AirDrop ID location?

I have several different IDs that I use on my Macs and iPhone. My @yahoo is used for my iTunes & subscriptions, my is used for my iCloud, and then I have an @outlook, @me, and a couple of @gmail. One of my @gmail accounts has the username of “Green Fairy” (my Burning Man “playa name” is Absinthe, thus the :man_fairy:t5:), but it’s not associated with any of my Mac or iPhone configurations. However, today, when I launched AirDrop to move a file between MacBook Pros, both my MacBook Pro and my iPhone showed up as “Green Fairy”!?! Checking my Contacts, I don’t even have my “Green Fairy” name or email address listed, so it’s not my “Me” card. Checking the About on my devices (2 MacBook Pros, Mac Studio, and iPhone), the Name is not listed as “Green Fairy.”

Why are my devices being listed as “Green Fairy” in AirDrop but nowhere else!? Where does this naming come from?

All of my devices are running Sonoma v14.1.1 or iOS 17.1.1.


The confused “Green Fairy”

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Devices advertise their device-name for AirDrop purposes.

For modern macOS and iOS systems, this is Settings → General → About → Name:

macOS Ventura:

iOS 17:

But if you’re not seeing “Green Fairy” in these locations, I have no clue how it might have gotten there. What happens if you change the name?

Interestingly, although my iPhone shows machine names (the above dialogs), the AirDrop Finder window on Ventura is apparently showing contact card information (full human names) and not machine names:

But you says you’re not using that name there either? If you have multiple on-line accounts providing contacts (e.g. iCloud, GMail, others), could it maybe coming from one of them via a joined-contact (where one name appears on multiple servers)?

Also strangely, I can’t figure out how to change the name Ventura’s AirDrop window shows for my phone. The icon is my iCloud picture, and it changes when I change the picture, but when I change my iCloud name or my contact card name, the text doesn’t change.

As mentioned, the Name field on all of my devices have my name or the name of the device listed, and not “Green Fairy.” When I search in my Contacts for “Green Fairy” (or the email address associated with it), I don’t get any hits.

So freaking strange! :slight_smile:

When I searched my Contacts previously, I misspelled fairy! Doh! So, now I do see that I have a contact called “Green Fairy” that’s associated with an @gmail address. That being said, it’s not in use anywhere on any device other than as an email account in Apple Mail.