Force AirDrop to process multiple files sequentially?

Found that when I select multiple files and then AirDrop them from iPhone to Desktop, all the files are transferred in parallel.

I am now sending groups of very large video files (several Gigabytes each) and if the transfer fails, none of the files are received and I have to start over again.

Is there a way to select a group of files but force AirDrop to transfer them sequentially so recovery is faster to only send the failed files?

Manual restart/recovery; expecting AirDrop to handle it like many 3rd party sync/copy utilities is simply to far above AirDrop’s “pay grade” for now.

One would think batch file transfers, even over Wi-Fi, should be easy, but apparently not.

I would send a cloud link. Be it any cloud provider of your choice. That’s the easiest way. Devices don’t have to be in the vicinity when being air dropped till it completes.

I would just use iCloud for this scenario.
Or share them via Shared Album in Photos. Delete the shared album after a certain time duration.


I don’t think there is a way. I would start transfers for each individual file, even though that’s annoying. Airdropping files or double-checking lists of transfers is a great job for a production assistant. :slight_smile: If you’re tracking your takes you can reference that list from the Mac to make comparison faster.

Cloud storage upload is usually not the best option for a shoot since it’s a lot slower and you don’t have a guarantee you’ve received the same raw file (even if you think you’ve checked the right settings, things happen.) It’s going to be faster to Airdrop, spend a couple minutes double-checking the list, and Airdrop the missing ones again.

One more option is to use Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader With a high capacity SD Card you should be able to reliably transfer the files to your Mac at your fullest resolution.

You could. The lightning spec is pretty slow unless you’re shooting short video with iPhone and not using ProRes. It’s one of the reasons video people want USB-C for iPhone to arrive.

Thanks! Disappointed to read no one has a better solution than selecting files one by one.

Somewhat gratified that I haven’t overlooked something I should have known.

For the record, cloud upload is super slow and unreliable. Anything with the lightning port, such as dongle for USB memory cards, etc. is very slow.

Right now, Wifi (via AirDrop) is the fastest way to transfer very large files.

In the past I experimented with FTP server/client setups between iOS and desktop, but they were too flaky and unreliable that I went back to AirDrop.

One of the reasons I rarely shoot video with an iPhone, but these are screen recordings best done with Apple’s built-in iOS recording options so I’m stuck with AirDrop.

Might have to upgrade to the new iPhone just for USB-C even though otherwise don’t need an upgrade.

But USB-C, as we all painfully now, is a physical connector and different protocols and speeds run on it. Not clear at all if upcoming iPhone USB-C will have the highest speeds of USB or Thunderbolt or just be the physical connector to shut up the European regulators.

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If I had to guess…

iPhone 15 = USB-C
iPhone 15 Pro = Thunderbolt 4

Pretty useless for my use case. Slowing things down looping through iCloud upload/download doesn’t help me get a file from an iPhone to a Mac that is sitting a few feet away.

Also, I can do this (cloud based file transfer) simply uploading to Dropbox and then emailing a link to the other person.

Nice to see Apple making an “Apple-ish” version, of course.