How to fix AirDrop that suddenly stopped working after installing an iOS update on your Apple iPhone XS [Troubleshooting Guide]

AirDrop is an incredibly secure, Bluetooth-like feature found in recent Apple devices, iOS and Mac computers. It allows you to wirelessly beam various contents from your Mac, iPhone, iPad to any other recent Apple device with AirDrop support. AirDrop uses Bluetooth 4.x technology for power-efficient transmission and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi for fast transfer.

In case you will have some trouble using AirDrop on your new iPhone XS like unable to transfer files from your iPhone to Mac or any other Apple devices, then this post may be able to help you out. Highlighted below are generic solutions and workarounds that are used to deal with AirDrop transfer issues on the Apple iPhone XS handset. Feel free to refer to this walkthrough when needed.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

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What to do with iPhone XS with AirDrop that stopped working

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that your phone is connected to Wi-Fi and that Bluetooth is enabled. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be enabled or turned on to bring two devices together over-the-air using AirDrop. This also means that the other Apple device you want pair with your iPhone XS via AirDrop is connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must also be turned on. If AirDrop is still not working with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled on your phone and other Apple device, then you may go ahead and try these highlighted methods.

First solution: Soft reset/force restart your iPhone XS.

To clear out minor system errors on your iPhone XS that may be affecting AirDrop functions, try performing a soft reset first. This is the simplest recommended solution to various types of software problems from rogue apps and corrupted data. It also dumps junk files that are stored among other caches from the phone memory. You don’t need to back up files beforehand since this won’t affect any saved information on the phone. Here’s how it’s done:

  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 button or Side button again until the phone reboots.

As soon as your iPhone reboots, head over to settings to ensure that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features are enabled. Then get your other Apple device ready as well to reattempt AirDrop file transfer.

Second solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off again.

If you were able to use AirDrop on your iPhone XS before but then not anymore, then it could be just due to some random network issues affecting either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth functions of your phone. Should this be the case, performing the Airplane mode trick can potentially fix it. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu, then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode ON.
  2. While Airplane mode is turned on, restart (soft reset) your iPhone XS.
  3. Then go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode, and toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode OFF again.

This trick helps clear out minor errors affecting wireless radios and likewise refresh both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features.

Third solution: Sign out and back in to iCloud.

Some iPhone owners who have had troubled using AirDrop were able to find permanent remedy by simply signing out and back in to their respective iCloud accounts. Hence, you may as well consider giving it a try and see how it works on your end. Here’s how:

  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.

Retry using AirDrop on your iPhone XS after signing back into your iCloud account and see if it’s already working. If it’s not, then you may try resorting to software resets.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your phone.

To rule out network-related errors from the underlying cause, resetting network settings can help.

  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.

When the reset is finished, your iPhone will restart by itself. Default network settings and options are then loaded. Hence you will need to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features to use AirDrop again on your iPhone XS.

  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.

Try and see if that fixes the problem and gets your iPhone XS AirDrop feature back up and running properly again.

Fifth solution: Check for and install new iOS update for your iPhone XS.

Installing the latest iOS update for your iPhone can likewise be a potential solution if system errors or bugs are to blame. Software updates usually offer fix patches to address existing device issues from random bugs and system data corruption. You can check for new iOS update on your iPhone XS through settings. Here’s how:

  • Go to your iPhone Settings-> General-> Software Update menu.

If an update is available, an update notification will show up shortly. If there’s a new update, read and review the update details and system requirements. Then follow the given instructions to download and install new update on your iPhone XS.

A strong and stable Wi-Fi internet connection, ample of battery life and sufficient memory space are among the requisites to successfully install iOS update over the air. Otherwise, updating error may occur.

If none of the above solutions is able to fix your iPhone XS AirDrop function, then consider other options as follow.

  • Check and manage AirDrop settings. AirDrop has three options for you to choose from 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. To do so, head over to Settings-> General-> AirDrop menu, then select Everyone. 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.
  • Use alternative file transfer tools for iOS devices. There are actually a lot of alternative iOS file transfer tools available for download online. Hence if you’ve already ran out of options and still couldn’t get AirDrop to work on your iPhone XS, then you can try any other alternative file transfer software based on your preferences. Just pick the most credible and highly effective software that’s compatible with your Mac or iOS device platform.

Seek more help

Contact Apple support to report the problem if AirDrop is still not working on your iPhone XS after applying the previous solutions and other applicable workarounds. There may be some advanced settings or options that need to be configured on your device and in that case, you can ask further assistance from the support people.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.