Have you ever wished to transfer your Android data wirelessly to your Windows PC without fumbling with wires, cables, or complicated third-party software?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found it rather tiresome to deal with the connection hassle of sending a few files. I always wanted something similar to the AirDrop feature of the Apple Ecosystem on my Android-Windows combo.
Well, fret no more! Android has brought its “Nearby Share” feature to Windows, simplifying how you share files between your Android device and your Windows PC.
In this article, we will explore how to set up and use Nearby Share for Windows so you can effortlessly sync and share data across both platforms.
Note: Nearby Share for Windows is still in beta, only for Windows 10 64-bit PCs and higher, isn’t compatible with ARM devices, and requires both Bluetooth & Wi-Fi.
Enable Nearby Share on your Android smartphone.
First and foremost, you will have to enable Nearby Share on your Android device, if it isn’t already. Nearby Share is only available on Android version 6.0 and above. If your device is running on an Android version before 6.0, you are out of luck and should stick to traditional file transfer methods.
Here are the steps to enable Nearby Share on your Android device:
- On your Android, go to “Settings > Google > Device & Sharing > Nearby Share.”
- Inside “Nearby Share,” toggle on the “Use Nearby Share” option to enable it.
- Lastly, customize your device name and visibility settings as desired.
Your Android device is ready to send or receive files over Nearby Share. Now let’s set up Nearby Share on your Windows PC.
Set up Nearby Share for Windows on your PC.
To set up Nearby Share on your Windows PC, you need to download and install the Nearby Share app for Windows.
Do note that, Nearby Share is works only on Windows 10 and Windows 11. If you want to use this feature, you should probably update your Windows.
Follow these steps to set up Nearby Share on your Windows PC:
- Download the “Nearby Share for Windows” setup file on your windows computer.
- Double-click on “BetterTogetherSetup.exe” file and install it.
- After installing the app, press the “Sign in” button and sign in using your Google account. Or click “Use without an account” to continue without signing in. However, I’d recommend signing in as it will make file transfers seamless between same Google account.
- Next, choose a name for your device under the “Visible to others as” section, and specify who can share files with your computer under the “Receiving” section.
- Once you’ve made your selection, click on “Done” to finish setting up Nearby Share for Windows on your PC.
Now both your Android device and Windows PC are set up for Nearby Share, and you’re ready to start transferring files effortlessly between them.
Transfer files using Nearby Share between Android and Windows wirelessly!
Now that your Android and Windows devices have Nearby Share enabled, you can wirelessly transfer files between them. But before you start, make sure both devices have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on, and both devices should be in close proximity with one another.
Here are the steps to transfer files using Nearby Share between Android and Windows wirelessly:
- Open the file you’d like to transfer on your Android device.
- Tap the “Share” button and select “Nearby Share” from the sharing menu.
- Your Android device should now start searching for nearby devices with Nearby Share enabled.
- When your Windows PC appears on the list, tap on it.
- The file will transfer wirelessly from your Android device to your Windows PC. The progress will be displayed on both devices. (You will have to accept file transfers at the receiver’s end if you are not signed in or sending files from the Nearby Share app with a different Google account.)
- Once the transfer is complete, the file will be saved on your Windows PC in the “Downloads” folder by default. You can change the default folder in the Nearby Share settings on your PC if you’d like.
And that’s it! You have successfully transferred a file using Nearby Share from your Android device to your Windows PC.
If you want to transfer files from your Windows PC to your Android phone, right-click on the file/folder you want to transfer and select “Send with Nearby Share” from the context menu.
Nearby Share transfer window will open, select your Android phone from the list, and then hit “Accept” on the notification on your Android to start transferring your file(s). (Transfer will begin automatically on devices with same Google account.)
Once the transfer is complete, you will hear a completion sound on your Android device, and the file will get saved in your “Downloads” folder by default.
Do you know you can also share text using Nearby Share between your Android phone and Windows PC? On Android, select your text, then press the “Share” icon on the context menu. Your share sheet will open, tap on the “Nearby Share” icon and select your device from the list. On Windows, you can copy & paste the text directly onto the Nearby Share window and select your Android device from the list.
And that’s how you can use Nearby Share to seamlessly transfer files between Android and Windows devices without any physical connections or cables!
Troubleshooting Tips – Nearby Share for Windows
Since the Nearby Share app for Windows is still in development, you might encounter some issues while transferring files. For an error-free experience while transferring, try the following tips:
- Ensure both your Android and Windows devices are unlocked, have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, and are within close proximity for a reliable connection.
- Connect your Android device and Windows PC to a faster 5Ghz connection for faster transfer speeds.
- Keep your Nearby Share app for Windows up to date.
- Ensure both devices have their visibility settings configured properly and sign in using the same Google account so they can detect each other easily.
- Ensure your Android device is running at least version 6.0 (Marshmallow) and your Windows PC is running a 64-bit version of Windows 10 or 11.
If you still encounter issues with Nearby Share, consider restarting both devices and re-establishing the connection between them.
Nearby Share, the Airdrop alternative for Android & Windows?
Nearby Share is one of the best, if not the best, ways to transfer files between an Android device and Windows PC. Nearby Share has been hailed as the quick and easy alternative to Apple’s Airdrop, providing Android and Windows users a seamless way to wirelessly transfer files, images, and text between devices.
While both solutions have their quirks and specific requirements, the overall convenience and efficiency of the Nearby Share feature undoubtedly make it a great option for those seeking to share content effortlessly between their Android and Windows devices.
In short, if you’re a user of Android and Windows devices, Nearby Share is worth trying out for fast, reliable, and convenient file sharing without requiring bulky cables or complicated setups. With continued development and improvements, there’s no reason why it can’t become a viable and popular Airdrop alternative for Android and Windows users in the near future.