Where do Airdrop files go on Mac?

One of the great benefits about using Apple products is that they work together so well. Although they’re often criticised for being expensive, Windows and Android lovers don’t know how much easier using an iPhone and a Mac together is that using their operating systems.

A great example of what I’m talking about is Airdrop, which enables us to easily transfer a file from one device to another. This is great for uploading photos from your phone onto your Macbook quickly, or screenshots etc. The Macbook is one of the best 15 inch laptops out there.

But where do Airdrop files go on a Macbook when you save them? Are they saved in the same place as the rest of the files you receive, or are they located elsewhere? Fortunately, the answer is actually pretty easy.

Where do Airdrop files go on Mac?

The answer is that when you’ve sent a file from another Apple device to your Mac, it’ll be saved in your Downloads folder, which you can easily access in your Finder. This is your default for anything that has been recently downloaded to your Macbook Air or Pro.

If you want the shortcut to get to your Downloads folder, then open your Finder and press Options + Command + L. This will quickly take you to your downloads folder where you can find all of your Airdrop files, including the ones that you’ve just received.

This is slightly different to where Airdrop files go on iPhone, as with your phone, as Airdrop file with be saved into its relevant file type. Pictures and videos will go into your Photos app, whereas a contact will be saved directly into your iPhones contact list.

It’s pretty handy to use Airdrop to do this kind of task. Once you know where your files will be saved, you can get in the habit of sending things via Airdrop much more. It’s really handy to use with your Mac, iPhone, iPad and any Apple devices you use.

So, now that we’ve answered that, what else is there that you should probably known about Airdrop? Well, there’s quite a few things to know about it actually, so let’s start at the beginning.

What is Airdrop, and how does it work?

Essentially, Airdrop is a method that’s used on Macbooks, iPhones and iPads to transfer data between them. You can very easily send anything – documents, photos, videos and whatever else – to another person without having to rely on an alternative method e.g. email.

Mainly, Airdrop is there to make things a little easier for us. Instead of having to use Dropbox or another platform to send an image from your phone to your Macbook, you can do so very quickly by using Airdrop. It’s super handy, and it works with a variety of different file types too.

Airdrop isn’t just handy for sending photos, but you can also very easily use it to share other things with another person, like a website you’re visiting. It’s also a good way for you to send your notes from your iPhone to your iPad or Mac, and you can transfer photos vice versa this way too.

If you airdrop photos the other way, then the files go into your iPhone’s photo app. This makes them very easy to find, so there’s no reason not to send files this way. You’ll also need to make sure that you have your email address set up properly with your Apple account.

Will Airdrop use data?

One of the best things about Airdrop is that it won’t use data for you to send data between the two devices. This is great as you’d use data if you were to send it via another method, and you might credit if you were to send a photo via a text message.

How Airdrop actually works is pretty unique, as it uses a combination of both Bluetooth and wifi connectivity to send the data. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you need to be connected to any internet for you to send the data, but you will need the wifi on your device on (as well as the Bluetooth!).

To find the connection in the first place, it uses Bluetooth to do this. But to actually transfer the data over itself, it uses a wifi connection directly between the two devices. This means that it’s not only the fastest way to send something between the two devices, but it’s also very secure too (more so than an email).

Is Airdrop just for Apple devices?

One of the main selling points of Apple devices has been features like Airdrop, which are only available on their devices – the iPad, iPhone, Mac and even the iPod touch too. For many years, this was something that Android users didn’t have on their phones.

And whilst Android users still don’t have Airdrop, they do have something very similar that was released in the second half of 2020. It’s called the Nearby Share feature, and it’s available on Android phones. However, it is coming out pretty slowly, so if you have an older device, it might be a while before you get it.

In terms of speed, they’re actually very close to each other when you’re transferring files. Like Airdrop, it will use both your Bluetooth and wifi for you to send a file, though you won’t need connection to a router to do so.

Eventually, you’ll be able to use Nearby Share with your Chrome browser on your laptop, which will be super useful. However, Google haven’t given any kind of indication of just how long it’ll be before the app has that capability, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Also Read: AirDrop Not Working on Apple Device? Try these fixes


In conclusion, there’s no denying that the technology that Airdrop uses is pretty impressive, and it’s definitely worth using if you’re trying to transfer a lot of data between two Apple devices. As I mentioned at the start of the article, this is just one small reason why in many people’s eyes, Apple is better than Android.

It’s the best solution if you’re looking to transfer files. It doesn’t matter whether they’re small or large files, as Airdrop can cope with pretty much any size too.

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About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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