The iPhone is a powerful device that lets you take photos and videos, watch movies, play games and more right from the palm of your hand. But how can you share those images and videos that you capture with other iOS and macOS users?

While it’s easy enough to email photos and videos to friends and family, there’s another way that’s both faster and more convenient than using a third-party service; AirDrop.

Utilising a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, AirDrop provides iOS users with the ability to quickly share files with one another without an active internet connection. Here, we show you how to use AirDrop in iOS 10.

Got an iPhone 7? You'll want to look at the best ways to use 3D Touch on an iPhone.

What is AirDrop?

While AirDrop sounds similar to Apple’s AirPlay technology, AirDrop is slightly different as it doesn’t mirror your files on another device – it sends (and receives) them wirelessly.

AirDrop uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and works anywhere where you are in the same location as a friend. It allows you to share files like photos and videos from your iPhone or iPad wirelessly, and is also available on Mac.

Mac users aren’t limited to a specific file type or maximum file size, although large files may take a while to transfer.

How to use AirDrop

In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to use AirDrop to share files on your iPhone with another iPhone, iPad or Mac.

1. Activate AirDrop

Open the Control Centre by sliding your finger up from the bottom of the display, tap ‘AirDrop’ and choose either Everyone or Contacts Only.

Make sure you select Contacts Only unless you don’t know the other person. This should toggle on your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, if they aren’t on already.

Be careful not to accidentally toggle Wi-Fi or Bluetooth off during the transfer, or it’ll be cancelled.

2. Access the Share Sheet

Open the Photos app and tap on the picture or video you’d like to share. Tap the Share icon (Square with an arrow on it) in the bottom-left to view the sharing window.

You should see the names of people you can share with under the “Tap to share with AirDrop” heading.

3. Tap to share

Tap the name/icon of the person you want to share the image with. They should then see this notification appear on their screen - if they tap Accept, they will receive a copy of photo or video, viewable within the Photos app (don’t worry, you still keep your copy on the iPhone).

New to the world of iOS? Here's our top iOS 10 tips

How do I change my name in AirDrop?

You might be wondering how to change the name that appears in AirDrop. This is linked to your Apple ID, rather than your device’s name.

Tap Settings > iCloud > Account > Mail (under advanced) and change the Name field, although be aware that this may also change the name associated with your iCloud email.

Read next: How to use Control Centre on iPhone and iPad