Google announced its plans to bring Nearby Share—its AirDrop competitor—to Windows at CES 2022. It’s been a year since, and the company has released the Nearby Share app, as promised, on Windows.

nearby share android windows

Nearby Share allows Android and Windows alike to share photos, videos, documents, files, and links between both platforms quickly and easily. As of writing this, it’s in beta and supports Windows 10 and 11.

If you frequently share files or links between an Android phone and a Windows PC, this is good news for you! Follow along, and we’ll show you how to use Nearby Share to share files between Android and Windows.

How to Install Nearby Share on a Windows PC

Nearby Share is currently available in beta on Windows, so you might experience some issues using it. In our time, though we didn’t encounter any strange issues with the app, it did crash a couple of times.

But if you don’t mind this, here’s how to get Nearby Share on your Windows PC:

  1. Head to the Nearby Share page and click Get Started.
  2. When this downloads the file, go to the Downloads folder and double-click the file to run it.
  3. Hit Yes on the User Account Control prompt to run the installer.
  4. Wait for the installer to finish downloading and installing the software on your PC, and hit Close when it’s done.

How to Set Up Nearby Share on Windows

Once you’ve installed the Nearby Share app on your computer, you need to set it up before you can use it to transfer or receive files from an Android phone.

Follow these steps to do this:

  1. Launch the Nearby Share app on your computer. (It’s called Nearby Share Beta from Google).
  2. If you want to use it with your Google account, enter your Google account credentials to sign in. Else, hit Use without an account to continue without your Google account.
  3. Now, you’ll be asked to set a name for your PC. This name is how your PC will be visible to others on the network.
  4. If you’re using Nearby Share with a Google account, select Contacts under Receiving to make yourself visible to only those in your Google Contacts. Else, if you aren’t signed in, set the device visibility setting to Receive from everyone to make your PC visible to everyone on the network.

How to Use Nearby Share to Transfer Files Between Android and Windows

Now that you’ve got Nearby Share set up on your Windows 10/11 PC, you can start sharing files with an Android phone. But before that, here are a few key things you need to know:

  • Since Nearby Share uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for transferring and receiving files, make sure to turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both your Android phone and Windows PC.
  • If you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, ensure that both devices are connected to the same network. Also, it’s better to have both of them use the 5GHz channel, as it offers faster transfer speeds.
  • Nearby Share transfer doesn’t require you to be connected to a Wi-Fi network to transfer and receive files. Just make sure the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on, and Nearby Share will automatically pick the right protocol.

Share Files From Android to Windows Using Nearby Share

If you want to share a file or link on your Android phone to a Windows PC, first, make sure your desktop is visible on the network. Head over to Nearby Share’s Settings page on your PC and choose Everyone or Contacts. After this, follow these steps:

  1. Open whatever (file, document, folder, link, or Wi-Fi password) you want to share on your Android phone.
  2. Click the Share button and select Nearby Share from the share menu.
    selecting nearby share from android share menu
  3. Wait for a few seconds until you see your Windows PC’s name appear on the Nearby Share card, and tap on it.
    selecting windows pc to send files across via nearby share
  4. Go to your desktop and accept the request by hitting the Accept button.
    accepting incoming files from android via nearby share

Depending on the size of the file and the medium of transfer, your file will now be transferred to the Windows PC. It’ll be downloaded automatically and saved to the Downloads folder on your computer.

However, if you want, you can change it from the settings. Simply click the settings icon on the Nearby Share app, tap the Change button on the Save received files to option, and pick the directory where you want to save files going forward. Finally, hit Change to save the preferences.

Share Files From Windows to Android Using Nearby Share

Much like sharing files from an Android phone, transferring files from your Windows PC to an Android phone is also easy with Nearby Share.

First, enable Nearby Share on your Android phone. A quick way to do this is to bring up the Quick Settings panel, tap on the Nearby Share tile, and toggle on the Device visibility option. After this, set the visibility to Everyone or Contacts based on whether you’re using Nearby Share on your desktop, signed in, or signed out.

Now, follow these steps to transfer files from your Windows PC to your Android phone:

  1. Select the files or folders you want to share, right-click on an item, and select Nearby Share. Or, open the Nearby Share app and drag and drop the items you want to share.
    nearby share app on windows
  2. Click on the Android device name that appears in Nearby Devices list on the app.
    selecting android device to share files via nearby share
  3. Go to your Android phone and hit Accept to start receiving the files.
    accepting file transfer request on android

Once the file(s) are downloaded, you can find them under the Downloads directory on your phone.

Google Finally Makes Android-Windows File Transfers Easy

By releasing the Nearby Share app on Windows, Google has finally made transferring files between Android devices and Windows desktops/laptops quick and simple. Not only that, but it has also put an end to users’ long-running search for an Android-Windows file-sharing platform.

Google’s Nearby Share is free, fast, reliable, and easy to use. And we must admit that, after all these years of its existence, it’s finally reached a stage where it’s comparable to Apple’s AirDrop.

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