How to use Nearby Share to transfer files between Android and Windows

One thing that is inarguably good about Apple devices is the ease it offers to transfer files between Apple devices, thanks to the ecosystem Apple built around these devices. But, due to the extremely low density of computers in the market running on Android, if you have an Android smartphone and a Windows PC, there are several ways of transferring files between these devices, but none of them is as effortless as it is on Apple. 

However, Google is trying to shorten this major gap, and the solution is already available right now. It was easy to transfer big files between Android devices using Nearby Share. Now, the same feature is also available for Windows enabling easier file transfer between Android smartphones and Windows computers. Today, I will talk about how to get started with Nearby Share for Windows, and leap into effortless file transfer between multiple devices across the Windows and Android ecosystem.

So, without any further delay, let’s get started with how to get started with Nearby Share on Windows.

Getting Started

  • The first step is to download the Nearby Share Windows installer on your computer. Here’s the link to download Nearby Share for Windows.
  • Just click on the ‘Get started’ button to download the Windows installer.
Nearby Share for Windows

  • Once the downloading is completed, you could open the installer either from the browser’s ‘Download’ area, using ‘Ctrl + J’ on most browsers, or in the ‘Download’ folder on your computer.
download Nearby Share for Windows
  • Open the installer, and the installation should begin instantly if you are connected to the internet.
Nearby Share  installing

Wait for a few minutes, and the installation should be complete.

Initial Settings and making the PC visible to nearby devices

  • Right after the installation is complete, Nearby Share Beta settings should open up, and here, you can configure the program to work as per your requirements.
  • Otherwise, NearbyShare is also available in the System Tray. Double-click on the System Tray icon as shown in the screenshot below, to open Nearby Share for Windows.
open Nearby Share on Windows 11
  • After the Settings open up, the first setting that you will find is the device visibility setting. By default, your device will be hidden, which is good. You can now change the setting when somebody wants to send a file. Click on the drop-down menu, and select ‘Receive from everyone’.
  • However, if you have already signed in with your Google account, you can find additional options to receive only from devices signed in with the same Google account, or from your contacts. While these device visibility settings might be overwhelming at first glance, go with ‘Receive from everyone’ and hide again when the file transfer is complete.
  • Click on the settings cog to explore additional settings.
Open Settings
  • Here, you can change the storage location of the files that you receive, change the device name, and do a lot more. All the options here are self-explanatory.
set the device name and storage
  • Well, things are almost ready now. You can now start sending and receiving files between your devices using Nearby Share offered by Google.

Receiving files on Windows

Now that you have set up your Windows computer with Google Nearby Share, and is visible to nearby devices, here’s how you can send files from other devices to your Windows computer.

  • Select the files on your Android or a different PC where Nearby Share is already set up, and tap on the share icon, just like you do at the time sharing photos, videos, or other files from your Android.
  • Here, you should find the ‘Nearby Share’ option. Simply tap on it.
Receiving files on Windows using Nearby Share
  • Now Nearby Share will search for the nearby devices configured with the ‘Nearby Share’ tool. You should find the PC in the search results. Tap on your PC to start sending files.
Select the device

  • On your PC, you will get a prompt within Nearby Share allowing you to either allow or deny the file transfer.
  • Simply tap on ‘Accept’ if you want to receive the files, or ‘Decline’ if some unknown device is trying to send you files.
Accept the phone sharing

The transfer will start immediately and will take some time for the transfer to complete, based on the size. You should find the received files within the PC ‘Downloads’ folder unless you have changed the location to receive files within Nearby Share settings.

Sending files from Windows

If there are some files on one of your Windows PCs, and you want to transfer them to your smartphone or another Windows PC, here is how to do that, provided the receiving devices are visible.

  • Select the files on Windows Explorer, right-click, and hence click on ‘Send with Nearby Share’.
Select Send with Nearby Share
  • In the Nearby Share window, you will find a list of devices that are ready to receive files. Simply click on the preferred device to start the file transfer.
Select your smartphone
  • You will instantly get a popup on your Android that a device is trying to send files. Just tap on ‘Accept’.
popup on your Android that a device is trying to send files

After the file is received, you can open the file on your Android, or you can view it later within the device’s Downloads folder.

So, that’s how simple it is to transfer files between Android and Windows, using Google Nearby Share. The tool is still in the Beta phase, which means, we can see further development in Google Nearby Share for Windows, in the coming days with subsequent updates.