How to Use Nearby Share to Instantly Share Files on Android

A In-Depth Guide on How to Use Nearby Share on Android

If you’re a long time Apple user then you would know how easy it is to share files between one Apple device to another using AirDrop. However, newer Android devices also come with a pretty similar yet unknown file sharing feature called Nearby Share that works pretty similarly to AirDrop.

That said, here’s a detailed guide that explains everything that you need to know about Nearby Share and how you too can use it on your Android smartphone to share files easily to your friends and family.

What is Nearby Share?

First released to the public back in August 2020, Nearby Share is a file sharing tool that was developed by Google for Android and Chrome OS to facilitate short-range transfer of files including images, videos, text, documents, YouTube videos and much more within the Android ecosystem.

Similar to Google’s long forgotten Android beam and Apple’s much popular AirDrop, Nearby Share also works by allowing users with Android 6 or above to send and receive files over a short-range by using any one of multiple sensors including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, as well as GPS for improved compatibility and device discoverability.

How to Use Nearby Share?

Now that you know what Nearby Share is and how it works, let’s take a look at how you too can configure and use Nearby Share on your smartphone to share files easily.

Step 1: Turning on & Setting Up Nearby Share

While you can always turn on Nearby Share from the Android Share Sheet or Google’s Files app, it is also accessible from Android’s notification shade. Upon tapping on a nearby share you will be prompted to turn on bluetooth, Wi-Fi and location if any of it isn’t turned on. Once you’ve turned on everything that was promoted on your screen you will be greeted with another prompt that shows three options including Everyone, Contact and Hidden.

  • Selecting on Everyone means that every Android Smartphone near you, will be able to send you files via nearby share.
  • Selecting contact allows you to receive files using nearby share only if they’re from your contacts and include the email address associated with their Google Account.
  • Selecting hidden means you won’t be able to receive any files using Nearby Share until you turn it on again manually.

Additionally, you can also tap on settings to configure various variables such as the account used to share files, the device’s name and visibility and if you want to be notified whenever there’s a device with Nearby Share turned on near you or not and so on.

Step 2: Sharing Files using Nearby Share

After you’ve configured nearby share according to your preference you can easily share files using your Android smartphone’s default share sheet as shown in the steps below:

  • Select the files that you want to share and tap on Share and then select Nearby Share which now starts scanning for nearby devices.
  • Once you see the receiver’s smartphone in the list, tap on it. This sends a numerical code to the receiver’s device and it should match with the code on your device before the recipient taps on accept.
  • Tapping on accept starts the data transfer process and it should take a few seconds or more for the process to complete depending on the size and never of files

Additionally, you can continue doing whatever you were doing while the date transfer process runs in the background.