Air Dropped iPad to Mac - files gone


I left my 10yo transferring a bunch of files from Photos on his old iPad via Airdrop to my Mac Mini whilst dealing with Santa’s blunderous Chromebook issue…

He transferred the files in groups of around 50 images, and each time he said the message came up on the computer saying they’d been received.

Stupid me did not double check… and we deleted the content from his iPad, only to discover - I cannot find the images on the Mac Mini! :frowning:

We were able to recover about 25% of the content from the Photos app on his iPad under the “Recently Deleted” tab, and he’s not super upset, but - I’d love to know what happened…

My fault entirely for not checking before telling him to delete them… but they are not in the Downloads folder which is where AirDrop content is meant to go…


Have you checked to see the photos aren’t in your Photos library on your Mac mini?

Yes, I had a look there, as that was my first thought. (Well - first thought was Downloads folder cos that’s where Airdropped stuff had always gone before.)

When I opened Photos up, I could see a folder which appeared to represent his iPad (listed under “Devices”), but the contents inside was just a few items, included in the files that I was able to recover from the “Recently Deleted” items.

As I said - entirely my fault… Should have double checked what he’d done, though what he describes sounds like it should have worked…

I was caught out once when I moved some old photos into my photo library and could not find them. I thought they would be in “Recent”, but they weren’t.

I found them later in my library. They were stored in date order back with the other photos from the year they were taken.

I have found that Airdrop can be a bit flakey sometimes, especially on older devices.