With the help of the handy Windows function known as “Nearby Sharing,” you can quickly share files, pictures, and other content with other nearby devices over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. However, Windows 11 has it disabled by default. So, today we’ll demonstrate how to make your Windows 11 computer capable of nearby sharing. We’ll also demonstrate how you can share files with neighbouring Windows devices by using this functionality.
Enable Nearby Sharing on Windows 11 (2021)
Nearby Sharing was originally made available by Microsoft as part of the April 2018 update for Windows 10. Windows 11 has the feature as well, although it is by default turned off. In this post, we’ll cover all there is to know about nearby sharing, including what it is, how it functions, and how to enable and utilise it on a Windows 11 computer. So let’s get started without further ado!
What is Nearby Sharing in Windows 11?
A useful feature in Windows 10 and 11 is nearby sharing, which enables users to send files, pictures, website URLs, and other stuff to other Windows devices nearby using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The function is comparable to AirDrop, a popular method for transferring files between MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads among Apple customers.
There is a reason, though, why the Windows function hasn’t been as popular as its Mac equivalent. As of right now, Nearby Sharing only functions between two Windows PCs that have the functionality turned on (whether they are running Windows 10 or Windows 11). You cannot share material to or from mobile phones, tablets, or other hardware equipped with non-Windows operating systems.
Minimum Requirements for Nearby Sharing Support
Nearby Sharing is not supported by every Windows PC. The following conditions must be met in order for Windows PCs to support nearby sharing:
- Both PCs must be running either Windows 10 or Windows 11.
- Bluetooth 4.0 (or later) with Low Energy (LE) support in both PCs.
- Both computers should be accessible via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and need to have Nearby Sharing enabled.
- The donor and recipient need to be in close proximity.
Things to Remember Before Using Nearby Sharing
- It takes more time to transfer files over Bluetooth compared to Wi-Fi. When sharing files over Bluetooth, make sure large amounts of data aren t already being sent over Bluetooth, such as streaming audio over a wireless speaker.
- For the fastest file transfer speeds, ensure that the transfers are happening via Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth. To do that, ensure that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and set the connection profile to Private in both cases. You can do that by navigating to Settings -> Network and Internet -> Properties -> Private.
- You don t need to pair the two PCs over Bluetooth to use Nearby Sharing. Both PCs just need to have Nearby Sharing enabled for file transfers to work. When Nearby Sharing is enabled, Bluetooth is automatically turned on for the feature to work as intended.
Steps to Enable Nearby Sharing on Windows 11
As previously discussed, Nearby Sharing enables rapid file sharing across nearby Windows 11/ 10 devices over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. To enable Nearby Sharing on your Windows 11 machine, adhere to these steps:
- Open Settings using the Windows 11 keyboard shortcut Windows key + I . Then, click on System from the left sidebar and select Nearby sharing on the right pane.
- On the Nearby Sharing settings page, select whether you want to share files, photos, and links with all available devices nearby or only your own devices. Your preference will be auto-saved for future use.
Note: Shared files are automatically saved in the Downloads folder. On the Nearby Settings page, you can choose where to save the received files by clicking the Change button next to the Save files I receive to option.
Share Files via Nearby Sharing in Windows 11
First off, you must enable the capability on both Windows 10 or 11 machines in order to share files or photos between two devices using Nearby Sharing. After that, proceed by following the instructions below.
- Use File Explorer to navigate to the file you want to share on your PC. Now, right-click on the target file and select Show more options .
- On the next context menu, select Share .
- If there are no available devices, Windows will ask you to make sure that the target device has sharing turned on. If there are multiple available devices, select the name of the device you want to share files with. You will now see a Sharing to [PC name] notification while your computer is waiting for the other device to accept the sharing request.
Note: To save the incoming file on the recipient PC, choose eitherSaveorSave & open.
Share Website Links From Microsoft Edge via Nearby Sharing
If both computers are running Windows 10 or Windows 11, you may also exchange hyperlinks to any website or web page using Microsoft Edge’s Nearby Sharing feature. Once you’ve done that, refer to the instructions below to share web page links using Windows 11’s Nearby Sharing feature.
- Open Microsoft Edge and navigate to the website or web page you want to share. Then, click on the ellipsis (three-dot menu button) at the top-right and select Share from the drop-down menu.
- The name of the recipient s PC will popup in the space where it says Make sure other devices have sharing turned on . Once you select the recipient s PC from the list, it will need to accept the sharing request to access the content.
Disable Nearby Sharing in Windows 11
It is preferable to keep the Nearby Sharing option inactive after you have nothing left to share. Here’s how to go about it:
- Navigate to Settings -> System -> Nearby Sharing, as explained earlier. Here, under Nearby Sharing, select Off using the radio button next to it.
The end! On your Windows 11 computer, Nearby Sharing has been successfully disabled.
Easily Share Content Between Windows PCs With Nearby Sharing
As you can see, setting up Nearby Sharing on a Windows 11 PC is simple. Check out how to quickly enable Nearby Share on your Android device now that you know how to accomplish that. You might be interested in learning how to exchange photos via Messages and Mail on Apple Watch if you own an Apple Watch. The Nearby Exchange feature of Android may also be enabled on a Chromebook in order to share files with other devices, thus Chromebook users do not need to worry.