Not to beat up on AirDrop or anything, but not all Macs can use the zero-configuration file sharing technology from Apple. In order to use AirDrop, you must have a a newer Mac, like a MacBook Pro from 2008 or later, a MacBook Air from 2010 or later, or a Mac Mini from mid 2010 or later (full list below)
Luckily, if you can connect your older Mac to an Ethernet cable and network, you can enable AirDrop on an older Mac. Here’s how.
First, connect that Mac up to an Ethernet network using an Ethernet cable. Then, open Terminal app, which can be found in the Utilities folder, itself inside the Applications folder on your hard drive. Once Terminal is open, paste the following after the command prompt:
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser BrowseAllInterfaces 1
After you hit Return, restart your Mac. Once it’s rebooted completely, use the Go menu in the finder and you’ll see the AirDrop option there as well as in the sidebar of any Finder Window. Activate it by choosing AirDrop from the Go menu, and wait for the other Macs on your network to show up in the Finder. Drag your file over to the Mac you want to share it with, and let the person you’re sending the file to accept the request. Other Macs on the network with AirDrop enabled should also see your Mac, as well, and be able to send you files the same way.
Want to disable AirDrop once you’ve enabled it as above? Simply run the following command in Terminal, and then restart your Mac again.
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser BrowseAllInterfaces 0
The fine folks at Addictive Tips tested this on an older Mac Mini, and it worked. Not having access to an older Mac myself, I haven’t been able to test it, but did want to pass along the info so you could try it at home. Let me know how it goes.
Here’s the full list of supported Macs for AirDrop:
MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer)*
MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
MacBook (Late 2008 or newer)*
iMac (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac Mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010)
* The MacBook Pro (17-Inch Late 2008) and the white MacBook (Late 2008) do not support AirDrop.