What to do When AirDrop Stuck on Waiting

It must be very annoying when we encounter airdrop stuck on waiting. But don’t worry, in this article, you’ll not only learn about 6 ways to fix AirDrop getting stuck, but also how to use a better alternative to AirDrop to transfer data.

Author Avatar Joy Taylor Last Updated: Dec. 09, 2022

AirDrop is one of the most innovative features in the Apple ecosystem. With AirDrop, you can conveniently exchange data files between Apple devices at a zero-cost fee. This feature uses both WiFi and Bluetooth LE to establish a connection and transmit data, respectively.

While this feature offers smooth data exchange between Apple devices, negative reports are circulating. Many users complain about AirDrop stuck in waiting. Are you faced with a similar situation and would like to resolve it? We have a tutorial guide that explains how to fix AirDrop stuck in waiting here in this post.

Why Does AirDrop on My iPhone Say Waiting?

AirDrop should connect smoothly for data transfer. However, there are scenarios where users experience a delay in connection, like the AirDrop stuck in waiting issues. The reason for this isn’t fixed. Here are some of the potential causes:

  • Software Glitches: Software glitch is one of the major reasons AirDrop won’t connect for data exchange between Apple devices. It’s a slight error with an unknown source.
  • iOS Update: Here is another common reason why you encounter AirDrop stuck in waiting issues on your iDevice. When you run an Apple device on an outdated operating system, it gets exposed to different bug attacks which causes it to malfunction.
  • Improper Bluetooth/WiFi Settings: AirDrop connection is dependent on Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. An alteration in the settings of any of this connectivity can delay pairing.

7 Methods to Fix AirDrop Stuck on Waiting on iPhone/iPad/ Mac

Select one or more of the solutions below to fix AirDrop stuck on waiting on your iPhone or Mac:

1. Turn on AirDrop Restriction

Have you turned off the AirDrop restriction feature in the past? If yes, that could cause the AirDrop stuck on waiting issues you are facing. Should this be the case, we advise that you turn the feature on.

Here is the detailed guide to turning on AirDrop restriction on your iPhone:

  • Head to the Settings menu page on your iDevice and select Screen Time from the options that appear.
  • Next, tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions and click Allowed Apps
  • A new screen will show just as seen below:
  • Scroll to AirDrop and drag the slider right to enable AirDrop restriction.

2. Reset Network Settings

Your network (WiFi and Bluetooth) settings play a crucial role in AirDrop connection. Any slight issues with either feature can delay AirDrop connections. To resolve this, simply reset your network settings.

Follow the procedure below to do that on your iPhone:

  • Navigate to the Settings menu page.
  • Tap on General. You will be directed to a new screen with several options. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  • Next, hit the Reset Network Settings Provide your passcode if prompted and your device’s network settings will reset immediately.
Choose Reset Network Settings Option

Choose Reset Network Settings Option

3. Log Out and Back into iCloud

Another way to fix AirDrop stuck in waiting issues is by logging out and back into iCloud. By doing this, your iCloud account will automatically refresh, and AirDrop will connect smoothly for data exchange.

Logging out and back into iCloud is pretty simple. Follow the instructions below to do that on your iPhone:

  • Click on Settings, and you will be directed to the menu page below:
  • Tap on your name to access your Apple ID page.
  • Scroll down the page and click Sign Out. Confirm you own the device by entering your Apple ID password in the field provided and clicking Turn Off.
  • Your device will automatically sign out of your iCloud account. To re-login, head to settings and tap on the appropriate buttons.

For folks using Mac, apply the instructions below to log out and back into iCloud:

  • Head to the upper left corner of your Mac screen and click on the Apple
  • On the drop-down menu, select System Preferencesand move to the next step.
  • Now, click on your name and hit the Sign Out
  • Follow a similar approach to sign in to your iCloud account.

4. Update iOS System

Software updates are crucial. When you run your iDevice on an outdated operating system, it’s bound to malfunction. The reason is that the OS has been wiped off, and no server can fetch data to the iPhone.

Several issues can come up with your device; one of them is the AirDrop stuck in waiting. You can solve that by updating your operating system. Apply the stepwise guide below to do that:

  • Head to Settings > General.
  • Next, tap on Software Update,and you will get the response page below:
  • If your device’s OS isn’t up to date, you will get a blue Download and Install Kindly click on it.
Check Software Update

Check Software Update

Ensure you have a strong data connection before proceeding to update your operating system. We strongly advise that you connect to WiFi to avoid network interruption.

For Mac users, here is the detailed guide to updating your OS:

  • Locate the Apple icon at the top left corner of your screen and click on it.
  • Once done, a drop-down menu will appear. Head to System Preferences and click on it.
  • Next, select Software Update > Update Now.
  • To install the update, you have to restart your device. Kindly tap on Restart to proceed.
Find software updates for the Mac

Find software updates for the Mac

5. Check for AirDrop Permission

Have you granted AirDrop permission to connect with nearby devices? If not, you may experience AirDrop stuck in waiting issues. To fix that, try checking the AirDrop settings on your iDevice. Here is a quick guide to check AirDrop permission on your device:

  • Launch the Settings menu on your iDevice and click on General.
  • A new page will pop up automatically. Kindly click AirDrop and select Contact Only or Everyone, so your iPhone can connect with nearby iDevices.
Check for AirDrop Permission

Check for AirDrop Permission

6. Turn Bluetooth Off and Back On

AirDrop relies on Bluetooth for it to connect with a nearby device. If Bluetooth is turned off, you cannot exchange data files via AirDrop. To fix this, you can turn Bluetooth off and on.

Here is a guide to doing that on your iPhone:

  • Go to the Settings menu page by clicking on the appropriate button.
  • Locate and click on Bluetooth. You will get the response page below:
  • Drag the slider left to turn Bluetooth off. Wait a while, then drag the slider right to put Bluetooth on.

For Mac users, apply the stepwise guide below to turn Bluetooth off and on:

  • Launch the Apple menu page by clicking on the Apple icon at the upper left corner of your screen.
  • Next, tap on System Preferences and the interface below will come up.
  • Select Bluetooth, and click on the corresponding button to turn it off and on.

7. How to Transfer iOS Data with an Airdrop Alternative

If you have tried all of the above and airdrop is still stuck in the waiting phase, then you can try using an alternative to airdrop to transfer files. At this place, we recommend you AnyTrans, which is one all-sided iOS data transfer tool that lets you always put your import data in the right place. It can help you to transfer 30+ types of data from iPhone to iPhone, from iPhone to Mac and vice versa.

Let’s check its key features:

1. iPhone to iPhone transfer: Two quick solutions to help you sync data between iPhones: Phone to iPhone and Apps to iPhone. Phone to iPhone will help you transfer data from old iPhone or Android device to new iPhone with one click. Apps to iPhone will help you transfer apps and app data between iPhones without erasing any existing data.

2. Transfer between iPhone and Mac: This lets you transfer data from Mac to iPhone, and it will not erase any existing iPhone data. Also enables you to transfer iPhone data back to Mac, including the purchased and non-purchased items.

What AnyTrans Surpasses AirDrop

1. Supports all the iPhone and Mac models, all the iOS and macOS versions, including the devices that cannot use AirDrop.

2. AnyTrans lets you transfer different types of files at once, while AirDrop can only help you transfer just pictures or just contacts.

3. AnyTrans enables you to transfer more files compared to AirDrop, up to 30 type of data, like ringtones, music, messages, etc.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Part 1. Steps to Transfer Data from iPhone to iPhone

Step 1. Download AnyTrans, install and launch it > Connect two iPhones to the computer via USB cables > Click Phone Switcher > Tap the option – Phone to iPhone.

Choose Phone to iPhone on Phone Switcher

Choose Phone to iPhone on Phone Switcher

Step 2. Confirm the source device and the target device > Click Next to continue.

Confirm New iPhone as the Target Device

Confirm New iPhone as the Target Device

Step 3. Choose the data you want to transfer or Select All> Click Next to start.

Select Files You Want to Transfer

Select Files You Want to Transfer

Part 2. Steps to Transfer Data between iPhone and Mac

Step 1. Download AnyTrans, install and open it > Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB cable > Click Device Manager > If you want to add content to the iPhone, you can click the “+” button above the phone screen to drag and drop content. If you want to transfer iPhone data to Mac, please choose Content to Mac. Here we choose Content to Mac.

Go to Device Manager and Click Content to PC Button

Go to Device Manager and Click Content to PC Button

Step 2. Select the items you want to transfer > Click Select to choose export path > Click Next to start transferring.

You Can Choose Export Path and Photos Category

You Can Choose Export Path and Photos Category

Step 3. When transfer is completed, you can click view files to have a check.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers to cater for readers who ask:

Why Mac AirDrop Not Showing Up?

If AirDrop isn’t showing up on your Mac computer system, something must be wrong somewhere. Here are some potential reasons why you may experience such an issue on your Mac:

  • Compatibility Issues: Not all Apple devices support AirDrop. However, most Mac devices released in 2012 to date support AirDrop. You can confirm whether or not your Mac is compatible with AirDrop by following the instructions below:
    • Head to the Dock section and click Finder.
    • Next, select Go at the top menu bar that appears. Should your device support AirDrop, you will find the option in the list that pops up.
  • Improper AirDrop Settings: AirDrop has one inactive and two active settings options [Receiving Off, Contact Only, and Everyone]. Each one of these settings has its functions and could affect AirDrop connectivity. For instance, the Receiving Off option prevents people from connecting with your device. Contact Only allows folks on your contact list to connect with your AirDrop. Lastly, Everyone lets you send or receive data from any active AirDrop nearby.
  • Disabled Bluetooth or WiFi Connection: AirDrop connection depends on Bluetooth and WiFi for pairing. If either or both of these features are disabled, you cannot send or receive data via AirDrop.

Why Won’t My iPhone Receive AirDrop?

Unless there is an issue, your iPhone should receive AirDrop. Here are some potential reasons why your iPhone won’t receive AirDrop:

  • Compatibility issues
  • Improper Settings
  • AirDrop Restrictions.
  • Inactive Bluetooth or WiFi connection.
  • Outdated operating system.
  • Active Airplane mode.
  • AirDrop devices out of coverage.

How long can an AirDrop take?

Apple boasts of smooth data transfer speeds between iOS and Mac devices via AirDrop. However, we want you to know that the time limit all depends on the file size. For instance, the time taken to complete a 1GB size data transfer would be lengthy compared to a 20MB data.

How do I speed up AirDrop on my iPhone?

AirDrop data transfer is designed to be swift. The feature operates at 250Mbps. If your data transfer is slower than expected, you can implement the following solutions:

  • Ensure both AirDrop devices are within close proximity.
  • Make sure your devices are up to date.
  • Confirm that the Bluetooth and WiFi connections are working.
  • Disable Do Not Disturb mode on both devices.

Final Words

When AirDrop is stuck in waiting, you need not panic or worry. Our tutorial guide is available to help you resolve the issue. The guide has all the solutions needed to fix AirDrop issues on your iPhone and Mac. Not only that, but you can find better AirDrop alternatives, which is AnyTrans, to help you transfer data between iPhone directly or between iPhone and mac.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Author Avatar
Joy Taylor Twitter Share Facebook Share

Senior writer of the iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android-related issues.

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