How to Use AirDrop Without Wi-Fi in iOS 17 on iPhone and iPad

While AirDrop has long been the gold standard for sharing files across iDevices. What puts it ahead of the curve is the ability to share files seamlessly. For a seamless file-sharing experience, AirDrop makes use of Wi-Fi. That means your devices must be within the Wi-Fi range for the wireless file transfer. Otherwise, the nearby device (where you would like to send a file) will not show up or the file transfer will get stuck. Thankfully, that is a thing of the past as you can now use cellular to send/receive files via AirDrop. Read on to learn how to use AirDrop without Wi-Fi in iOS 17 on iPhone and iPad. 

Set Up and Use AirDrop Without Wi-Fi on iPhone and iPad 

Till now, sharing files via AirDrop required both the devices (sender and receiver) to be in close proximity. If your device is out of the AirDrop range, the wireless file transfer wouldn’t even kickstart. The ability to use cellular for wireless file-sharing protocol eliminates the need to be in the same immediate location as someone with whom you are sharing files. Besides, you also don’t have to bother about ill-functioning Wi-Fi interrupting the file transfer process.

  • On your iPhone or iPad running iOS 17/iPadOS 17 or later, open the Settings app
  • In the Settings menu, scroll down a bit and tap on General
Tap on General on iPhone
  • Now, tap on AirDrop
  • Finally, ensure that the toggle next to Use Cellular/Mobile Data is turned on. 
Use AirDrop without Wi Fi on iPhone and iPad

That’s pretty much it! From now onwards, you will be able to share your files even when Wi-Fi is not available. So, even if you are out of the AirDrop range, you can expect the wireless file transfer to complete without any glitch whatsoever.

How to Stop AirDrop from Using Cellular on iPhone and iPad

If you have a limited cellular data pack, you would like to prevent AirDrop from using your cellular data.

  • To get it done, head over to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Now, tap on General -> AirDrop.
  • Turn off the switch next to Use Cellular Data.

Going forward, file sharing via AirDro will be restricted to Wi-Fi only.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. When did AirDrop come out? 

Apple introduced AirDrop in OS X Lion (2011). However, it took two years for the wireless file-sharing protocol to arrive (with iOS 7, 2013) on iPhone and iPad.

2. How do you customize AirDrop setting?

Navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad -> General -> AirDrop -> Now, you can choose Receiving Off, Contacts Only, or Everyone for 10 minutes depending on your needs. Note that you can also fine-tune the AirDrop setting from the Control Center.

Read more: Instantly Enable/Disable Live Speech With Shortcut in macOS Sonoma

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Rajesh Mishra

Co-founder/Editor-in-Chief: Rajesh Mishra (Your beloved “R.K” 360 Reader Voice) is a Shakespearean poet at heart who turned a tech nerd while having a secret rendezvous with iPhone 4. When that rendezvous turned obsession, he let go of his hard-core political journalism in favour of the lifelong love-affair with technology. In a career spanning one and a half decades, Mr. Mishra has crafted over 8K articles and around 2K YouTube videos. He is probably the only journalist alive with this unique achievement. When he is not at his desk, you may find him either engrossed in a Deathmatch or chasing Wordsworth!

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