September 29, 2023
How to Enable AirDrop on Older Macs

How to Enable AirDrop on Older Macs

Posted December 25, 2014 at 6:14pm by iClarified · 145704 views
These are instructions on how to enable AirDrop on older unsupported Macs. If you are running OS X Lion or higher and don't see AirDrop in your Finder you may want to perform these steps.

How to Enable AirDrop on Older Macs

Step One
Launch Terminal from your Applications:Utilities folder.
How to Enable AirDrop on Older Macs

Step Two
Enter the following command into the Terminal window and press Enter:

defaults write BrowseAllInterfaces 1
How to Enable AirDrop on Older Macs

Step Three
Then enter this command into Terminal to relaunch Finder:

killall Finder
How to Enable AirDrop on Older Macs

Step Four
You'll now notice AirDrop appear under the favorites in your Finder window.
How to Enable AirDrop on Older Macs

You will also need to perform these steps on any other Macs that you want to AirDrop with the older Mac. You can easily reverse the command by entering the following command in Terminal:
defaults write BrowseAllInterfaces 0
Add Comment
Would you like to be notified when someone replies or adds a new comment?
Yes (All Threads)
Yes (This Thread Only)
iClarified Icon
Would you like to be notified when we post a new Apple news article or tutorial?
You must login or register to add a comment...
mustapha - October 13, 2017 at 5:23am
let older mac airdrop be like new mac airdrop
valelenrodriguez - July 13, 2017 at 6:33pm
Thank you! It only worked between computers though. iMac 21'' late-2012 and MacBook Pro 13'' early-2015
Ted Irving
Ted Irving - August 28, 2016 at 10:14pm
I have a Mid 2010 Mac Pro running El Capitan 10.11.6. None of this worked and about three solutions I found on google didn't work. My iPhone 6Plus bluetooth is on and on the same wifi network as my MacPro, which has it's bluetooth on. I deleted the Library preferences for bluetooth as well. No go there. I have never gotten at the bottom of the AriDrop window the icon or text that is below the blue airdrop icon. And my computer is one that is on the compatible list. Stumped.
Riccardo Urbanet
Riccardo Urbanet - September 20, 2015 at 9:00pm
Still, I can't see any iphone to drop.... why ? It seems to me like old-marketing-apple-strategy, like in the description of airdrop they unflag my model of mac... (MBP-mid-2010 by the way)... Any solution to see my iphone 5 appeat in the list ?
ktsak - December 28, 2014 at 10:37pm
I do all the described above, but can't see Airdrop in finder menu. Why ? iMac mod late 2009 .......
Mr. Smith
Mr. Smith - December 27, 2014 at 8:28pm
if you open the AirDrop window on a newer Mac, you'll see blue text "don't see who you're looking for" underneath the black text at the bottom of the window. Click that blue text and then click "Search for an Older Mac". The old and new Mac should be able to see one another then. The setting doesn't last forever - if you do nothing, it will revert to seeing only new Macs after a minute or so. But there's no need to resort to Terminal commands.
johndoe - December 26, 2014 at 1:21pm
i was able to enable it but making it work is another thing…. now how do i disable it since it caused my finder to always crash…. need help pls
TimCook - December 26, 2014 at 2:42pm
Read the last line of the article. Read people, READ!
Ricardo Montalvo
Ricardo Montalvo - December 26, 2014 at 5:10am
I do have Air drop on the finder but I never can transfer any file through, whY? I don't know. any help will be appreciate it. I do transfer file through Air drop between my ipad and other two iphones but never can send or receive any file on my iMac 27" from 2009 late that year. even after doing this here. still can't transfer any thing. It doesn't show on any of my iPhones (5s and 6 Plus) or the iPad air 2.
jul85 - January 18, 2016 at 9:05pm
Apple's AirDrop support pages are actually incorrect. I have submitted feedback about the incorrect information. Older models will need HandOff support (and required hardware including bluetooth low power supply.) If your mac doesn't have HandOff enabled or available, AirDrop will not work regardless of the model. Please see the following links for more information (the 1st link for - Compatibility: what Macs and iPhones can do Continuity? the 2nd link for more in depth info about older macs and the needed hardware - information missing from apple support): and Hope this helps! I myself spent 2 days researching why the share menu features- mail, message, and AirDrop don't work on my 2010 iMac, and have decided to just ignore the option for now until I can remove the option completely, as my mac doesn't have bluetooth low energy support (older bluetooth module.)
FFK - December 26, 2014 at 3:59am
Thank you! Time for a new Mac!!
Recent. Read the latest Apple News.
Tutorials. Help is here.
Where to Download macOS Monterey
Where to Download iPod touch Firmware Files From
AppleTV Firmware Download Locations
Where To Download iPad Firmware Files From
Where To Download iPhone Firmware Files From
Deals. Save on Apple devices and accessories.