Nearby Share
Developer(s)Google LLC
Initial releaseAugust 4, 2020; 2 years ago (2020-08-04)
Operating system
PredecessorAndroid Beam
TypeUtility software
WebsiteWindows app

Nearby Share is a service developed by Google that allows data to be transferred between devices via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It is available on their mobile and desktop operating systems, Android and ChromeOS, as well as Microsoft's Windows. Nearby Share uses Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to allow users to share files and links between devices. It was first released on August 4, 2020.

Nearby Share is not to be confused with Microsoft's similarly-named "nearby sharing" feature, which is only available for Windows 10 or later devices.[1]


Before Nearby Share, Google launched Android Beam in 2011.[2] By 2017, ComputerWorld included Android Beam in a list of "once-trumpeted features that quietly faded away", observing that "despite the admirable marketing effort, Beam never quite worked particularly well, and numerous other systems for sharing stuff proved to be simpler and more reliable."[3]

Nearby Share was officially released for devices running Android Marshmallow and later on August 4, 2020. The program worked much like Apple's AirDrop, allowing uses to select "Nearby Share" on the share menu and then to wait for a nearby phone to appear.[4]

In June 2021 with the rollout of ChromeOS 91, Nearby Share was released for ChromeOS with the same features and options as the Android version.[5] During CES 2022, Google announced Nearby Share for Windows.[6] On March 31, 2023, the beta version of the Nearby Share App was released for Windows PCs allowing cross-platform file transfers.[7][8]


On Android and ChromeOS, Nearby Share is enabled by going to Connected Devices > Connection preferences > Nearby Share (or Google > Devices & sharing > Nearby Share) in the settings app and enabling "Use Nearby Share."[9][10] On Windows, Nearby Share is downloaded from[11] Once the setup program is done installing Nearby Share, or from the Nearby Share settings menu Android, the user will be able to choose who is able to see their device. The available options are:[12]

When sharing a file via Nearby Share, the user will be presented with a list of available devices to share with. Choosing a device from the list sends a prompt to the recipient that requires them to confirm the transfer. When sharing amongst devices linked to the same Google Account, it is not required to wake the receiving devices or confirm the file transmission.[13]

Nearby Share allows for the sharing of files and links, such as images, videos, text, contact info, directions, YouTube videos, and other data.[13] It uses Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to share content. It can be configured to only share content offline, restricting it to Bluetooth only operation.[13]


Nearby Share is available on Android 6 and later,[4] ChromeOS 91 and later,[10] and Windows 10 and later. On Windows, Nearby Share must be installed manually, as opposed to its implement on Android and ChromeOS, where it is a part of the operating system and does not need to be installed separately. Windows devices must have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to be able to run Nearby Share. Windows on ARM devices are not supported.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Share things with nearby devices in Windows - Microsoft Support". Retrieved March 31, 2023.
  2. ^ Kahn, Jordan (October 19, 2011). "Google unveils Android Beam, uses NFC technology to transfer data between Android devices". 9to5Google. Retrieved April 9, 2023.
  3. ^ Raphael, JR (December 5, 2017). "Android nostalgia: 13 once-trumpeted features that quietly faded away". Computerworld. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Bohn, Dieter (August 4, 2020). "Android's 'Nearby Share' file sharing feature is finally launching". The Verge. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  5. ^ "Google starts rolling out Chrome OS 91 with Nearby Share, app notification badges and more". India Today. Retrieved April 9, 2023.
  6. ^ "CES 2022: Better together with Android and beyond". Google. January 5, 2022. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  7. ^ "Share files easily between Android devices and Windows PCs". Google. March 31, 2023. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  8. ^ "Nearby Share is now available for sharing files between Android and Windows". Android Authority. April 3, 2023. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  9. ^ Fatmi, Namerah Saud; Lee, Derrek; updated, Jeramy Johnson last (August 26, 2022). "How to use Nearby Share on your Android phone". Android Central. Retrieved April 9, 2023.
  10. ^ a b "Google starts rolling out Chrome OS 91 with Nearby Share, app notification badges and more". India Today. Retrieved April 9, 2023.
  11. ^ a b "The New Nearby Share Beta App for Windows". Android. Retrieved April 9, 2023.
  12. ^ Krasnoff, Barbara (April 5, 2023). "How to use Nearby Share for Windows". The Verge. Retrieved April 9, 2023.
  13. ^ a b c "Instantly share files with people around you with Nearby Share". Google. August 4, 2020. Retrieved August 4, 2020.