How to Fix AirDrop Stuck on Waiting Status on iPhone

Did you share a photo with your friend, but AirDrop is stuck on waiting status on your iPhone?

If you go to Apple Community and look for ‘AirDrop waiting’, you’ll find hundreds of users with AirDrop status stuck on waiting status.

airdrop stuck on waiting status on iphone

Sadly, this problem has been around for years. Many iOS versions later, and it still haunts users. 

And if  you’re experiencing the same thing, we’re here to help you out. 

We made a guide for fixing AirDrop if it’s stuck on waiting status on your iPhone. 

Let’s get started!

1. Restart Your Phone. 

Whenever you encounter problems on your iPhone, it’s good practice to try and restart it. 

This should clear corrupted data from the system memory, resolving temporary errors that occurred during use. 

If you are using an iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, 14, or later, here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Hold down the Volume Down button and Side button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears. 
  2. Now, drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds. 
  3. Press the Side button afterward to turn on your device. 
Restart iPhone

For older models, follow the steps below: 

  1. Locate the Power button on your device. 
  2. Now, hold the button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt shows up.
  3. Drag the slider to the right and wait 30 seconds before turning on your device. 
Restart Home Button


Make sure to restart both sending and receiving devices. 

Once done, try using AirDrop again to check if the problem is solved. 

2. Check Device Distance. 

AirDrop has a maximum range of 30 feet. However, this doesn’t account for signal interferences and other devices that use wireless frequencies. 

To ensure that your files get sent without problems, place the sending and receiving devices next to each other. 

Additionally, make sure that you are only sending to one device at a time to avoid issues. 

Related: How to Fix AirDrop Not Working

3. Enable Wi-Fi & Bluetooth. 

AirDrop needs Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to function. If one is disabled on your device, you can encounter problems while sending or receiving files. 

Check out the steps below to turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your phone: 

  1. Swipe downwards from the upper right corner of your screen. 
  2. In the Control Center, tap the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icon
airdrop stuck on waiting status on iphone


Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons should turn blue once they are enabled. 

Try sending files again to check if the problem is solved. 

4. Turn Off Hotspot. 

AirDrop won’t work if Personal Hotspot is enabled on your iPhone. Both of these features utilize Wi-Fi connections, so you can’t use them simultaneously. 

See the steps below to turn off personal hotspot on your iPhone: 

  1. Go to your home screen and tap on Settings
  2. Now, tap on Cellular
  3. Access the Personal Hotspot or Settings tab. 
Personal Hotspot Settings
  1. Tap on Personal Hotspot and ensure that it is turned off. 
Allow Others to Join Hotspot

Check if you can now send files via AirDrop. 

5. Make Sure Both Devices Are Unlocked. 

AirDrop may fail if the receiving device is locked while the transfer is in progress. 

To avoid issues, make sure that both devices stay unlocked when AirDrop is active. Leave the receiving device on the home screen while sending files for best results. 

6. Check System Restrictions. 

If you are using Screen Time on your iPhone, it’s possible that AirDrop is not allowed with your current profile/preset. 

Follow the guide below to check if AirDrop is allowed on Screen Time: 

  1. Open the Settings app. 
  2. Next, access the Screen Time tab. 
  3. Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions
airdrop stuck on waiting status on iphone
  1. Go to Allowed Apps
  2. Make sure that AirDrop is enabled. 
airdrop stuck on waiting status on iphone
  1. You can also disable screen time altogether if you don’t plan on using it. 

Try sending files via AirDrop again to see if it will still get stuck on the waiting status. 

Related: How to Fix AirDrop Not Working on iPhone 14 Pro

7. Update Both Devices. 

There might be an issue with the version of iOS on the receiving and sending devices, causing AirDrop to malfunction. 

Make sure that both devices are running the latest version of iOS. 

Here’s how you can update your iPhone: 

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Navigate to General > Software Update
  3. If there’s a new iOS version available, tap Download and Install
  4. Once the new software is ready, follow the prompts to install the update. 
airdrop stuck on waiting status on iphone


  • Your device can restart several times while installing the update. 
  • Make sure that your iPhone has at least 50% battery before installing updates. It’s best to keep your device plugged into the wall charger to avoid interruptions. 
  • Allow at least 15 minutes for the update to install, especially if it’s a major update (iOS 14 to iOS 15).

Send another file afterward to check if the problem is solved. 

8. Wait It Out. 

Although AirDrop has no size limit for file sharing, larger files may take a while to get sent. 

You might also be sending multiple files at a time, explaining why the file transfer is taking longer than usual. 

Wait for 3-5 minutes to give time for the transfer to complete. 

9. Reset Network Settings. 

If none of the solutions above worked, reset your network settings. This should roll back any changes with your iPhone’s network configurations that cause AirDrop to fail.

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On your iPhone, go to the main menu and open Settings
  2. Now, tap on General
  3. Look for Transfer or Reset iPhone and tap on it. 
  4. Tap the Reset option and select Reset Network Settings
airdrop stuck on waiting status on iphone
  1. Follow the prompts to continue. 


  • Your iPhone will immediately restart upon resetting your network configurations. 
  • It may appear to be stuck in the Apple logo. Wait for the process to complete, which usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. 

Set up your iPhone again and see if you can now send files via AirDrop. 

That sums up our guide for fixing AirDrop if it’s stuck on waiting status on your iPhone. If you have clarifications about the steps, leave a comment, and we’ll try our best to respond. 

If this guide helped you, please share it.


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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