AirDrop: How to enable on older Mac’s


AirDropWhen Apple first announced the introduction of AirDrop I immediately thought of all the things it was going to help me with transferring. I have been a Mac user for many years now, and often find myself needed to transfer files between macs, it’s not always convenient to use external storage or setup shares. So AirDrop is perfect for the job.

However, Apple didn’t enable airdrop on all hardware.. Which is a bit of a shame.. But wait!! Using this simple terminal command below you can enable AirDrop on most mac’s..

defaults write BrowseAllInterfaces -bool TRUE

Once done, you will need to relaunch finder for the changes to take effect. To do so, copy/paste the following into your Terminal window, and press return:

killall Finder

Once enabled you should find you have a new option in your ‘shortcuts’ in your finder window. Clicking on the ‘AirDrop’ icon will switch on AirDrop and make your mac visible to other airdrop users. AirDrop relies on your Wireless network adapter, so you will be unable to use this to trader documents on a plane….

I have also seen issues trying to airdrop certain file types. So if the file you are trying to transfer is constantly failing it may be that the file type is not actually supported by the airplay protocol.

It’s also not currently possible to AirDrop between OS X and iOS devices. Hopefully this is something that will change in the future. As transferring images using AirDrop from your iPhone and iPads would be great..

If you decide you no longer want AirDrop to be active on your mac, you can simply reverse the changes using the following terminal command:

defaults write BrowseAllInterfaces -bool FALSE

Then, of course, you will need to relaunch finder once again:

killall Finder

If you have problems using this terminal command – get in touch using the comments system below.

You can read more about the Apple AirDrop protocol over on Apple’s website: Mac Basics: AirDrop helps you share items with others nearby

Mike Hudson

Mike Hudson is a Lead Cyber Security Analyst living and working in Kingston Upon Hull. With extensive experience in Microsoft and Apple technologies, ranging from desktop OS’s to Server OS’s and hardware. By day working as part of an infrastructure team, and by night ridding the world of IT issues through blog posts..

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