What to Know

  • iPhone: Contacts > [your name] > Edit > first name > enter new name > Done.
  • iPad: Settings > General > About > Name > enter new name.
  • Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Sharing > Computer Name > enter new name.

You can change your AirDrop ID so others see something besides your name. This article explains how to change your AirDrop name on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

How to Change Your Name in AirDrop on iPhone

Changing your AirDrop name on an iPhone involves a change that you may not want to make. Luckily, that's not true on the iPad and Mac, as we'll see in the next two sections.

AirDrop on the iPhone uses the name you have for yourself in your Contacts card. Changing your name there changes how you appear in AirDrop, but it also changes your name in all uses that access your contact card. For instance, if we wanted to change the AirDrop name from “Sam” to “Mister X,” anytime Safari tries to autofill the name in a form on a website, it would use “Mister X” as the first name. Potentially annoying!

Still, if you want to change your name in AirDrop on your iPhone, here's how to do it:

  1. Open the Contacts app (or open Phone and tap Contacts).

  2. Tap your name at the top of the list.

  3. Tap Edit.

    iPhone with Contacts app, Name Card, and Edit highlighted

  4. Tap your first name and then tap the x in that field to delete what's there.

  5. Type in the new first name you want to use and tap Done to save it.

    iPhone name card with first name, new first name, and X highlighted

    You can also change the photo that appears with your name in AirDrop. Just change your profile photo by tapping Edit. Be aware, though, that this changes the profile photo in your Apple ID and will sync to every device using this Apple ID.

  6. With that done, your AirDrop name has changed. It's only changed on this iPhone, though—it doesn't sync to other devices. It may take a few minutes for the change to register on other people's devices when using AirDrop.

We’ve got lots of other AirDrop tips, including a way to use AirDrop without Wi-Fi and suggestions for what to do when AirDrop isn’t working.

How to Change Your Name in AirDrop on iPad

The process for changing your name on AirDrop on an iPad is different than on an iPhone. It doesn’t involve changing your name in contacts. Instead, you change the name of your iPad itself (which is good; it’s definitely less disruptive than changing your contact info). Here’s what to do:

  1. Tap Settings.

    iPad home screen with Settings highlighted

  2. Tap General.

  3. Tap About.

    iPad General settings with About highlighted

  4. Tap Name.

  5. Tap the x to delete the current name for your iPad and type the new one that you want.

  6. When you're done, tap Done on the keyboard, tap the back arrow in the top left, or both. The new name that you've given your iPad will now show up in AirDrop.

    iPhone settings with new name and Done highlighted

    This name is used in all instances in which your iPad name appears, not just AirDrop. For instance, that name appears in Find My and, if you sync your iPad to a computer, the new name is what shows in Finder or iTunes.

How to Change Your Name in AirDrop on Mac

Changing your AirDrop name on a Mac is different from both iPhone and iPad, though it's pretty similar to the iPad version. Just follow these steps:

  1. In the top left corner of the screen, click the Apple menu and then System Preferences.

    Mac screen with System Preferences highlighted

  2. Click Sharing.

    Mac System Preferences with Sharing highlighted

  3. In the Computer Name field, delete your computer's current name and enter the new name you want to use.

    Mac Sharing settings with computer name highlighted

    This changes the name of the computer for all networked sharing purposes, not just AirDrop.

  4. When you have the name you want, close the window to save the new name. Now, that new name will appear whenever you use AirDrop on this Mac.

FAQ

  • How do I turn on AirDrop on an iPhone?

    To turn on AirDrop on an iPhone, open the Control Center and press and hold the section that displays various icons to expand it. Tap the AirDrop icon to turn on the feature. Select Contacts Only or Everyone. Or, go to Settings > General > AirDrop to turn it on.

  • How do I turn on AirDrop on a Mac?

    To turn on AirDrop on a Mac, open Finder and click Go > AirDrop. At the bottom of the window, choose who you wish your Mac to be discovered by, e.g., Contacts Only. You can now share and receive files using AirDrop.

  • Where do AirDrop photos go?

    On an iPhone, AirDropped photos will go to your Photos app. Similarly, all files sent to you via AirDrop will be stored in their corresponding app on your iPhone. On a Mac, AirDropped files, including photos, are stored in the Downloads folder.

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