February 3, 2012

How to enable AirDrop on a Hackintosh

One of the most publicized features of Mac OS X Lion is AirDrop, a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol that allows Macs to send files to other Macs that are on the same WiFi connection. However, the AirDrop feature is conspicuously absent in Hackintoshes. This is because AirDrop is only designed to work with a specific set of WiFi adapters; it won't work with the 3rd-party WiFi adapters that Hackintoshes use, and it doesn't even work with wired internet connections (ethernet). However, you can force enable AirDrop with the following tutorial.

Open Terminal (located in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder) in Mac OS X and enter this command:

defaults write BrowseAllInterfaces 1

This command changes the "BrowseAllInterfaces" setting in the settings file "" from false (0) to true (1). Now, Mac OS X will enable Airdrop on any internet connection, even if your WiFi adapter is unsupported, or if you're using a wired connection.

You won't see any immediate results from entering this command. To apply its effects, you need to restart Finder. You can do this by logging off. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+Esc (on a Windows keyboard, the shortcut is Alt+Windows+Esc), to open the "Force Quit Applications" window, which is the Mac version of Alt+Ctrl+Del. From this force quit window, you can relaunch Finder.

After Finder restarts, you will see the AirDrop option in the Favorites section of the Finder sidebar. Enjoy!

P.S. I cannot personally confirm that AirDrop works, as I don't own a second Hackintosh. However, the feedback from across the internet is generally positive, which is why I feel comfortable publishing this tip.