Network and Internet Share Files with Nearby Devices in Windows 11


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Nearby_Sharing_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to share files with nearby devices using Nearby Sharing in Windows 11.

Nearby sharing in Windows lets you share documents, photos, links to websites, and more with nearby devices by using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

To use nearby sharing, both PCs—the one you’re sharing from and the one you're sharing to—must have Nearby sharing turned on, Bluetooth turned on, and must be running Windows 11 or Windows 10 (version 1803 or later).

Starting with Windows 11 build 22622.436 and build 25163, the discovery of devices under nearby share when sharing a local file from the desktop, File Explorer, Photos, Snipping Tool, Xbox, and other apps that use the built-in Windows share window has been enhanced by using UDP (Network needs to be set to private) along with Bluetooth to discover nearby devices. You will now be able to discover and share to more devices including desktop PCs.

Starting with Windows 11 build 23506 (Dev) build 22631.2050 (Beta), and build 25926 (Canary), Microsoft has made some improvements to the built-in Windows share window and nearby sharing for sharing local files from your PC. Those improvements include:
  • We have redesigned the Windows share window to better match the Windows 11 design principles.
  • Everyone will now be able to email their files through Outlook directly within the Windows share window. Just click on the Outlook icon under the “Share using” section of the Windows share window.
  • The Windows share window now has a search box so you can now search for contacts across Outlook to share a file and the Windows share window will now display 8-10 suggested contacts to quickly share to – including emailing yourself a file.
  • Instead of a dropdown, you will see a button to turn on nearby sharing.
  • For nearby sharing, you will find your own PCs at the top of discovered devices under “Nearby Share”.
  • Files will share faster from one PC to another using Wi-Fi Direct.
  • And we’ve added “Share” to the context menu in File Explorer in addition to having the share icon at the top of the context menu.
As a reminder, these experiences will work for sharing local files from the desktop, File Explorer, Photos, Snipping Tool, Xbox, and other apps that use the built-in Windows share window.

Starting with Windows 11 build 23545 (Dev), Microsoft is rolling out the ability to see Microsoft Teams (work or school) contacts and to send files to them directly within the built-in Windows share window if you’re signed in with an Entra ID (AAD) account.

Starting with Windows 11 build 23595 (Dev), Microsoft is beginning to roll out a change where you will be able to able to discover and share files with their Android devices in discoverable mode through Bluetooth under Nearby Share in the Windows share window.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22635.3575 (Beta) and build 26231.5000 (Canary), Microsoft is rolling out the ability to copy files from the Windows share window. Just click the new copy button.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22635.3720 (Beta), Microsoft is beginning to roll out the ability to share local files directly from within the search results shown in the search box on the taskbar.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22635.3785 (Beta), Microsoft is rolling out the ability to easily share content to an Android device from Windows share window. The feature requires you to pair your Android device to your Windows PC using the Link to Windows app on Android and Phone Link on your PC.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22635.3930 (Beta), Microsoft is updating the UI in the Windows share window for sharing content to an Android device that began rolling out with Build 22635.3785. The option is also move to be under “Nearby Share” in the Windows share window. The feature requires you to pair your Android device to your Windows PC using the Link to Windows app on Android and Phone Link on your PC.

References:


Contents

  • Option One: Share File(s) with Nearby Devices from File Explorer Command Bar
  • Option Two: Share File(s) with Nearby Devices from Context Menu
  • Option Three: Share File with Nearby Devices from Photos app


EXAMPLE: New option to share content to My Phone highlighted in a red box in the Windows share window

Share_with_Android_device.png





Option One

Share File(s) with Nearby Devices from File Explorer Command Bar


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Select one or more files you want to share with a nearby device. (see screenshot below step 3)

3 Click/tap on the Share button on the command bar. (see screenshot below)

Nearby_sharing_File_Explorer_command_bar.png

num]4[/num] Click/tap on the device (ex: "Shawn's Laptop") you want to share with in the Windows share window. (see screenshot below)


Nearby_sharing-1.jpg

5 You will now see a "Sharing to..." notification on the device you are sharing from. (see screenshot below)

Nearby_sharing-2.jpg

6 On the device you are sharing with, they will need to click/tap on Save & open or Save when the notification appears to accept. (see screenshot below)

The shared file(s) will be saved to the default save location for Nearby Sharing.

If they click/tap on Decline, the share will be cancelled.

If they click/tap on Share, they can then click/tap on Open or Open folder.


Nearby_sharing-3.jpg
Nearby_sharing-4.jpg

7 You will now see a "Successfully sent" notification on the device you are sharing from. (see screenshot below)

Nearby_sharing-5.jpg




Option Two

Share File(s) with Nearby Devices from Context Menu


1 Select one or more files you want to share with a nearby device.

2 Perform one of the following actions: (see screenshots below)
  • Right click on the selected file(s), and click/tap on the Share button on the context menu toolbar.
  • Right click on the selected file(s), click/tap on Show more options (Shift+F10), and click/tap on Share.
Nearby_sharing_context_menu-1.png
Nearby_sharing_context_menu-2.png
Nearby_sharing_context_menu-3.png

3 Click/tap on the device (ex: "Shawn's Laptop") you want to share with in the Windows share window. (see screenshot below)


Nearby_sharing-1.jpg

4 You will now see a "Sharing to..." notification on the device you are sharing from. (see screenshot below)

Nearby_sharing-2.jpg

5 On the device you are sharing with, they will need to click/tap on Save & open or Save when the notification appears to accept. (see screenshot below)

The shared file(s) will be saved to the default save location for Nearby Sharing.

If they click/tap on Decline, the share will be cancelled.

If they click/tap on Share, they can then click/tap on Open or Open folder.


Nearby_sharing-3.jpg
Nearby_sharing-4.jpg

6 You will now see a "Successfully sent" notification on the device you are sharing from. (see screenshot below)

Nearby_sharing-5.jpg




Option Three

Share File with Nearby Devices from Photos app


This is the same for the Photos, Snipping Tool, Xbox, and other apps that support using the built-in Windows share window.


1 Open the Photos app.

2 Open or select the image file you want to share with a nearby device in the Photos app.

3 Perform one of the following actions: (see screenshots below)
  • Click/tap on the See more (3 dots) button, and click/tap on Share (Alt+Up arrow).
  • Right click on the image, and click/tap on Share.
Nearby_sharing_Photos_app-1.png
Nearby_sharing_Photos_app-2.jpg

4 Click/tap on the device (ex: "Shawn's Laptop") you want to share with in the Windows share window. (see screenshot below)


Nearby_sharing-1.jpg

5 You will now see a "Sharing to..." notification on the device you are sharing from. (see screenshot below)

Nearby_sharing-2.jpg

6 On the device you are sharing with, they will need to click/tap on Save & open or Save when the notification appears to accept. (see screenshot below)

The shared file will be saved to the default save location for Nearby Sharing.

If they click/tap on Decline, the share will be cancelled.

If they click/tap on Share, they can then click/tap on Open or Open folder.


Nearby_sharing-3.jpg
Nearby_sharing-4.jpg

7 You will now see a "Successfully sent" notification on the device you are sharing from. (see screenshot below)

Nearby_sharing-5.jpg


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 
Last edited:

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