How to Use Android’s Nearby Share, also known as AirDrop

How to Use Android’s Nearby Share, also known as AirDrop

March 23, 2021

This article will show you how to use Nearby Share to send and receive images, links, and files with other Android users on compatible devices (some Android devices, Pixels, and Samsung devices).

How to Enable Nearby Share

Nearby Share lets you share images, web pages, and files with other Android users in real-time. It’s already on some Android phones, and it’ll be on more in the future, including Chromebooks. It works whether you’re online or offline, using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or WebRTC.

Also, Read: How to Remove Bloatware from an Android Phone

Nearby Share must be enabled on both the sender’s and receiver’s devices.

  1. Go to Settings > Google > Device Connections > Nearby Share
  2. Make sure the toggle at the top is turned to ON.
  3. Click Device Visibility.
  4. Select which contacts you want to be able to see you


Both parties must be in each other’s contacts in order to use Nearby Share. You have the option of sharing with all contacts, selecting contacts, or hiding your device. You can share with others if your device is hidden, but they cannot share with you.

Using Nearby Share

It’s fairly simple to swap data once everything is set up and you’re with someone who also has Nearby Share. We’ll use a web page as an example, but this technique can be applied to any file, photo, or other items with a share button.

  1. Tap Share
  2. Tap Nearby
  3. Bring your phone and recipient phone within few inches of each other
  4. Tap the phone you want to send the file to
  5. Ask them to accept it
  6. When you return to your phone, you’ll see that the file has been sent and the share sheet has vanished. The file was successfully submitted!

The sent file will open in the app that has been assigned to open that type of file on your recipient’s device. It was in Google Chrome, the phone’s default browser, in this case. Other files will be handled in accordance with Android’s guidelines.

How to activate Nearby Share?

For the time being, Nearby Share is only available on Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones. In the coming months, Google will roll out the feature to other OEMs. If you don’t have one of those phones but want Nearby Share right now, you can join the Google Play Services Nearby Share beta program.

Nearby Share, just another Airdrop for Android?

Nearby Share is similar to Apple’s AirDrop, which allows you to send files, images, and URLs via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to other Apple devices. Although the two services are very similar, there are two major differences:

Nearby Share also supports WebRTC in addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Users aren’t restricted to using only one type of device. Users of Samsung devices will share with Google Pixel users for the time being, and the list will grow to include other OEMs in the future.

Related Articles