How To Change Your Airdrop Name

AirDrop is a feature on Apple devices that allows a sender to quickly send data to another Apple device. As long as the recipient’s device is in range of the sender’s, AirDrop will work properly. This feature is often used for sending pictures, screenshots, and other forms of information like documents, making transfers quick and easy.

With the use of Bluetooth LE technology, AirDrop can broadcast, discover, negotiate connections, and point-to-point Wi-Fi to transfer your data. This enables all of your photos, videos, contacts, etc., to be sent easily to another storage area through a fast and secure connection.

For more help with AirDrop, check out our other articles.

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.”

How to Change the AirDrop Name on Your iPhone

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

You can change your device’s name in the Settings of your iPhone (Settings>General>About), but you’ll quickly notice that your AirDrop name is unchanged. This is because your AirDrop feature works with your contacts. So, you’ll need to update your contact card instead. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Dialing app on your iPhone. Tap on Contacts at the bottom.
  2. Tap on the contact card at the top.
  3. In the upper right corner, tap Edit.
  4. Type the name you want others to see when the AirDrop you files. Then, click Done in the upper right.

Now, when others attempt to AirDrop something to you, they’ll see the new name you’ve created. You can even add a profile picture to your Contact Card by tapping on Add Photo.

Note: It may take a while for your device to appear in others’ AirDrop selection after making these changes. If your name doesn’t appear, go to Settings>General>Reset and reset your Network Settings. Your phone will restart and appear in the sender’s AirDrop list.

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 sync automatically, so the new name you chose for your iPod will now be displayed on your iPod.

How to Change the AirDrop Name on Your iPad

The process is slightly different if you’re using an iPad. Unlike an iPhone, you won’t need to change the contact, but you will need to change the name of your iPad.

Here’s how to change your AirDrop name on an iPad:

  1. Open the Settings on your iPad. Then, click on General and About.
  2. In the menu panel to the left, click Name.
  3. Type the name you’d like to display in AirDrop and click Done.

Now, when others search your iPad, they will see the updated name appear in the AirDrop section.

How to Change the AirDrop Name on Your Mac

If you’d like to send a document from a smaller Apple product to your iMac or Macbook, you can do it with AirDrop.

If you’ve ever attempted to transfer data between mobile devices near your Mac, you may have noticed one device with the display name “Unknown.” This was likely your Mac.

Before attempting 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, click on the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner. Then, 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.
  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. Now, we will 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 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 (this looks like a small box with an arrow pointing up).
  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.

Clicking “Accept” will allow you to save to downloads or add to a specific folder such as Photos. All data you receive on your Mac is automatically saved to your Downloads folder.

What to Do If You’re Unable to See Other Devices

You now know how to change your device’s name to avoid being 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’s device doesn’t appear, you need to 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 when 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.
  • If the AirDrop option for the device doesn’t come up, you may need to change from “Contacts Only” to “Everyone” to be discoverable.
  • 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 the Security & Privacy preferences of the receiving Mac.

Frequently Asked Questions

As you can see, changing your device’s name is pretty straightforward. But, if you have more questions, keep reading.

My device’s name didn’t update. What’s wrong?

If you update your device’s name using the instructions above, but it doesn’t show immediately, turn your phone off and then back on again. Assuming you verified that the name change did go through using the methods above, this will fix the issue.

Another reason your device’s name may not appear correctly is because the sending device is already listed in your contacts. For example, if you’re using a work phone and have that listed in the contacts on the receiving device, you may see the contact as ‘work phone.’

How close do I need to be to the other device to send something via AirDrop?

To send data via AirDrop, your device relies on Bluetooth. This means that the sending and receiving devices must be within 30 feet of each other.

3 thoughts on “How To Change Your Airdrop Name”

Karl Bastian says:
This no longer works. Stupid Apple – EVERY devices just shows my name, you literally have to guess which is the device you want to send to, trial and error, until you guess the right one, even though EACH has a UNIQUE name in settings, Setting/Sharing on Mac and General/About on iOS devices. Apple ID now is just your nickname appears for ALL devices, has RUINED the once awesome AirDrop feature.
Kari says:
Not sure what issue you’re having, but the steps for changing my sharing name on my MacBook Pro totally worked! Thanks!
Graham Charles says:
Didn’t you even try this? I assume not … you’re just fishing for eyeballs.

Well, just in case this gets published: no, the phone/iPad name does not get displayed in airdrop. Only the account first name does.

TIme wasters…

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