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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware Network
AirDrop is a handy way to share files between Macs. Unfortunately, it is only supported on newer models which have the hardware necessary to support a certain type of point-to-point WiFi connection. There is, however, a hidden setting to enable AirDrop on older Macs. Just type:

defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser BrowseAllInterfaces 1

into a Terminal window, hit enter, and relaunch the Finder.

Note that:
  • You must do this on both the sending and receiving macs, even if one of them already has the correct WiFi hardware (I think).
  • You will be able to see other macs on the same network, and they will be able to see your Mac (when AirDrop is open), even if they are not physically nearby. On a larger network with many Macs, this could potentially cause some confusion, although it shouldn't be a real security issue. This may be why Apple decided not to enable this feature by default.
  • Both macs must be connected to the same network somehow (ethernet, existing WiFi network, etc.)

[crarko adds: So here I sit, with only one Lion machine, so I can't fully test this. However, when using the command, it did enable the AirDrop icon in the Finder's Sidebar and said it had become available, so it will likely work, given the caveats mentioned above. To reverse this, just change the 1 in the command to a 0. This will be a great boon to those of us with some older (but still Lion-capable) machines still around.]
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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware | 27 comments | Create New Account
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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: apikoros on Sep 16, '11 08:22:27AM

What if the machine in question is not Lion-capable? My wife has a 2011 MacBook Air, but I use a first-generation Intel Core Duo iMac that can't run Lion.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: ebernet on Sep 16, '11 08:51:27AM

If you are not Lion capable, then the command line switch will not install the components and enable them. It just activates a latent feature that was already installed. No Lion, no AirDrop.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: BiL Castine on Sep 16, '11 08:53:58AM

Airdrop is only available in Lion. If you can't run Lion, this hint is useless to you.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: apikoros on Sep 16, '11 08:59:22AM

Shucks. Thank you.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: stonevil on Sep 16, '11 11:05:53AM

You can upgrade processor up to Core 2 Duo and install Lion.
I'm upgrade 2 MacMini from Core Duo 1.6 up to Core 2 Duo 2.1 and install Lion without any problem.

Upgrade CPU:
http://www.ambor.com/public/meromswap/meromswap.html
http://www.hardmac.com/articles/68/page1

Install Lion:
http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20110724193028892



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: maczac on Sep 16, '11 09:25:07AM

Great hint, thanks

---
zac



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: satcomer on Sep 16, '11 09:45:09AM

It works!!! Thank you for such a great hint!



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: transeau on Sep 16, '11 09:56:22AM

Got it working on my MacPro with no WiFi, as well as my Hackintosh Server - both required a reboot.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: ejensen on Sep 16, '11 11:01:22AM

I tried this on my 2007 Macbook Pro (3,1) and although after rebooting I can see AirDrop in the Finder sidebar and it looks for connections, it would not find my new (2011) iMac that is right beside it (neither could see the other). Is this the WiFi hardware of the MB Pro not being able to actually sustain the AirDrop connection?



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: Anonymous on Sep 19, '11 10:04:13AM

According to the hint, you need to run the command on both your macs, even if one is already supported by AirDrop.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: R. P. Rhoten on Sep 16, '11 11:14:33AM

Works GREAT on my non-standard setup. Cable modem to old "white flying saucer" - the one with the external antenna plug. From external antenna plug to amplifier, then to a semi-parabolic antenna. Also via ethernet cable to MacBook Pro (4,1). Other computer (Mini (3,1)) is some 300 feet away. All it took was quitting and restarting Finder on both Macs.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: wpnelson44 on Sep 16, '11 11:42:31AM

This AirDrop terminal mod works on a late 2006 MacBook, 1.83ghz. Requires a restart and a 2nd restart indicates it is permanent.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: Michelasso on Sep 20, '11 05:35:35AM

Same here. Late 2006 white MAcBook, 2.0GHz. To make AirDrop appearing in Finder I had to deselect and select it again in the Finder side bar preferences, tho.

Great hint!! But.. does it actually transfer files?! I can't test, no other Macs around... O_o



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Awesome
Authored by: mdwittenberg on Sep 16, '11 01:16:48PM

Great hint. Successfully enabled AirDrop on a Black MacBook and 20" iMac (both from mid 2007).



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: stol909 on Sep 17, '11 04:29:54AM

I enabled this on my early 2008 Macbook only. Airdrop appeared on the Finder sidebar, I can see a new 2011 iMac that's on the same network, but the iMac cannot see the Macbook. I can also send files to the iMac - the Macbook user's icon appears on the Airdrop pane instantly and asks to accept the file and when transfer is complete disappears again.

That will do for now...

Anyway, Airdrop looks awesome, but is kinda dull - the other end must have already selected the Airdrop icon in the finder to activate it, and confirm any transfer. And with my old Macbook, there is obviously no speed advantage over e.g. copying files to the Drop Box folder.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: Sesquipedalian on Sep 17, '11 07:41:22AM

Excellent hint! I was quite disappointed when my wife's iBook turned out not to support AirDrop. Problem solved!



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: DDDAMORE on Sep 17, '11 12:29:32PM

Does not work on MacBook with 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo running SnowLeopard 10.6.8



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: batmanppc on Sep 18, '11 11:04:03AM

Which is why the hint title was prefixed with 10.7 :)

---
=====================================================================
Mohammad A. Haque
http://www.haque.net/
mhaque()haque.net



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: maclooney on Sep 19, '11 09:47:11AM

Brilliant stuff !!!
I have just done it in my 2008 Macbook 2.4 (black) running Lion and I can send files from it to my 27' iMac also with Lion and vice-versa. The only thing was that at first the 27' iMac could not see the Macbook in Airdrop but as I sent the first file from the Macbook it became visible on the iMac. Couldn't be happier :-)



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: zane on Sep 20, '11 05:36:26PM

Brilliant. Works perfectly on a MacPro (1,1) running 10.7.1. Thanks!



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: everkleer80 on Sep 26, '11 02:08:00PM

Excellent! 5 stars! I was extremely disappointed to find that my late 2007 iMac did not support AirDrop. Can't wait to try it! (I doubt it'll be of any use to me, but still fun to try the new features!)



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: macguy918 on Oct 31, '11 09:04:51AM

I tried this. I have an original Macbook Air and a new iMac 27 inch, both running 10.7.2. I ran the terminal command on both machines.

This step did make Airdrop visible on the Macbook Air,and I can see it on the iMac. But when I try to send a file to the Macbook Air, I get an immediate response that the Macbook Air has refused my request. No dialog box to accept or decline ever appears on the Macbook Air.

When I try to go the other way, from the Macbook Air to the iMac, I get a message that "The Apple ID Certificate for "last name, first name" is invalid. The transfer has been cancelled."

Any ideas why this is happening would be appreciated.

thanks



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: benwiggy on Nov 03, '11 09:38:26AM

Yes, I get the same thing with 2006 C2D iMac and 2009 MacBook.

Ran the command on both machine; restarted both: I see the AirDrop icons for both computers, viewed on both computers, but transferring a file fails.

Turning off the Firewall stopped AirDrop from timing out, waiting for the other computer to accept; but now I get the message about the Apple ID certificate being invalid.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: benwiggy on Nov 03, '11 10:27:40AM

Fixed it.

You need to delete the Apple ID from the Users & Groups System Pref, and then add it again (on both computers.)

AirDrop now works!



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: spicerider1 on Jan 19, '12 02:05:59AM
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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: paulkeleher on Jul 30, '12 11:07:17AM

Works perfectly. I ran the script on my old Mac and all I had to do was relaunch the Finder to get it working. Oddly I had to restart my MacBook Pro which already had Airdrop enabled to see the older mac on that.



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10.7: Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware
Authored by: Teenzraul on Aug 09, '13 04:07:39AM
I am using a new computer with Mac OS. SInce I was using windows till now and absolutely new to the MAc OS I am finding it difficult to use the MAc OS. snoring cures Thanks for sharing details about the airdrop. I was struggling hard to share files and you have made my job easier.

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