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How to fix AirDrop that stopped working on your Apple iPhone XS Max after updating iOS [Troubleshooting Guide]

When it comes to more secure file transfers between Apple devices, AirDrop emerges among the best options. It is a Bluetooth-like feature embedded into the recent Apple devices including later iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. With AirDrop feature, you will be able to wirelessly beam different contents from your Mac computer to your iOS devices or vice versa.

This feature works using the Bluetooth 4.x technology thus caters power-efficient transmission and faster file transfer execution with peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection. But just like any other advanced iOS features, AirDrop is also not free from random flaws. And you will just know when something goes wrong if AirDrop isn’t working on your iPhone. On the positive note, these types of problems are generally attributed to software errors and therefore they are rectifiable.

To give you some inputs, I have outlined some of the most effective solutions to a post-update AirDrop problem on an iPhone. Read on to find out what to do if suddenly AirDrop stops working on your iPhone XS Max after updating iOS to the latest version.

But before anything else, if you have another issue with your phone, drop by our troubleshooting page as we have already addressed hundreds of issues reported by the owners. Odds are that there are already existing solutions on our website or at least, there are similar problems we already fixed. So, try to find ones that are similar or related to your problem. If you need further assistance, however, feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: Reboot your iPhone.

It is normal for some features to act up following a system transition as some files or data segments get corrupted and triggered atypical symptoms. And the simplest potential solution you can try on first would be a system restart or soft reset. If you haven’t restarted your iPhone yet after updating, then do it now with these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

Alternatively, you can do a force restart to clear out errant apps and corrupted system data that might have caused AirDrop to fail. Apps usually go rogue after a platform transition as initial reactions. Performing a force restart can help keep these apps back to their normal working state. Here’s how to force restart your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears.

Both these restarts won’t affect your saved contents hence you don’t need to create backups beforehand.

It is also recommended to restart the other Apple device that you want to use AirDrop with your iPhone XS Max. Doing so will rule out software-related errors that might have prevented the other device from connecting to your iPhone through AirDrop.

Second solution: Sign out of iCloud then sign in again.

Some people who encountered this same errors after installing a new update were able to find permanent solutions by signing out of iCloud and signing back in. If you wish to give it a try, then here’s what you should do then:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap iCloud.
  3. Select the option to Sign out.
  4. After successfully signing out of iCloud, reboot/soft reset your iPhone XS.
  5. Then go back to Settings-> iCloud menu.
  6. Select the option to Sign In to iCloud again.

After successfully signing back into your iCloud account, retry using AirDrop on your iPhone XS Max to see if it is already working as intended.

Third solution: Toggle Airplane mode on and off.

Performing the Airplane mode trick also does wonders to some iPhone owners who were facing the same post-update dilemma with AirDrop. Here’s how the trick is done:

  1. Head over to your iPhone Settings-> Airplane Mode menu, then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode ON. Doing so disables wireless functions of your iPhone including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features.
  2. While Airplane mode is turned on, restart (soft reset) your iPhone XS Max.
  3. Then go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode, and toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode OFF again.

Wait for your iPhone to re-establish Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Once connected, retry using AirDrop and see if it’s working fine already.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone.

If AirDrop is still not working after performing the above tweaks, then you may have to consider performing software resets. As your next option, you can try a network settings reset to clear out network-related errors from the underlying causes. This reset will erase all your current network configurations, APNs, and server settings on the phone. So before you proceed with these steps, take note of your Wi-Fi passwords because you will need to re-enter them later.

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Wait for your iPhone to finish resetting and restoring the default network settings. An indication that the network settings reset is finished would be when your iPhone reboots by itself. All your network configurations will then be deleted. Hence you will need to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features to use AirDrop again on your iPhone XS Max.

  1. To enable Wi-Fi, simply go to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu, then toggle the switch to turn Wi-Fi ON.
  2. To enable Bluetooth, go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu, then toggle the switch to turn Bluetooth ON.

Once Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are activated, try using AirDrop and see if the problem is gone.

Fifth solution: Restore your iPhone to its factory default settings.

The last option you have left to try on if AirDrop is still not working after exhausting all prior methods would be a factory reset or master reset. This will likely fix the problem if major system errors or data corruption is at fault. But before you do, create backups of all your personal information and critical data as they will also be wiped out along with other information on the phone. You can back up files to iCloud or iTunes for that matter. When the backup is secured, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone XS Max through settings menu:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm factory reset.

Wait until the reset is finished and for your iPhone to restart. After it reboots, follow the onscreen instructions to set up your device as new.

Check and manage AirDrop settings.

After performing a factory reset, verify your AirDrop settings. You may have to re-configure some options as they might have changed or reset to defaults. To access this information, head over to Settings-> General-> AirDrop menu. Once you’ve reached that menu, select from the given AirDrop options including Receiving Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone.

Contacts Only is by far, the most complex since it needs to verify who knows who. In that case, you can try switching to Everyone and reattempt to use AirDrop with that selection.

Make sure your other device is set to an AirDrop-ready mode.

If you’re trying to use AirDrop from your iPhone to your Mac computer and your Mac isn’t visible, then go to your Mac computer then launch Finder. Then navigate to the sidebar and click AirDrop. From there you can also toggle between Everyone, Contacts, or No One options. That should put your Mac computer in an AirDrop-ready state, thus allowing it to be recognized by your iPhone.

Seek more help

Contact Apple Support to report the issue and ask for further assistance and official recommendations. Let them know exactly of how AirDrop started to fail and what you’ve done so far when attempting to fix the problem on your end. If the problem is confirmed to be inflicted by an iOS bug, then a fix patch would be necessary. In that case, you will likely to need to wait for a follow-up update containing the needed patch.

In the meantime, you can resort to using other alternative file transfer software to use.

I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!

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