Apple Pay, AirDrop and Handoff not working? Here’s what to do to get them to work again

Glenn Fleishman
18 July, 2017
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Apple has built a lot of proximity tools into iOS and macOS, and they’re great when they work. But when they don’t work, it’s leaves you scrambling to find an alternative. If you’ve ever used Handoff, Apple Pay or AirDrop, you’re using a proximity tool.

Because these features require a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to work, you’re likely experiencing a problem in how the operating systems determine whether they’re close enough to each other. (Some Continuity features work with just Wi-Fi or even devices just signed into the same Apple ID/iCloud account.)

I’ve found this a particular problem in a multi-base station household in which my iOS device and Mac wound up on the same Wi-Fi network via different Wi-Fi gateways. While Apple doesn’t say your devices must connect to the same base station, it does seem to be an issue.

The next time a proximity feature doesn’t work, try this:

  • On your Mac, turn Wi-Fi off. Then turn it on again.
  • In iOS, swipe up for Control Centre, tap the Wi-Fi icon and then tap it again.

This can reset your Wi-Fi connection to the same nearby base station or otherwise reset an incorrect Wi-Fi status.

If the features continue not to work, try:

  • On your Mac, turn Bluetooth off. Then turn Bluetooth on again.
  • In iOS, swipe up for Control Centre, tap the Bluetooth icon and then tap it again.

If this continues to fail, restarting your iOS device is more likely to fix things than your Mac.

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