AirDrop Issues (Bad Speed, Quality, Fix Options)

AirDrop uses principles from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to transmit data between various Apple devices, but like any other software, it also faces some hurdles. This write-up points out some of these challenges and how you can correct them.

So, why is AirDrop so bad? AirDrop, a feature available on Apple devices, is generally considered a convenient and efficient method for wirelessly transferring files between compatible devices. However, some users may perceive AirDrop as being problematic or “bad” due to a few reasons:

  1. Limited Compatibility – AirDrop is exclusive to Apple devices and is not compatible with non-Apple devices or older Apple devices. This restricted compatibility can be perceived as a drawback when attempting to transfer files to devices from other manufacturers or older Apple devices that lack AirDrop support.
  2. Connectivity Issues – While AirDrop is designed to simplify file sharing, it may sometimes encounter connectivity issues. For example, users may experience intermittent connection failures or difficulties discovering nearby devices. These connectivity issues can hinder the seamless transfer of files and lead to frustration.
  3. Privacy Concerns – AirDrop operates on a peer-to-peer network, meaning that nearby devices can detect each other. In the past, there have been instances of misuse, including unwanted or inappropriate files being sent to unsuspecting users. Apple has introduced privacy features like device visibility settings and requiring user approval for file transfers, but concerns about privacy and potential misuse of AirDrop remain.
  4. Lack of Cross-Platform Support – AirDrop is an Apple-exclusive feature and does not support file sharing with devices running on different operating systems, such as Android or Windows. This limitation can be a source of frustration when attempting to transfer files between Apple and non-Apple devices.

It is important to note that the perceived drawbacks of AirDrop can vary depending on individual experiences and preferences. While some users may find AirDrop to be problematic due to these reasons, others may have positive experiences with its ease of use and seamless file sharing capabilities.

The Airdrop can be viewed as bad as it still faces challenges like reduction or increase in image size, inconsistencies, failure to work, low speeds, and security breaches. Reduced quality and slow transfer speeds often happen when transferring files from an iPhone to an older Mac.

It also fails when the other device lacks AirDrop support or has issues with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Lastly, although rare, users also have concerns about hacking and strangers nearby sending inappropriate files.

If you rely on transmitting data wirelessly or using applications for file transfer, you must have experienced some issues. Luckily most Apple systems are well-designed and hardly break down unless underlying problems exist. If you are one of the users frequently complaining about how AirDrop works, I will help you understand what is happening and what you can do about it.

Although AirDrop is a go-to for many, it can be problematic sometimes when it affects the quality of the images you share from your iPhone or computer. It may also fail to transfer data from one iDevice to the next or work very slowly, primarily if you use outdated Macs.

Finally, some experts have cited that it has vulnerabilities that unscrupulous individuals can exploit to steal your information or send inappropriate files when within range. 

All the downsides of AirDrop are not severe issues warranting you not to use it again as long as you know how to fix them and stay safe from malicious users. You can use simple workarounds to make the application run smoothly since Apple works around the clock to ensure that clients get top-notch services.

Therefore, it is rare to find exploits in the system. Additionally, issues with data transfer speed, reliability, and image or video quality are nothing to worry about since you only need to tweak some settings. 

File and image quality may reduce slightly when you share data with an old Mac model that runs on outdated firmware. Secondly, sharing images with iPhones running on the latest iOS may compress your photos, and the final picture AirDropped may be slightly different in size but maintains the original resolution.

You can remedy the image quality issues by enabling the “Include-All Photos.” This appears below the screen of your selected items after pressing the options key. Furthermore, you can adjust the system for solutions if you struggle with consistency and AirDropping speeds.

Many users applaud the reliability of the sharing app, and if you are experiencing hurdles, the chances are high that there is something amiss with your settings. Always ensure that the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons on your iDevices are on.

However, if AirDrop is running and it still can’t connect to the recipient, you can switch Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off and on again. Issues with AirDrop speed are eminent when you are trying to share data with older models without full support.

Macs older than 2012 usually have hitches when you want to transfer data using the app. The program requires stable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to enhance the transmission speed.

Unfortunately, the default wireless connection may not run effectively if the sending device is of a lower generation than what AirDrop supports. To solve the transfer speed problems, it may help to stick to AirDropping data on the latest iDevices.

Otherwise, if both are compatible, you can reduce how many files you send at a time to ease the delays. Another concern from experts is the claims that AirDrop is hackable if unscrupulous users get close to you during the transfer.

Unauthorized persons can break into the app and steal vital information from your iPhone. The hacker may access phone numbers and email addresses during the data exchange.

It is best to avoid sharing files with several other iPhone users in public places. Also, remember always to disconnect AirDrop, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use to bar infiltrators and security breaches.

Airdrop Quality Reduction

If you send files to another device, you want them to maintain the original quality and size. Some users report that their photos and videos appear different when transferring them from their iPhones to Macs or iPads. Why does this happen, and how can you fix it?

To ensure faster transfer times, AirDrop applies compression to the image files before sending them. Compression reduces the file size by removing certain details and reducing the overall image quality. This reduction in quality helps to speed up the transfer process and minimize the amount of data being transmitted.

The extent of the reduction in picture quality can vary depending on several factors, including the original image resolution, file format, and the level of compression applied during the transfer. Higher-resolution images or images with more intricate details may experience a more noticeable reduction in quality compared to lower-resolution or simpler images.

It’s worth noting that the image quality reduction caused by AirDrop’s compression is typically minimal and may not be noticeable in many cases, especially when viewing the transferred images on mobile screens or social media platforms. However, if maintaining the highest possible image quality is a priority, alternative methods like transferring files using a cable connection or cloud storage services may be preferred over AirDrop.

Although rare, AirDrop sometimes reduces picture quality, especially when sending files from an iPhone to older Macs or Apple tablets. It occurs when the phone thinks the data in the photo or video is too complex for other iDevices to decode.

As a result, the system eliminates some information and cuts down the size. It may do this if you have not set AirDrop to maintain the original quality, leading to unwanted compression. Luckily, you can tweak some settings to guarantee that the system doesn’t adjust files.

One of the best parts about AirDrop is how it effortlessly sends information between Apple gadgets, and the creators strive for the quality to stay the same. One of the challenges of wireless data transfers is that the transferred version is sometimes of low resolution or reduced size, unlike the original.

If you are very keen on the images and videos you send, you may notice a few differences especially transferring from your iPhone to a computer or tablet.

If you have not made any settings on the applications stating that the images should be of the same quality, chances are high that AirDrop will compress them first before transfer. It happens when your iPhone is sending data to older iDevice models.

If the picture has details that the system thinks the receiver will fail to decode, it may delete the information, reducing the file’s size.

However, Apple has not been clear on this matter, and some of its tests have proven that the image quality is usually constant regardless of a size reduction. Even if you are skeptical about AirDrop compressing your files, you don’t have to stop using it altogether.

You may miss out on all the perks of wireless and convenient data transfer between your Apple devices. Fortunately, some workarounds help you keep your photos intact when sending them.

A hidden setting on your iPhone allows you to send original photos using Airdrop. After enabling this, the system will no longer keep compressing your images. It is crucial if you work in photography and want the photos to stay original when sending them to your computer for editing or storage.

You can activate it from the settings where you select some images, click the share icon, followed by options which show below how many images you have chosen.

Next, activate the setting with the title “Include- All Photos Data,” and AirDrop will only send original images. An alternative way to go is through the settings application on your iPhone, although it is more tasking than the Photos app, which you can do whenever you want to transfer images. From the Settings, navigate your phone to find Photos and open the available options to help modify the application.

As you keep scrolling, you will find “Transfer to Mac or PC” from the several available icons. It may be a default setting on your iPhone, but you can customize it further to maintain the image quality.

You can click “Keep Originals” such that nothing changes next time you share them using AirDrop. However, note that the loss in quality only happens when sending from iPhone to Mac and not the other way around.

If the photos are on your computer and you want to send them to your iPhone, you will notice that they are always in the original quality. While compression and reduction in image magnitude usually happen, you should also watch out for an increase in file size when using AirDrop.

When Apple released iOS 11, it introduced the HEIC file format, which is an upscale of the regular JPEG, containing more data. Therefore, it is also possible for images from older iPhones to appear more prominent when sending them via AirDrop.

Fix iPhone AirDrop

The AirDrop is usually the first option when you want to discover nearby iDevices and safely transfer files to them wirelessly. One challenge, however, is that the application may fail when you need it the most, but the following troubleshooting steps may help if you are stuck.

To fix AirDrop on your iPhone, you can check compatibility, move the gadgets closer, adjust Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, deactivate the hotspot and remove Mac’s firewall restrictions. Only the iPhone 5, iPad 4, 2012 Macs, and later models support AirDrop, and it would be futile to try with older models.

You can also turn off the hotspot to eliminate its interference and bring the iDevices closer to strengthen the wireless connection. Resetting Bluetooth and Wi-Fi also works, and you can ease the firewalls on your Mac to allow an AirDrop connection.

AirDrop can also run into problems where it gets too slow, fails to work, doesn’t identify other devices you want to share files with, and other unexpected glitches. If you are affected by these hurdles, the following are quick fixes to get it up and running again.

  • Check Compatibility

One of the first things to confirm before AirDropping any file is whether both devices support the application. Since it is a relatively new feature for Apple, chances are high that it is not available in older iDevices, hence you will have to find alternative transfer modes.

Ensure that your iPhone model supports AirDrop and that it is running the latest iOS version. AirDrop is available on iPhone 5 or later models with iOS 7 or later installed. On the other hand, AirDrop will only work on all Macs made in 2012 and better models, and they should run on at least OSX Yosemite.

  • Tweak Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are essential for AirDrop to work wirelessly. If the two settings have hitches, they will affect the system making it tasking to send files. You can try adjusting and restarting them to eliminate any present bugs interfering with AirDrop. For your tablet or handset, you will start from the Settings icon.

Next, click Wi-Fi, then deactivate it before turning it on again. You can do the same by toggling Bluetooth still from the settings. However, for Macs, you start by clicking the Control Center option, then navigating to find the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons, turning them off, and then again.

  • Ease Mac Firewalls

AirDrop may fail due to the system’s strict firewalls if you transmit a file from your iPhone to your Mac but cannot see it in the recipient options. To adjust this, you can go to the Apple icon on the menu and choose System Preferences, then Security and Privacy.

Tap on the padlock, then enter your password to effect the changes. Lastly, tap Firewall Options, unselect Block Incoming Connections, and enable the software to receive connections. 

  • Move Devices Closer

AirDrop uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to find other iDevices to link with, hence the gadgets must be within range to initiate a connection. If Wi-Fi fails, you will rely entirely on Bluetooth connectivity to use the application.

The wireless connection functions at ten meters or about thirty feet, but if you are further than the ideal space, you will likely have trouble connecting the gadgets, hence the need to always keep the iDevices as close to each other as possible. 

  • Disable Personal Hotspot

Apple’s AirDrop cannot run simultaneously with your hotspot, which provides internet for other devices. When you disconnect such links, you let the software enjoy all the wireless connectivity privileges to transfer data at the fastest speeds possible.

  • Reset Network Settings

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This step will reset your network settings, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. You’ll need to reconnect to Wi-Fi networks afterward.

  • Update iOS

Check if there are any pending iOS updates for your iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates. Keeping your device up to date can help resolve compatibility issues and improve AirDrop performance.

  • Adjust AirDrop Settings

Access the Control Center, long-press the network settings card (with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Cellular Data), and tap on the AirDrop icon. Choose the appropriate AirDrop visibility option: “Everyone” for wider discoverability or “Contacts Only” for limited visibility to your contacts.

If you usually use the iDevice to hotspot other gadgets, it will likely link to them automatically. Therefore, it is advisable to close the hotspot by opening the control center and long pressing the Bluetooth icon. A screen will appear with the hotspot symbol; if the icon is green, tap it to turn it off.


The AirDrop is a unique application that helps all Apple devices connect and send files faster and more conveniently. However, there are also chances of running into problems when using it, but they should not worry you or make you seek alternative modes. Most of these glitches are easy to solve by making a few settings on both iDevices.

If you are sure they are compatible, you can move them closer, reset Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, disable the hotspot, and restart or update the iOS. These troubleshoot tips help get the application running again and increase its speed. Luckily, issues like reduced quality and hacking vulnerabilities are rare, making AirDrop one of the best ways to transfer files.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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