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Here's Everything You Should Know About NameDrop

Check out everything you need to know about what NameDrop actually is, how to use it, and the feature's safety.

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Mary-Elisabeth Combs Associate Writer
Mary-Elisabeth is an associate writer on CNET's How-To team. She's a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's English Department, and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. On the How-To team, she covers a little bit of everything. When she's not writing, she's catching up on Formula 1 or reading.
Mary-Elisabeth Combs
3 min read
Apple NameDrop contact sharing on iPhone

iPhone users who update to iOS 17 can take full advantage of NameDrop. 

James Martin/CNET

Since mid-September, Apple fans have been toying around with the new features that iOS 17 brought to compatible iPhones. These upgrades include additions like StandBy mode and the Journal app. Among these new-to-iPhone features is NameDrop, a contact-sharing feature that lets you share your number with just a tap of your phone. 

The release of iOS 17, and NameDrop, follows the announcement of the iPhone 15 series, the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2 at Apple's Wonderlust event in September. If you've got an iPhone running iOS 17, you're in luck; NameDrop is available (and pretty easy) to use. However, not everyone is sold on Apple's latest contact sharing feature. 

Recently, law enforcement agencies around the country have raised concerns over the feature's safety, specifically calling into question the ease with which information can be stolen. If you're concerned about the safety of NameDrop, don't worry, we have everything you need to know about the feature and how it works.

Read more: Best iPhone of 2023

What is NameDrop?

NameDrop is the newest way iPhone users can share contact information with each other. You no longer have to fork over your phone to strangers if you want to swap contact info. Simply tap your phones together to swap information. 

When can I use NameDrop?

If you're an iPhone user, you're in luck. NameDrop is available to you right now, or as soon as you update to iOS 17 -- that is, as long as you have a supported iPhone

How does NameDrop work? 

In a Newsroom post, Apple called NameDrop a "new AirDrop experience." People with iPhones can "hold their iPhone near another to share their contact information with only their intended recipient". When the feature was released back in September, Apple clarified that you'll be able to select what information you share with other people, so you won't have to worry about accidentally sending super-personal information to strangers. 

Essentially, all you have to do is place your iPhone close to the intended recipient of your NameDrop, and you're done. Once you've placed the phones together, a Contact Poster will pop up (that is, the image that pops up when you call someone). After that, you'll have the option to just receive the contact or send your own back. 

You'll only be able to NameDrop with other iPhone users running iOS 17 or later and Apple Watch users running Watch OS 10 or later. If you want to get in on the contact-sharing action, you'll want to make sure your device is running the right version of its operating system. 

So… how do I turn NameDrop off? 

If you still feel uncomfortable or unsafe using NameDrop, Apple's got you covered. 

All you have to do is open the Settings app, and then tap on General. After that, navigate to the AirDrop tab. Once you open the tab, simply toggle the Bring Devices Together option off. And just like that, no more NameDrop.

For more iOS 17 details, check out everything you should do before updating to iOS 17 and five hidden iOS 17 features we think you should know about

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