How To Change your Airdrop Name

Posted by Joseph on May 16, 2019

AirDrop allows you to easily and efficiently transfer most of the files you have saved on an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to any other iPhone, iPad, or Mac. With the use of Bluetooth LE technology, AirDrop can broadcast, discover, and negotiate connections, and point-to-point Wi-Fi in order to transfer your data. This enables all of your photos, videos, contacts, etc. to be easily passed off to another storage area through a fast and secure connection.

When using AirDrop to pass off data between iPhones and iPads, you may notice an abundance of other Apple IDs to select from, overcrowding your own. This can become an issue when every device around you has the same default name like “iPhone” or “iPad”. This is definitely something you’ll want to fix by changing the name of your own device.


Change The AirDrop Name On Your Apple Device

AirDrop can be incredibly handy for sharing files between your Apple devices but that’s only if you can differ yours from the many that may share the same WiFi space around you. To ensure that all of the files you want to transfer are going to the correct device you’ll need to change the name.

To change the name of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, please do the following:

  1. Go to or tap on your Settings icon from your iOS device.
  2. From Settings, head to General.
  3. Next, tap to About.
  4. Tap on the name of your device which should be the very first line on this screen.
  5. From here, you can change the name of your device which will be the same device name used when attempting to AirDrop files across devices.
  6. When finished with the renaming process, tap Done.


To change the name of your iPod classic, iPod nano, or iPod shuffle:

  1. You’ll have to connect your iPod device, regardless of version, to your computer.
  2. Launch iTunes from your computer.
  3. Locate and click on your device.
  4. You should now see the name of your device located at the top of the left sidebar. Click on it.
  5. Type in the new name for your device, which will be used for your AirDrop, and then press Enter (Return).
    • Your device and iTunes will be automatically synced up, so the new name you chose for your iPod will now be displayed on your iPod.


AirDrop For Your Mac

Sharing files between your smaller devices like the iPhone and iPod are great but what if you need a larger storage system? Maybe all of the content that you want to move over is something that you’d like to store for an extended length of time. This usually something that smaller mobile devices just don’t have enough storage space for. That’s when using AirDrop to transfer data to and from your Mac can come in handy.

Although most mobile devices nowadays do come with rather extensive storage amounts, they still can’t beat the storage capacity of a laptop or desktop computer. The unfortunate issue in it all is that your Mac likely doesn’t have an AirDrop name. If you’ve ever attempted to transfer data between mobile devices in close proximity to your Mac, you may have noticed one device with the display name “Unknown”. This was likely your Mac.

Before you attempt to AirDrop data to and from your Mac, you’ll first want to provide it with a proper name. This will allow you to easily recognize it on your local network when you go in for the transfer. The steps to set or change the name of a Mac are just as quick and easy as they are on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

To change the name of your Mac to something more suitable:

  1. While on your Mac, located in the Menu bar, click on System Preferences…
  2. Next, click on Sharing.
  3. Type the name you want to use for your computer, into the “Computer Name” box that’s been provided for you.
  4. To finish, after typing in the name just close the window.

Now, you’ll easily be able to wirelessly send documents, photos, videos, websites, map locations, and more to any nearby iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or other Mac using AirDrop.

That is, of course, so long as you know how to use AirDrop from your Mac. Allow me to provide you with a quick reminder.

The first option is to share content from the Finder. To do this:

  1. Open up the Finder and click on Go > AirDrop. It can be found on the menu bar.
    • AirDrop can also be found in the sidebar of a Finder window.
    • You’ll get to see all of the nearby AirDrop users right there in the AirDrop window.
  2. Drag a single or multiple documents, photos, or other files over to the intended recipient in the window. Then just drop them directly into it.


The second option would be to use the Share feature:

  1. Open the photo, document, or file that you want to send.
  2. Click Share within your app.
  3. From the Share menu, choose AirDrop from among the multiple options available.
  4. Locate and select a recipient from the AirDrop sheet.
    • You’ll need to wait for the other device to Accept before the file can be sent.
  5. Once the file (or files) has been sent, click Done.

Similarly, whenever someone else on the same local network attempts to AirDrop off some content, it will be up to you to decline or accept their request. This request will pop-up as a notification as well as inside the AirDrop window.

All data that you receive to your Mac is automatically saved to your Downloads folder.


Unable To See Other Devices

You now know how to change the name of your device so that it’s not lost among the other devices when attempting an AirDrop. You even know how to do so on your Mac. But what happens when a device doesn’t show up in the AirDrop window?

If you’re attempting to AirDrop content from one device but the recipient device’s name is nowhere to be found, what you should do first is ensure both devices have WiFi and Bluetooth turned on. You’ll also want to have both devices be within 30 feet (9 meters) of each other.

This is usually all that needs to be done but there are times where the basics won’t fix the problem. We’ll need to tinker with the device’s settings.

Troubleshooting tips for  iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  • Head to Control Center to check your AirDrop settings. If you have AirDrop set to receive content from “Contacts Only”, both the send and receive devices need to be signed in to iCloud. Also, the email address or phone number associated with the sender’s Apple ID must be in the Contacts app of your iOS device.
  • Turn off Personal Hotspot when attempting to use AirDrop. You can turn it off by going into Settings > Cellular of the recipient’s iOS device.

Fixing the problem on Mac:

  • Make sure that AirDrop is turned on by going into Finder and clicking Go > AirDrop from the menu bar.
  • Check the ”Allow me to be discovered by” setting at the bottom of the AirDrop window.
  • Earlier Macs (2012 or earlier) should click “Don’t see who you’re looking for?” in the AirDrop window or sharing sheet of the sharing Mac. Follow this up by clicking on “Search for an Older Mac.”
  • If the receiving Mac is using OS X Mavericks or earlier, make sure that an AirDrop window is open on that Mac: choose Go > AirDrop from the menu bar in the Finder.
  • Make sure that “Block all incoming connections” is turned off in Security & Privacy preferences of the receiving Mac.

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