conclusion

AirDrop says waiting for a number of reasons, and most of the time, you can easily fix the issue with the methods above. However, if you’ve already tried them all and your iPhone’s AirDrop is still stuck on waiting, your best option is to have a professional take a look at it.

Nevertheless, such an issue should not hinder you from transferring files. There are alternative methods, like MobileTrans, that can surely help you.

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