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Transfer phone data without a PC

Nearby Share is a file transfer app designed by Google to aid file transfer between devices using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Until recently, Nearby Share was only compatible with Android phones and Windows PCs but a recent update has extended the app’s operation to Mac computers as well, meaning that users can now use Nearby Share on Mac to send and receive files from an Android phone to Mac.

So, how can you use Nearby Share to transfer files between your Android phone and Mac and how do you set up Nearby Share on your MacBook? This guide reveals a step-by-step guide on how to transfer files using Nearby Share on Mac and the benefits of the File Transfer app.

In this article

What is Nearby Share Mac?

Nearby Share is a recent development of the Nearby Share File Transfer application. Nearby Share was initially designed to aid File transfer between Android devices. It used Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to secure a connection between both phones and allowed users to send files wirelessly.

what is nearby share

However, the increased level of migration between Android users and iOS users and the need to transfer files between mobile phones and computers meant users needed Nearby Share to be compatible with macOS devices as well.

However, Google did not make an official update to Android Nearby Share to make it compatible with macOS devices. Instead, it was a gifted developer by the name of Grishka (or Gregory K) who developed an unofficial update of Google Nearby Share, called NearDrop.

NearDrop offers similar functions and user experience as Nearby Share but it is compatible with macOS devices, unlike Nearby Share.

Many people ponder over the fact that NearDrop for Mac isn’t an official release. However, thousands of people have been using the update by Grishka with no complaints so far. It’s good news however because this means Android users can now send files wirelessly between their phones and Mac PCs.

Let’s check out other benefits of using Nearby Share for file transfer with Mac PCs.

What are the Benefits of Using Nearby Share (or NearDrop Mac)?

Why many people use Nearby Share? Here are the reasons Nearby Share stands out:

Nearby Share is Secure

The risk of accidental file loss during transfer is limited using Nearby Share because Nearby Share is safe and secure. Also, you don’t have to worry about data theft or hacking because Nearby Share features end-to-end (E2E) encryption.

Nearby Share is Swift

With a File Transfer speed between 20mb-25mb/second, Nearby Share is one of the fastest File Transfer Methods out there. You can send high-resolution images, videos, and large PDFs in minutes on Nearby Share.

Nearby Share Supports Cross-Platform File Transfer

Nearby Share is one of the few File Transfer Apps that supports Cross-Platform file sharing. You can now send and receive files between Android phones, iOS and macOS devices, and Windows PCs wirelessly thanks to the new development; NearDrop.

Nearby Share Allows Wireless File Transfer

You don’t need a USB cable when using Nearby Share because it works using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. So problems like a faulty USB cable or loose USB port are automatically avoided.

How to Set Up Nearby Share/NearDrop on Mac

Want to set up NearDrop on your Mac? Here’s how:

  • Open your Mac and go to the NearDrop Giftub.
  • Download the latest version of the NearDrop ZIP file on your Mac computer.
download nearby share first
  • Go to Downloads on your Mac and double-click on the NearDrop Zip File. Click Extract to extract the NearDrop app on your Mac.
  • Next, double-click on the NearDrop extracted file to open the File Transfer App.
set up nearby share on mac

Can’t open the NearDrop file? That’s expected.

Your Mac computer may not allow you to open the NearDrop file since it’s not from a trusted or official source. However, we can bypass this barrier in System Preferences settings. Follow the guide below:

  • Click on the Apple logo in the corner of your screen and select System Settings. You can also go to System Settings through System Preferences.
go to system settings on mac
  • Under System settings, scroll down to the Privacy and Security tab on the left sidebar of your screen.
go to privacy and security settings on mac
  • Scroll down and you’ll see a notification at the bottom of the screen that “ was blocked from use because…” Select the Open Anyway option in front of the notification.
click on open anyway to open nearby share mac
  • You’ll have to use your Touch or Face ID or phone password to authenticate the app. Next, Click Open from the pop-up menu that displays on the screen.
enter your password or touch id to open neardrop on mac
  • When the NearDrop app opens on the Mac PC, you’ll see a prompt asking if you want to allow NearDrop to accept incoming network connections. Click Allow and grant permission.
click on allow to open nearby share for mac, also neardrop

Once you have done this, you have successfully set up the NearDrop app on your Mac and you can access it anytime by clicking the Nearby Share icon in the menu bar.

How to Use Nearby Share/NearDrop to Transfer Data from Android to Mac

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use Nearby Share to transfer data from Android to Mac.

  • On your Android phone, turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Then ensure NearDrop is running on your MacBook.
  • Go to the File(s) you want to send from your Android device to your Mac and click Share at the bottom of your screen.
click on share on the interface of nearby share mac
  • From the list of sharing options, click Nearby Share. This feature is automatically installed on devices running Android 6 and newer versions.
choose nearby share among the options
  • Select your Mac device from the list of devices shown.
choose your mac device
  • You’ll receive a notification prompt on your Mac informing you about an incoming file. Click on the notification and choose Accept to receive the file from your Android phone.
select accept to transfer from android to mac

You can find the transferred files on your MacBook when you go to downloads.

Best Alternative to Nearby Share from Android to Mac

Like most third-party File Transfer apps, Nearby Share may experience compatibility problems occasionally, meaning you won’t be able to transfer files between your Android phone and Mac PC.

Also, you like many other people may not trust an unofficial app to transfer your important files and data. In such cases, there is a better alternative to Nearby Share.

Introducing Wondershare MobileTrans - Phone Transfer, your one-stop solution to transfer, manage, and receive files between your Android and Mac devices.

MobileTrans is a user-friendly and swift File Transfer Method designed to aid cross-platform File Transfer between Android phones and macOS devices.

  • It supports over 6,000 types of devices and 18+ data types.
  • You can transfer from Android to iOS and from iOS to Android.
  • No matter it’s Mac or Windows, MobileTrans can transfer from your phone to your computer seamlessly and safely.
logo trustpilot 5 stars 4.5/5 Excellent

Once you download the MobileTrans Phone Transfer tool on your Mac PC, follow these simple steps to transfer files from your Android phone to your Mac PC and vice-versa:

  • Open your Mac PC and launch MobileTrans. Then connect your Android phone to the computer using a USB cable.
  • From the MobileTrans home interface, select Phone Transfer and click Export to Computer if you are trying to send files to your Mac from your Android phone.
go to phone transfer and choose export to computer
  • Next, select the files you want to send and click Export at the bottom of the screen. This will begin the File Transfer.
select data and click on export
  • Wait till MobileTrans sends you an Export Successfully notification. Then you can encrypt the files on your PC using a custom password.
mobiletrans will notify you of the completion

If you want to send the files to your Android phone from your Mac PC later, click Import to Phone on the MobileTrans dashboard and your files will be downloaded to your phone in no time.

Final Words

In summary, Nearby Share is one of the quickest ways to send and receive files between Mac PCs and Android phones. As long as you set up Nearby Share on your Mac properly by following the steps highlighted in this article, you can send different types of files from your Mac to your Android phone and from your Android phone to your Mac including music, photos, videos, and documents.

In case you experience compatibility problems when using Nearby Share for Mac, you can try better alternatives to move files from Android to a Mac PC.

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  • 1. Is Nearby Share Faster Than Airdrop?
    No, Nearby Share is not as fast as Airdrop. Nearby share can reach transfer speeds up to 25 MB/second when transferring files between devices. This is very impressive but when you consider that Airdrop is reported to reach transfer speed up to 1GB/second, you’ll see that Airdrop is faster.
    However, Airdrop though faster is not as versatile as Nearby Share. Nearby Share can send and receive files from any device and is great at cross-platform transfer between iOS and Android phones. Airdrop is not as versatile and is best reserved for the same platform transfer between iOS devices.
  • 2. Why is Nearby Share not Working on my Mac?
    If you are experiencing problems running Nearby Share on your MacBook, it’s because you are using the original or Google version of Nearby Share. This version is not compatible with Mac computers, so you’ll have to download its macOS-compatible version; NearDrop from Gifthub. This version is very similar to Nearby Share and will work on your Mac PC.
    Nearby Share may also not work on your Mac if you do not turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Nearby Share uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection to transfer files between your Android phone and Mac, so enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in settings and see if that fixes the problem.
  • 3. Is Nearby Share the same as NearDrop?
    While both File Transfer Apps have similar functions and features, they are different in terms of design. Google Nearby Share is the original version while NearDrop is an adaptation of Google Nearby Share that is compatible with macOS devices.
Axel Nash
Axel Nash Jun 07, 24
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