Short distance communication between computers has always been a hot topic. With various channels available to communicate in, we are always struggling to find the best combination of sending and setup speed. Bluetooth is quick for small files, but you need to pair devices and go through the setup every time. Wi-Fi is faster, but you need to ensure all the devices are on the same network. There could be a better solution, right? In Windows 11/10, a feature called Nearby Sharing will help you. Read on to find out how to use this feature.
Is Windows Nearby Sharing safe?
Nearby Share in Windows 11 is designed with privacy at its core, so you can safely share and receive files with those around you without worrying. There’s no need to exchange personal contact information of any sort as the feature allows to send and receive files anonymously.
How do I use Nearby Share in Windows 11?
Using the Nearby Share feature in Windows is easy. Simply follow these steps. The newly modernized Nearby Sharing feature in Windows 11 is functionally identical to its Windows 10 iteration however, the way it allows you to share documents, photos, links to websites, and more with nearby devices has changed a bit. Let’s first see how to Nearby Sharing in Windows 11.
How to access and use Nearby Sharing in Windows 11
To use Nearby Sharing, both PCs—the one you’re sharing from and the one you’re sharing to must-have Bluetooth connection enabled and should be running Windows 11. Then, you can use the feature for the following.
- Share a document.
- Receiving a File
- Share a link to a website.
- Share a picture
- Modify settings for Nearby Sharing.
When you have Nearby Sharing enabled, there’s no need to send files over email, cloud or any other network-based file sharing tool.
1] Share a document
On the PC you want to share a file from, click the Start button, go to the Settings.
Then, choose the System heading from the side panel and select Nearby sharing.
Choose the sharing options for the devices you want to share with.
Do the same thing on the PC you’re sharing to.
On your PC that has the document, you want to share; browse to the location of the document.
Then, under File Explorer, click on the document you want to share.
Select the Share icon from the toolbar at the top.
Next, choose the name of the device you want to share with. On the device you’re sharing with, select Save & open or Save when the notification appears.
2] Receiving a File
Receiving is as simple as sending a file. To receive a file, make sure you have Nearby Sharing enabled. Whenever someone attempts to send you a file, you will be notified. You can either accept the file and save it or decline the connection. There is an additional option to save and open a file if you want to open it directly.
3] Share a link to a website
On the PC you’re sharing from, open Microsoft Edge, and then go to the webpage you want to share.
Select Settings and more > Share.
Under the Share with others section, choose the Windows share options icon.
Select the device you want to share the link with. On the device you’re sharing with, select Open when the notification appears to open the link in your web browser.
4] Share a picture
On the PC that has the photo, you want to share, open the Photos app.
Select the picture you want to share.
Click the See more icon (visible as 3 horizontal dots) and from the list of options displayed therein, click the Share option.
On the device you’re sharing the photo to, select Save & open or Save when the notification pops up on the screen.
5] Change your settings for nearby sharing
Under Nearby sharing, expand the drop-down menu by hitting the drop-down button. Choose the devices you want to be able to share or receive content from. If you choose Everyone nearby, the Bluetooth MAC address and name of your PC will be visible to other devices around you so you can share with other PCs nearby. This info could be used to link your PC to you.
Similarly, if you would like to change the location where your received files are stored, select the Change option next to Save files I receive to entry.
Then, choose a new location.
Related: Turn On or Off Shared Experiences in Windows 11/10.
Nearby Sharing on Windows 10
Nearby Sharing can be found under Shared experiences settings, and it lets you quickly transfer files to nearby computers without any setup. It was a much-required feature, and now it is here. You can easily share a file with anyone in the room without entering any passwords or pairing devices. Underneath, Nearby Sharing uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to locate available nearby devices. Now you don’t need to send files over email, cloud or any other network-based file sharing tool. If the other computer is near enough, you can simply send it using Nearby Sharing.
How to use Nearby Sharing on Windows 10
First, both the computers involved should have this feature enabled. To enable it, open Action Center and hit Nearby Sharing tile. Alternately, you can open Settings, then go to System and then open Shared experiences and enable Nearby Sharing.
Make sure you have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled before you send your first file using Nearby Sharing.
Sending a file
To send a file, right-click it and select the Share option from the context menu. This will open the standard Windows 10 sharing dialog. Wait till it scans for nearby devices and soon you will be able to see all the nearby devices that can accept files. Select the one device that you want to send your file to, and you are done.
See, that was very quick and simple. Similarly, you can share anything that has a share button. You can share photos directly from Photos app or any other Windows application.
Receiving a File
Receiving is as simple as it was sending a file. To receive a file, make sure you have Nearby Sharing enabled. Whenever someone attempts to send you a file, you will be notified. You can either accept the file and save it or decline the connection. There is additional option to save and open a file if you want to open it directly.
Sending and Receiving is quite easy and intuitive. There are a few more settings that can be adjusted and customized as per the requirements. You can decide who should be able to send you files. By default, it is set to Everyone nearby, and you can change it to My devices only so that unauthorized users cannot send a file to your computer. Also, you can decide the location where all incoming files are stored; it is set to Downloads by default.
Nearby Sharing is indeed a useful feature, and it can save you a lot of time. It makes the process of sending files quicker and hassle-free. No more configurations and pairing just directly send your file. It is recommended to turn off Nearby Sharing after you are done using it. You can re-enable it next time from the Action Center.