Where Do AirDrop Photos or Files Go on Mac or iPhone

One of the most useful and often underutilized features of recent Apple iPhones and Macs is the AirDrop function. This feature allows you to simply send and receive files like photos to and from your Apple devices, over a wireless or Bluetooth connection. However, many users ask the question: where do AirDrop photos go on a Mac or iPhone? Find out where these files go in our useful guide.

By iMobie | Posted on: Apr. 08, 2018, Last Updated: Mar. 15, 2019
Home > AnyTrans for iOS > iPhone Photos Transfer > Where Do AirDrop Photos or Files Go on Mac or iPhone

Apple first introduced the AirDrop feature to devices running iOS 7 and Mac OS X Lion. It has been available on every subsequent OS and is one of the system’s most useful features. By using either the wireless or Bluetooth connection of your Apple device, you can transfer photos and files to and from other Apple devices with the feature. It’s a really simple process, yet it’s not uncommon to encounter Apple users who don’t know about it.

One of the main benefits of AirDrop is the fact it’s hassle-free. Both the sender and the receiver have to turn on their device’s AirDrop functionality, and the sender must select the files they wish to transfer. Both users will then be prompted to accept the interaction, and then the file transfer begins. In this guide, we will tell you where do AirDrop photos or files go and how to find them on your Mac or iPhone. We’ll also examine why using AnyTrans for iOS can be an effective alternative for transferring files.

Where Do AirDrop Photos Go on Mac/iPhone

We’ll start by answering the question where do AirDrop photos go on a Mac and iPhone. Thankfully both the Mac OS and iOS file systems are fairly intuitive, so you won’t have too much trouble finding them. Once you know where AirDrop files go on iPhone, you can easily transfer them to your Mac.

If you’re new to Apple devices, you may not know how to activate AirDrop. It differs slightly for each device, and you can find details on each below:

On A Mac: To turn on AirDrop you can either use the ⇧ Shift+⌘ Cmd+R keys, or go through the menus by using Go -> AirDrop. Once it’s turned on, you’ll be able to determine whether you appear to just contacts or to everyone. You can also see a list of nearby users who you can send files to and receive files from. You need to keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on during the transferring process.

On an iPhone: Most iPhones don’t have the service turned on by default, so you’ll have to activate it first. To do this, you simply need to swipe up on your screen and press the networks setting AirDrop icon. On the iPhone X you must swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen. From here you will be prompted to select who you want to be able to connect with, only contacts or everyone.

Once the transfer is complete, you may now be asking where do AirDrop photos go? The answer is again different for each device.

Where Do AirDrop Photos Go on Mac/iPhone


Where Do AirDrop Photos Go on a Mac

By default, photos and other files transferred over AirDrop are stored in the Downloads folder. You can navigate to this through the Finder by navigating to ‘Go’ -> ‘Downloads, or through the Dock of the Mac OS. Either way, clicking on the Downloads folder will allow you to find where AirDrop photos go on your Mac.

Where Do AirDrop Photos Go on a Mac

Image Credit: Apple.Com

If you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 11 and saving photos in the new image format HEIC, you may meet such a problem that many users recently reported that is Can’t Import HEIC Photos to Mac. If you’re in this case, you can try out free HEIC-to-JPG converter to change these photos to JPG format and upload again.

Where Do AirDrop Photos Go on iPhone

By default, files that are shared via AirDrop on iOS open automatically in the app that they were sent from. So for example, photos open in the photo app. This means that you can easily find your photos once they have been transferred – you just need to open the iPhone photos app.

Where Do AirDrop Photos Go on iPhone

Where Do AirDrop Photos Go on iPhone

Where Do AirDrop Files Go on My Mac/iPhone

Quite often you’ll want to transfer files that aren’t photos between your Apple devices. These may include contacts, eBooks, Word documents, and other such files. You can also use AirDrop for this purpose.

Where Do AirDrop Files go on my Mac

Thankfully this is the same for both photos and other files; you can find them all in the Downloads folder.

Where Do AirDrop Files go on iPhone

As we mentioned above, iOS automatically opens files in the app that they were sent from. If you don’t have the app installed on your iPhone, you will be directed to the app store to download it. If you do have the app, you can find the files saved with the rest of the ones for that app.

Bonus Tip: Transfer Files Between iPhone and Mac via an AirDrop Alternative Tool

Although AirDrop is incredibly useful, there are some limitations with the software. For example, you can only transfer one file type at a time, and it can sometimes be a slow process if you’re dealing with large files. AnyTrans for iOS is an alternative tool that you can use to manage all of your data and seamlessly transfer it between your iPhone and Mac. It’s simple to set up, has a user-friendly interface, and is quick to transfer data.

How to Transfer Files from iPhone to Mac via AnyTrans for iOS

It’s simple to transfer your files from your iPhone to Mac using AnyTrans. We’ve outlined the simple steps you need to take in order to use it:

Step 1You can download the AnyTrans for iOS on your Mac. Once the simple install is complete, you can connect your iPhone to your Mac via USB.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2When you launch the program, the AnyTrans interface will show you a variety of options and categories for you to manage on your Apple devices. You can transfer various types of file from here, including photos, and contacts, as well as other files that are not supported by AirDrop. You can also preview the files you intend to transfer by navigating to them in the relevant category, for example, choose Audio > Music.

How to Transfer Files from iPhone to Mac - Step 2

How to Transfer Files from iPhone to Mac – Step 2

Step 3It couldn’t be simpler to send files to your Mac. All you need to do is to choose the files you want to transfer and press the ‘To Mac’ button and the transfer will begin.

How to Transfer Files from iPhone to Mac - Step 3

How to Transfer Files from iPhone to Mac – Step 3

How to Transfer Files from Mac to iPhone Via AnyTrans for iOS

The process for moving data from your Mac to your iPhone is equally simple. See the steps below to find out how.
Step 1Download and install AnyTrans for iOS and open to the main interface screen.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2Follow the step 2 as the above part. We will take Music as an example. Choose Audio > Music.

Step 3To transfer music to your iPhone from Mac, click the ‘Add’ Button When you click on the ‘add’ button, your file browser will open. From here you can select the items you wish to send to your iPhone, and you then click open. It couldn’t be simpler.

How to Transfer Files from Mac to iPhone

How to Transfer Files from Mac to iPhone

The Bottom Line

If you were asking ‘where do AirDrop photos go on iPhones?’ we’ve hopefully given you the details you need to locate them. Either the Download folder on Mac OS or the app the file was sent via on iOS. Although the AirDrop system can be a convenient way to move a file or two, AnyTrans for iOS offers you an easy way to transfer multiple data items between computer (Mac or PC) and iPhone. Why not give AnyTrans for iOS a free try now?


Member of iMobie team, an Apple fan as well as an anime lover. Like to share solutions on iOS and Android related problems.

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