muchen 牧辰

AirDrop not working? AdGuard installed? Here's the Workaround

Updated 2022-01-01

AirDrop is a feature of the Apple ecosystem that allows easy file transfer across devices. But for the last couple of months I just couldn’t figure out why I cannot send files from my Mac to my other Apple devices. I could receive using AirDrop just fine – which indicates it’s not an issue with bluetooth or WiFi on my Mac.

I’ve tried everything that a Google search might suggest, turning WiFi, bluetooth, computer off and on, doing updates etc. Then I realized this has to be a network issue, so I started looking through all the apps I installed that may affect network – and AdGuard stuck out.

How AdGuard works is that it essentially sets up a local mini-VPN such that network traffic flow through here. This is where AdGuard blocks ads before websites gets rendered on the browser.

However, recently it’s been noted 12 that AirDrop affects Apple Bourjour service – a network service that powers AirDrop. Luckily, there is a workaroud:

  1. Open the AdGuard settings panel (either through the app, or the browser extension) by clicking on the gear icon.
  2. From the menu bar, click on AdGuard, then select Advanced > Advanced Settings
  3. Find the entry network.extension.monterey.force.split.tunnel and set the value to true
  4. Done.

Now my AirDrop works flawlessly with AdGuard turned on.

Update: Apparently, as of December 2021, the team behind AdGuard has rolled out an update in beta (2.7.0+) that fixes this issue. But it’s been weeks since the patch and I still haven’t gotten my update (I installed AdGuard through Setapp) so I personally still find this workaround useful.

Thanks for reading!