How to use Google Nearby Share between Android and Windows 11

Google makes its Nearby Share feature available on Windows 11 (and 10) devices, and here's how to set it up.

Nearby Share Android and Windows 11
Nearby Share Android and Windows 11

On Android, you can share files easily through a wireless connection with the new Nearby Share support available for Windows 11 (and 10) devices.

Although you can upload your files to a cloud storage service (such as OneDrive and Google One) and then access the contents with the same services from your computer, Google has a new “Nearby Share” app that makes it easy to share files between Android and Windows devices. You can even use the same app to share files with your friends and family (as long as the devices are nearby).

Once you install the app on your computer, it’ll run in the background, allowing you to send or receive files from nearby Android devices quickly. Sending a file from your computer is as simple as dragging and dropping the file to the “Nearby Share” interface or using the “Send with Nearby Share” option available through the File Explorer context menu.

If both devices are signed in with the same Google account, the transfer will happen automatically (you may still need to accept the first transfer), even if the screen is off. However, both devices need to be unlocked for the transfer to happen. 

This guide will teach you the steps to set up Google’s Nearby Share to share files between Android and Windows 11. The feature is also supported on Windows 10.

Share files between Android and Windows 11

Before you can share files wireless between Android and Windows devices, you first have to install the Google Nearby Share app on Windows 11 and make sure that both devices have Bluetooth enabled.

Set up Google Nearby Share on Windows 11

To set up the Google Nearby Share app on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Google Nearby Share page.

  2. Click the Get started button to download the app on Windows 11.

    Google Nearby Share download

  3. Double-click the BetterTogetherSetup.exe file to install the Nearby Share app.

  4. Click the Sign in button.

    Nearby Share sign in

  5. Sign in with your Google account associated with your Android phone.

    Quick note: The authentication process may involve using your phone, so continue with the on-screen directions to complete this step.
  6. Confirm a descriptive name to identify the Windows 11 computer when sharing files in the “Visible to others as” setting.

    Google Nearby Share set up

  7. (Optional) Under the “Receiving” section, click the Contacts option to choose the people on your contacts who can share files with you.

    Quick note: You don’t need to approve shares with the device signed in with your Google account.
  8. (Optional) Clear the option to share data usage with Google.

  9. Click the Done button.

Once you complete the steps, you can share files from Android to Windows 11 (or 10) or vice versa.

Share files between Android and Windows 11

The instructions below will show you the steps to send files between both platforms.

From Windows

To share files from Windows 11 to Android, use these steps:

  1. Open Nearby Share from Google app.

    Quick note: You will find the app in the Start menu or System Tray if it’s already running on your computer.
  2. Click the Select files option.

    Share file from Windows 11 to Android

  3. Choose the files to share with your Android device.

  4. Click the Open button.

  5. Select the Android device on the right side.

    Windows 11 share file with Android

  6. Click the Accept button on your phone (if applicable).

Once you complete the steps, the files will be transferred to your Android phone.

Alternatively, you can also right-click the file in File Explorer and select the “Send with Nearby Share” option from the context menu.

From Android

To share files from Android to Windows 11 (or 10), use these steps:

  1. Open the app with the files to share – for example, Photos.

  2. Choose the images and click the Share button.

  3. Click the Nearby button.

    Android Nearby Share to Windows 11

  4. Select the Windows 11 computer on your Android phone.

After you complete the steps, the Windows 11 device will receive the files. Since the transfer happens through Bluetooth, it might take a while.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].