Windows launched a new update on 10th April 2018 (version 1803). It introduced “Nearby Sharing” which allows quick and effortless file transfer files and links wirelessly. Mainly using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The feature is similar to Apple’s AirDrop. Similarly, Nearby Sharing is useful when you want to share a file across the room without using network file sharing, cloud services, email attachments, or a USB flash drive. So, I brought you this guide to teach you the steps to start Nearby Sharing after installing the 2018 update. And the title of the article is “How to use Nearby Sharing to transfer files between PCs in Windows 10”.
How to enable Nearby Sharing on Windows 10
If your PC has a functioning Bluetooth connection, the Nearby Sharing should be enabled by default after installing the 2018 update. But you can always enable or disable the option using the Settings app.
How to change transfer settings
These are the steps to enable Nearby Sharing.
- Firstly open Settings.
- Click on System.
- And then on Shared experiences.
- Finally turn On the Nearby Sharing toggle switch.
You can disable the Nearby Sharing by simply turning off that toggle switch. There is another method to enable or disable the feature by clicking the Nearby Sharing button in Action Center. (Ctrl + A).
If you can’t see the button amongst the quick actions, you can add it by navigating like this.
Settings > System > Notifications & Actions > Quick Actions > Add or remove quick actions > Enable the button for Nearby Sharing.
How to change Nearby Sharing Settings on Windows 10
Even though Nearby Sharing is a strict feature, you can customize it to a certain extent.
Specify how to share content
You can use this feature to control how you share and receive content. Here are the steps.
- First, open Settings.
- Click on System and then on Shared experiences.
- When you navigate to the I can share or receive content from under Nearby Sharing, there will be two options like this.
- Everyone nearby; your computer will be able to share and recieve content from all the nearby devices. Including unknown devices
- My devices only; the computer will share and recieve content only with your devices using the Microsoft account.
You can select any of the above.
Changing transfer folder location
Transfers will be saved in the Downloads folder by default. But you can change the location like this.
- Go to Settings.
- Then click on System and on Shared experiences.
- There will be a Save files I receive option under Nearby Sharing. And a button named Change.
- Click that button and select a location.
- Finally click the Select folder button.
- So the transfers will be stored in the new location.
How to Transfer Files using Nearby Sharing on Windows 10
As you have enabled Nearby Sharing, transferring files is not a big deal. Especially with applications that have the Windows 10 share icon. Examples of such Applications are Microsoft Edge, Photos, File Explorer, etc.
How to share a file
Just follow these steps.
- First, open File Explorer.
- Right click on the file you plan to share.
- Now click on the Share option.
- Choose the device from the available list.
If the destination device is within the Bluetooth range plus running the Windows 10 April 2018 update, the receiver will be notified to accept or decline the transfer. And the notification will disappear on its own after a few seconds if no one responds.
Once transferred the file will be located in the Downloads folder or where you configured it earlier. Currently, Nearby Sharing is unavailable for OneDrive files as they have a sharing method of their own.
Sharing a web link
Here are the steps to share a web link.
- First open Microsoft Edge.
- Then visit the page you want to share.
- Click on the Share button at the top right.
- Next select the device from the list.
Once the above steps are completed the receiving device will get a notification to accept in order to open the link on Microsoft Edge.
How to troubleshoot Nearby Sharing on Windows 10
Even though Nearby Sharing is a user-friendly feature, rarely there will be issues with sharing content. Next, I have given you some troubleshooting steps to fix such errors.
Bluetooth is mandatory for the sharing feature in Windows 10. And Bluetooth detects the PCs in range and transfer files or links. The following are the steps to confirm Bluetooth is functioning properly.
- As the first step, open Settings.
- Then Click on Devices > Blutooth & other devices.
- Now, turn On the Blutooth toggle switch.
What if you don’t see the option or Nearby Sharing is still not functioning well I suggest you to install the latest Bluetooth driver on your PC.
Checking Blutooth on Device Manager
Just follow these steps to check for a problem using Device Manager:
- First click on Start.
- Then look for Device Manager and click the top result to open thr experience.
- Just expand Blutooth.
If you are seeing a badge notification like a yellow icon with an exclamation mark on the Bluetooth icon, there is a problem. Conversely, if you can’t see a Bluetooth icon, your device doesn’t support the driver or it isn’t properly installed. And always check the Bluetooth adapter or else consider buying one if you don’t have one already.
Checking Blutooth compatibility
Another thing is you have to make sure that your Bluetooth is version 4.0 or later with Low Energy (LE) support like this:
- Open Start.
- Then look for Device Manager, just click the top result to open the experience.
- Now, expand Blutooth.
- Next, right click the adapter name and select properties.
- Click on the Details tab.
- Then use the “Property” drop down menu, and select Blutooth radio supports Low Energy Central Role option.
- Just check the value. If it indicates to True, you can use Nearby Sharing without any problem. Similarly if the devices can’t discover each other, try bring them closer.
Check the network connection
Usually, Nearby Sharing works over both Bluetooth and through a wireless connection. Additionally, both devices should be connected to the same network.
Checking network connectivity
- Firstly open Start on the destination computer.
- Look for Command Prompt and click the first result.
- Now type the below command to find your local IP address and hit Enter.
- Jot down the IPv4 Address. That will be rhe same as the device’s network address.
- Then open Command Prompt in the source computer.
- Just execute the below command to confirm both devices are reachable and hit Enter.
- Don’t forget to use the destination IP address in the ping command.
- Now what you have to do is to repeat the process in the other machine also. And getting a reply in both devices is good news! The computers can connect to each other.
Note: Firewall is not an issue with Nearby Sharing but third-party security solutions might be an issue. You might need to disable the firewall to see the effects.
Checking network profile
Furthermore, just confirm that both devices are set to Private. Or else Nearby Sharing will consume Bluetooth over Wi-Fi leading to a slower transfer. Here are the steps.
- Go to Settings.
- Click on Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Wireless connection
- Choose the Private option.
- Thereafter transferring will be faster using the wireless connection.