Where Do AirDrop Files Go on Mac? AirDrop Files' Location 2024

Wendy Wu
Last updated: May 28, 2024

This post is surrounded by a question - where do AirDrop files go on Mac? Read on and find the answer below!

"I can't find my airdrop documents on my macbook. I can't find my airdrop documents on my macbook. I can send it and I hear the sound,

but then there is not pop up window to accept or any files in my downloads folder."

- A Question from Apple Community.

Wondering Where do AirDrop files/photos go on Mac/MacBook? In fact, most of them are right stored in the Downloads folder on Mac.

Follow this guide to access/check your AirDrop files on your Mac!

Airdrop files location

Where Do AirDrop Files Go on Mac?

As for most AirDrop photos, videos, and files (zip files, pdf files, etc.), you can find them in the Downloads folder on Mac.

For some photos and videos, you may find them in the Photos app. This is because there are two options - "Open in Photos" and "Save to Downloads" while you AirDrop photos and videos to Mac.

AirDrop photo location

AirDropped notes are stored in the Notes app on Mac.

Here is how to find AirDrop photos/files on Mac:

  • Open the Downloads folder on your Mac Dock.

  • Or Open Finder>Click Downloads in the Sidebar.

If the Downloads not showing up on the Sidebar in Finder, go to Finder menu>Settings>Sidebar>Check Downloads under Show these items in the sidebar.
Show Downloads in the sidebar

Why Are My AirDrop Files Not Showing Up on Mac?

Many users reported that they can't find AirDrop files on Mac. The possible reasons why AirDrop files are not showing up on Mac:

Bonus: How to Find and Delete AirDrop Duplicates Quickly

AirDropped files are only a part of the Downloads folder. With time, the Downloads folder may grow up to a larger size. So it's important to remove some useless or duplicate downloads.

BuhoCleaner is an easy-to-use and powerful duplicate file finder. With it, you can easily find and delete AirDrop duplicates in the Downloads folder in minutes.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide

Here is how:

  1. Free download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click Duplicates>the + button>Choose Custom Folder>Downloads>OK>Scan.
  3. Select the duplicate files you want to delete>Click Remove.
Delete AirDrop duplicate files with BuhoCleaner
  1. A quick way to select all duplicate files but keep one: Choose Smart Select.
  2. Or you can directly check and remove all Downloads: BuhoCleaner offers quick access to check how much space the downloaded file takes.


After finishing this post, are you clear about where does AirDrop go on Mac? Go and access your AirDrop files/photos/notes in the Downloads/Photos/Notes app now.


  1. How do I AirDrop directly to Photos on Mac?

    To AirDrop directly to Photos on Mac, you have to select the Open in Photos option in the AirDrop notification on your Mac.

  2. Why are AirDrop files not in Downloads?

    Not all AirDrop files are stored in Downloads.

    Notes go directly to the Notes app. Photos/videos will go directly to the Photos app if you have selected Open in Photos rather than Save to Downloads.

Wendy Wu is a tech enthusiast with a deep passion for all things iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Wendy is always on the lookout for Apple products and is committed to providing Apple users with some of the latest information and useful tips.