Sharing files between devices has become an integral part of our digital lives. With the increase in usage of multiple devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops/desktops, seamlessly transferring files like photos, videos, documents, etc from one device to another is extremely convenient.

While there are several options like cloud storage services, email attachments, and external storage devices that enable file transfers, Nearby Share has emerged as a fast and easy wireless solution.

In this article, we will provide an overview of Nearby Share for PC, how it works, and the steps to use it to transfer files from Android to Windows 11/10, its limitations. Also, we will discuss better alternatives to effortlessly share data between Android and Windows devices.

In this article

Overview of Nearby Share for PC

Nearby Share, introduced by Google, is a service that allows fast, wireless transfer of files like photos, videos, documents, Image names, etc between Android devices without requiring an internet connection. It uses Bluetooth, WebRTC protocols, and Wi-Fi hotspots to enable quick file sharing between nearby devices.

Nearby Share has been available for Android mobiles and tablets for some time now. Google has now extended this feature for Windows PCs as well, allowing users to transfer files conveniently between their Android phone and Windows laptop/desktop. Known as Nearby Share for PC, this feature needs the Your Phone app on Windows 11/10 to enable seamless file sharing.

what is nearby share for pc

Key aspects of Nearby Share for PC:

  • Enables wireless transfer of photos, videos, and files from Android phone/tablet to Windows 11/10 PC and vice versa. Can transfer multiple files at once.
  • Does not need internet connectivity. Relies on proximity between devices, hence called Nearby Share.
  • Fast transfer speeds leveraging Bluetooth, Wi-Fi direct, and WebRTC protocols.
  • Secure transfer with consent needed from the receiver before the transfer starts.
  • Available for Android 6.0+ devices and Windows 10 October 2018 update or later.
  • Needs Your Phone app to be installed on a Windows device. Available currently only for personal Microsoft accounts.
  • Transfer is limited to 100MB per file by default which can be increased.

Thus, with Nearby Share for PC, users can conveniently share files and data between their Android and Windows devices quickly without using any cables or web connectivity.

How Nearby Share for PC Works: Pre-requisites

Now let's understand how Nearby Share enables wireless file transfer between your Android device and Windows PC:

Key things to consider:

  • Android phone/tablet must be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later.
  • Windows PC should have Windows 10 October 2018 update or later.
  • Windows users must be logged in with a personal Microsoft account.
  • Your Phone app must be installed and set up on the Windows machine. This allows Image nameing an Android phone to a PC.
  • Bluetooth, location, and Wi-Fi must be enabled on both devices.
  • Both devices need to be near each other, within Bluetooth range.

If you meet all the requirements above, you can now learn how to use Nearby Share for Windows in the next part.

Steps to Use Nearby Share PC To Transfer Files From Android to Windows 11/10

Let us go through the detailed steps to use Nearby Share for PC to transfer photos, videos, and documents from your Android smartphone to a Windows 11 or 10 laptop/desktop:


  • Update Android phone to the latest OS version, enable Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and location access.
  • Windows PC should have an October 2018 update or higher.
  • Install and set up Your Phone app on Windows, use your personal Microsoft account.

Follow these steps to Nearby Share Android to PC:

Step 1: Open the files app on your Android phone and tap on the three-line icon on the top.

Step 2: Select Settings > Nearby Share.

nearby share for PC Android settings

Step 3: Toggle ON the “Use Nearby Share” option to start sharing files.

icon note
Note: If you don’t have the Files app installed on your Android phone, you can enable Nearby Share like this. Head to Settings> Connected Devices > Connection preferences > Nearby Share to toggle it ON.

On Windows 10/11 PC: With Nearby Sharing in Windows, you can easily share documents, photos, Image names, and more with nearby devices using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This feature allows file sharing between PCs running either Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Step 4: Open the Settings app on your Windows PC. Navigate to the System category and then select “Nearby Sharing”.

enable nearby share for windows

Step 5: In the Nearby Sharing settings, set the visibility of your PC to “Everyone nearby”.

nearby share PC settings

Step 6: To send a file from your Android device, select a file and then tap the share icon. Tap the "Nearby" button below the selected file.

Step 7: A window will appear with nearby devices, like your Windows computer, listed. Simply tap the one you want to share with.

nearby share for windows

Step 8: On your PC, you'll receive a notification indicating that a file is being shared with you. Choose to Accept (if you want the file) or Decline. Note that the Image name will expire after some time; if it does, simply attempt the transfer again.

A checkmark on your phone will confirm that the file has been shared, and you can locate it in your PC's Downloads folder

Some tips:

  • Keep both devices near each other within Bluetooth range for the best experience.
  • On Windows, grant required permissions when prompted by Your Phone app.
  • You can select multiple files/folders on Android to transfer at once.
  • Received files on Windows can be saved to a preferred location.

Thus, with just a few simple steps, you can use Nearby Share to effortlessly transfer files, photos, and videos wirelessly between your Android phone and Windows 10/11 computer.

Limitations of Using Nearby Share for PC

While Nearby Share for PC offers an easy way to wirelessly transfer files between Android and Windows devices, it does have some limitations that users should be aware of:

  • File size limit of 100MB per transfer with an option to increase it. But transferring large files is slow.
  • Only personal Microsoft accounts are supported. Does not work with enterprise accounts.
  • Need to keep both devices in close Bluetooth range for transfers. No remote transferring.
  • Transfers are only possible between a single Android and Windows device pair. No multi-device sharing.
  • Only available for Android phones and tablets running v6.0+ and Windows 10 Oct 2018 update or later.
  • Lack of user control and customization options during file transfers.

Thus, while Nearby Share for PC offers the convenience of wireless file transfer, limitations like slow speeds, limited data types, and range constraints make it unreliable for regular large data transfers between Android and Windows devices. Users looking for more robust alternatives may need to look beyond Nearby Share.

Alternative to Send Data from Android to Windows PC

Given the limitations of Nearby Share for PC, what is the best way to transfer data like photos, videos, music, contacts, messages, apps, and more from an Android phone or tablet to a Windows laptop or desktop?

The answer is MobileTrans - the ultimate phone transfer tool from Wondershare.

Here's how MobileTrans – Phone Transfer provides a seamless data migration experience between Android and Windows:

  • Transfer photos, videos, music, contacts, messages, apps, documents, etc. easily between Android and Windows PC.
  • Fast, reliable transfers with wired USB connections.
  • Simple interface for selecting, viewing, and transferring data.
  • Encrypted data transfer for security.
  • No rooting is required for Android devices. Wide device compatibility.
  • Facilitates phone-to-phone, phone-to-computer, and computer-to-phone data transfers.
  • Back up Android device data to the computer and restore backup seamlessly.
logo trustpilot 5 stars 4.5/5 Excellent

Here are the steps to share files from your Android device to a Windows PC using MobileTrans:

Step 1: Download and install Wondershare MobileTrans on your Windows PC. Use a USB cable to connect your Android phone to your PC.

Step 2: In the MobileTrans interface, switch to the “Phone Transfer” tab and then select “Export to Computer”.

mobiletrans main interface

Step 3: Once the connection is established, a window will appear, displaying a list of data types available for transfer between devices. From this window, select the specific file you wish to transfer.

select files to transfer

Step 4: Once the files have been chosen, initiate the process by clicking on the Export button. Ensure that the device remains connected until the MobileTrans export process is completed.

mobiletrans export to computer

Step 5: After the export process is finished, you have the flexibility to import the files at your convenience and in any location of your choice.

With the rising need for managing data across the multiple smart devices we use, MobileTrans delivers the best solution for completely syncing data between Android and Windows systems. Its versatility, speed, and reliability make it a great choice for effortless phone-to-computer data transfers.


Transferring files and data seamlessly between Android and Windows devices has become more convenient now with wireless transfer options like Nearby Share. It allows quick transfers of photos, videos, documents, etc. between an Android phone/tablet and a Windows 10/11 PC without needing cables or web connectivity.

While Nearby Share offers basic wireless file transfer capabilities, MobileTrans provides complete Android to Windows data migration functionality delivering the best data transfer experience. With rising cross-platform adoption, seamlessly syncing data between devices is crucial and MobileTrans fits that need perfectly.


  • Q1. What are the key benefits of using Nearby Share to transfer files between my Android phone and Windows laptop?
    Nearby Share allows wireless transfer of photos, videos, documents, etc. from your Android phone to a Windows laptop using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi direct. It does not need internet connectivity. Its benefits include no cables required, fast transfer speeds, and simple sharing between nearby devices.
  • Q2. What types of data can I transfer with MobileTrans from my Android phone to my Windows PC?
    With MobileTrans you can transfer contacts, messages, call logs, bookmarks, and media files like photos, videos, audio, and playlists from an Android phone to a Windows PC. You can also transfer calendar events, notes, apps, documents, and account data like WhatsApp.
  • Q3. Is MobileTrans secure for transferring my personal data from Android to Windows PC?
    Yes, MobileTrans uses encrypted data transfer protocols to securely transfer your personal data like messages, contacts, and media files from your Android device to the Windows PC. It also does not require rooting your Android phone making it risk-free.
Navkiran Dhaliwal
Navkiran Dhaliwal Feb 19, 24
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