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What Can I Do If My AirDrop Says “No People Found?” (5 Easy Solutions)

As with other apps, AirDrop can sometimes malfunction. A common issue that people encounter is when AirDop says, “No People Found”.

When this happens, there are a couple of different things you can do!

Firstly, make sure both devices are active.

Secondly, ensure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on and functioning. Additionally, Airplane Mode and any personal hotspots should be turned off.

Lastly, check that you are on the recipient’s contact list, and that your devices are compatible.

Thankfully, it’s generally quite easy to fix this issue!

However, if none of the above solutions work, make sure your device is updated to the latest software and take it to your nearest Apple Store if need be.

Why Does My AirDrop Not Show Anyone?

woman with coat holding an iphone

Do you want to exchange files between iOS devices or Mac computers, but your AirDrop doesn’t seem to be detecting anyone around you?

This is a pretty common problem amongst users of Apple products. If your AirDrop says “No People Found”, there are usually five likely possibilities:

The Devices Are Not Active

For a receiving device to be discoverable on AirDrop, it has to be active.

It makes no difference whether you’ve locked the screen or not; the display screen has to be on!

The same applies to Mac computers. They have to be awake before another device can discover them.

Your iPhone or iPad will keep saying “No Device Found” as long as it is asleep.

So, if your AirDrop is not showing anyone for a local transfer, this would be the first aspect to double-check.

Bluetooth And/Or Wi-Fi Is Disabled

iphone bluetooth and wifi enabled

AirDrop uses a wireless connection that works over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Like with Bluetooth on other smartphones, both the sending and the receiving devices’ Bluetooth function needs to be on.

The AirDrop devices also need to be within sufficiently close range.

When making an AirDrop transfer, you need to turn on both connections and ensure the sender and the recipient are not more than nine meters (30 feet) apart.

Therefore, it’s important to also check the receiving Mac computer or iOS device.

When either one or both of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are not active or if the devices are too far apart, your AirDrop will simply keep stating, “No People Found”!

You Are Not On The Recipient’s Contact List

If the recipient’s AirDrop service is set to “Contacts Only” and you are not in their Contacts app, your AirDrop will show “No People Found”.

Therefore, ensure you are on the recipient’s contact list before moving on to other troubleshooting solutions!

Do Not Disturb/Airplane Mode Is Active

switching to airplane mode on ipad

Sometimes there are situations where it’s helpful to activate the “Do Not Disturb” and Airplane Modes on smartphones and laptops.

However, if the user forgets to disable the modes afterwards, AirDrop won’t work properly and devices won’t be able to connect.

The reason is simple: Airplane Mode automatically turns off both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Since AirDrop needs these connections, it won’t simply function.

So, don’t become baffled if your AirDrop says “No Device Found”. It could be that Airplane Mode or “Do Not Disturb” are on!

There Is A Compatibility Problem Somewhere

At times, software problems can occur on smartphones. Some of these issues can affect the network services.

If this is the case with your iOS device, it might become incompatible with other devices.

Therefore, it’s important to check that your device is updated to the latest software version. It might be that this is the source of the problem!

How Do I Make AirDrop Discoverable?

woman with a man holding her iphone

As we’ve seen above, AirDrop has to be discoverable to execute local transfers successfully.

If you’re having issues, here are a few things you can do to make AirDrop discoverable.

Check Your AirDrop Settings

When AirDrop does not see other devices amongst iOS and Mac users, there is usually a problem with the settings.

With every Apple product, there are generally three options in the AirDrop settings:

  • Off
  • Contacts Only, and
  • Everyone.

AirDrop (logically) turns off completely when it is set to “Off”.

As for “Contacts Only” AirDrop restricts your connectivity to only those in your list of contacts.

For AirDrop to be discoverable to the general public, you will have to toggle it to “Everyone”.

The process is straightforward when it comes to adjusting the settings.

For iOS devices, go to “Settings” on your device, click on “General,” select “Airdrop,” and pick “Everyone.”

locating settings

locating airdrop button

locating everyone button

As for Mac computers, open “Finder,” select “Airdrop,” and click on “Everyone.” If the problem is with the AirDrop settings, this will fix the issue!

Toggle Wi-Fi And Bluetooth

As you already know, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have to be active for AirDrop to function properly.

Therefore, before checking other aspects, it’s a good idea to toggle these settings first. It might be all you need to do to make AirDrop discoverable!

On iOS platforms, go to “Settings,” select “Bluetooth,” turn it off and back on.

Then, go back to “Settings” and do the same for Wi-Fi.

To toggle the radio on Mac, click on the Wi-Fi icon, switch it off and turn it on again. As for Bluetooth, click on the Bluetooth icon and follow the same process.

A faster way is to switch on Airplane Mode and switch it off again. Once you have done this, ensure that both “Do Not Disturb” and Airplane Mode are disabled!

Reset Your Network

person holding phone showing social networks

In cases where there is a problem with the network and radio toggling doesn’t fix the issue, another good option is to reset your connection entirely.

  • To reset the network, open “Settings,” click on “General,”

  • Scroll down and tap “Transfer or Reset iPhone

  • Click on “Reset Network Settings”.

At this point, your phone will ask for the password. Type it in the space provided, and then submit.

Afterwards, reconnect your radio networks to the other Apple device and check AirDrop again.

Carry Out A Software Update

In rare cases when there are compatibility issues between Apple products, a simple way to fix it is to carry out a software update.

It is always best practice to keep your device updated to the latest software version to avoid unnecessary issues with AirDrop and other features!

Go To Your Local Apple Store

inside an apple store

If you’ve tried all of the above and the problem still persists, you might need extra help from an expert.

Visit a local Apple Store ASAP and ask them to assist you in fixing the issue!

Why Is My AirDrop Only Working One Way?

There are a couple of reasons as to why your AirDrop is only working one way. Here are three of the causes and how to fix them:

  • There’s a system error present. A corrupted file could be messing with the proper operation of your AirDrop functionalities. As such, all you would need to do is to identify the file, delete it, and reboot your device.
  • The receiving device is only receiving from Contacts. To fix this, go to your AirDrop app and change the settings to “Everyone.”
  • There’s a problem with the operating system. In this case, a software update should sort out the issue.

In Conclusion

Many rely on AirDrop to transfer files, and it can be frustrating when it malfunctions (such as when it says “Failed to save item.

However when these things happen, there are usually ways to fix it quickly!

When AirDrop states “No People Found”, it could be a problem with the app’s settings, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi network, or with the receiving device not being active.

It could even be as simple as not being on the recipient’s Contacts list!

Therefore, ensure your AirDrop settings are set on “Everyone.”

You should also check that both devices are active, and that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections are working on the sender and recipient side.

Finally, double-check that you are on the recipient’s Contacts list.

By carrying out these steps, you should be able to solve this AirDrop issue quickly!

However, if none of these work, check that your device is updated to the latest software version and take it into your nearest Apple Store if necessary.

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