AirDrop is one of the most convenient file sharing solution for Apple users as it allows a simple way of transferring photos, documents, contacts and other types of files between Mac computers, iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch.
Nevertheless, it can be quite frustrating when AirDrop decides to misbehave or simply dissapear completely in iOS – and even if it might not be completely broken, if you can’t find it the result is pretty much the same.
Actually, AirDrop not showing up in Control Center is a frequently encountered problem. Luckily there is a quick fix which usually fixes the issue.
I do realize most iPhone and iPad users have already updated to iOS 9, but I still feel obligated to mention it’s always best to have the latest version installed – this alone might fix your problem and ensure a superior experience with AirDrop as well as other services.
There is more than one cause for AirDrop not showing up, but the fix I’m going to detail below is able to solve the problem in most cases.
Open the Settings app and go to General -> Restrictions. You might be prompted to enter your passcode (this is the Restrictions passcode, not the one you use to unlock your phone).
Find the ‘AirDrop‘ option in the list and toggle on the switch if it was disabled.
Now you can quit the Settings app and AirDrop should become visible in the Control Center.
All that’s left to do, is to toggle AirDrop on and if the service is not able to find a nearby device you might want to switch it from ‘Contacts Only’ to ‘Everyone’, at least temporarily.
Note: The above tweak should work immediately, but rebooting the device might be needed to ensure AirDrop will continue to work properly.
Another common reason that prevents AirDrop from appearing in the Control Center is not having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled on your device (so make sure they are in the Settings app). Regarding the Restriction setting, it is unclear why AirDrop would be disabled there by default, but plenty of users have experienced this problem. However, turning off the restriction will cause AirDrop to display in Control Center again.