The Nearby sharing feature isn’t new, Microsoft first rolled out it as part of the April 2018 update for Windows 10, but since Windows 11 has a new interface, the steps to set it up are slightly different. However, it works the same way as before to send virtually any type of file to another device across the room or to another user without the need for network file sharing, cloud services, email attachments, or using a USB flash drive.
To use Nearby sharing in Windows 11, both Windows devices you want to transfer files between must support Bluetooth 4.0 or later with Bluetooth LE support.
Enable Nearby Sharing in Windows 11
The Nearby sharing feature is disabled by default in Windows 11. To enable the Windows 11 Nearby sharing feature, use these steps:
- Press Win + I to open Settings.
- Then click on System > Nearby sharing on the right side.
- On the Nearby sharing window, there are 3 options:
Off: The feature remains disabled.
My devices only: Only allow file sharing between devices configured with the same Microsoft account.
Everyone nearby: Allows sharing files with any nearby devices.
- Choose the My devices only or the Everyone nearby options to enable Nearby sharing according to accordance with your needs.
If you want to be able to quickly enable or disable Nearby sharing, you can add the feature to the Quick settings menu on your taskbar. Press Win + A to open Quick settings, then click Edit > Add to choose Nearby sharing from the list.
Steps to Use Nearby Sharing in Windows 11
- Open File Explorer and locate the file you want to share.
- Right-click the file and select the Share icon.
- Select the device to send the file to in the Nearby Sharing pop-up window that appears. Both devices will need to be close by for this to work.
- Then the destination device will receive a notification. If you want it, just click the Save button. You can also Decline a file if you don’t want it.
- When a confirmation message saying that the transfer was successful appears on the computer that sent the file, it means that the transfer was successful.
By default, files received using Nearby Sharing will go into your Downloads folder. If you want to change the default location, just open the Nearby sharing window in the Settings app, click the Change button next to the Save files I receive to option and select a new save location in the pop-up menu.
FAQ about Nearby Sharing
How to Check Bluetooth Compatibility?
As mentioned, Nearby sharing requires Bluetooth version 4.0 (or later) with Low Energy (LE) support. As such, you need to make sure the device meets this requirement:
- Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.
- Expand the Bluetooth category and right-click the Bluetooth radio adapter and select the Properties option.
- Click the Details tab, and select the radio supports Low Energy Central Role option from the Property drop-down menu.
For Windows users, Nearby sharing is a handy feature to share files with nearby Windows computers without using complicated methods and additional devices. If your Windows 11 computer has this feature, try it now!
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