How to Change Your AirDrop Name

How to Change Your AirDrop Name

AirDrop is a unique Apple feature which allows you to send almost anything to other Apple devices. Here’s how to change your devices AirDrop name.

One particularly nice feature of Apple devices is AirDrop. This allows you to quickly and easily pass along files, links, images, or videos to other Apple devices. It’s fast, easy, and requires almost no setup. Even better, it doesn’t degrade the quality of the media that you might transmit. Even so, there’s one part of it that might not be as intuitive as I would like. That is changing the name that shows up when you AirDrop a file to someone. No matter which of your Apple devices you’re using, you can change your AirDrop name. Let me walk you through how to do that on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Three Device Types, Two Ways to Change Your AirDrop Name

Changing your AirDrop name on your Mac or iPad is quite simple, as you will see momentarily. It’s also easy on the iPhone, but there is a catch. From your iPhone, if you are sending a file using AirDrop to someone in your Contacts, the AirDrop name won’t be configured where you might think. So, let’s start with the iPhone.

How to Change the AirDrop Name Shown to Strangers on the iPhone

First, I will show you how to change the name that appears when you AirDrop a file to someone you don’t have in your Contacts.

  1. On your iPhone, open the Settings app.
    Settings App in iOS 17
  2. Navigate to General > About > Name.
    About section of Settings - General
  3. Delete the name displayed, usually something like “Jeff’s iPhone.”
    Change iPhone and AirDrop name
  4. Type in the name you want to use.

That will take care of what shows up when you use AirDrop with someone not in your Contacts. If they are in your Contacts, though, things are a bit trickier.

Apple designed AirDrop on the iPhone so that when you AirDrop someone in your contacts list, they see the transmission coming from your first name, as defined in My Card in Contacts. If you want folks to see something different, you have to change that in Contacts.

Adjusting the AirDrop Name Seen by Your Contacts

  1. On your iPhone, open the Contacts app.
  2. At the top, tap on My Card.
    Contacts app on iOS 17
  3. Next, tap the Edit button in the top right.
    My Card in Contacts
  4. Change the First field in your name to whatever you want to be displayed as your AirDrop name to your contacts.
    Save changes to My Card
  5. Finally, tap Done to save the changes.

Clearly, this may not be ideal for everyone. After all, there are other features of iOS that use the name fields from My Card. Auto-fill in Safari, for example, will try to automatically fill in your name in an appropriate field of a webpage. If you have changed the first name to something else, that won’t work out so well.

On the other hand, if someone is in your Contacts, it may not matter what name is shown when you AirDrop a file. If you do want to change it, at least you know how and what the possible consequences are.

How to Change Your AirDrop Name on an iPad

Changing the AirDrop name on the iPad is much simpler.

  1. On your iPad, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General > About > Name.
  3. Delete the name listed and replace it with one of your choosing.

That’s it. Unlike on the iPhone, AirDrop on your iPad only uses the name listed in Settings. Even if you’re sending a file to someone in your Contacts, the iPad’s AirDrop service will use the name you just configured.

Now Back to the Mac

Configuring the AirDrop name on a Mac is almost exactly the same as on an iPad. The difference lies only in the name of the app in which you change the setting.

  1. In macOS 13 Ventura and newer, click the Apple logo in the top left of your display, then choose System Settings. For earlier versions of macOS, pick System Preferences.
  2. Go to General > About > Name.
    Changing AirDrop Name on macOS Sonoma
  3. Next, macOS will prompt you to enter the password for a user with administrative rights. Do so.
  4. Delete the current name, then enter your desired replacement. This will also, by the way, change your Mac’s hostname on the network.
  5. Close System Settings (or System Preferences).
  6. The change should be immediate, but you can make sure by rebooting your Mac.

Easy, right? Once that’s done, the name you configure is what will appear anytime you AirDrop a file to someone else. Unlike with the iPhone, the name will show up the same whether the recipient is in your contacts or not.

Changing Your AirDrop Name Could Change More Than That

Now that you know how to change your AirDrop name across all of your supported Apple devices, there’s one more thing to be aware of. This change will carry over to more than just the AirDrop service.

In fact, the process entails changing the name of your device in just about every place it may appear on any network. This means the hostname on your local network, how the device is labeled in the Find My app, and possibly more.

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