How to Use Wi-Fi Direct

Connect mobile devices wirelessly without a router

What to Know

  • Android 9, 8, and 7: Launch Settings and select Connections > Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi Direct. Select your device.
  • Samsung: Tap and hold on the file, then select Share > Wi-Fi Direct. Pick the device you want to send to and choose Share.
  • Disable Wi-Fi Direct when you're not using it to save power. Disconnect from all paired devices to disable it.

Using Wi-Fi Direct on Android devices to share files is an excellent alternative to Bluetooth, which has smaller range capabilities and slower transfer speeds. With the ability to connect two or more phones or tablets, Wi-Fi Direct eliminates the need for an internet connection. Sharing files, printing documents, and screencasting are the primary uses of Wi-Fi Direct on mobile devices.

Use Wi-Fi Direct on Android Pie, Oreo, and Nougat

The following steps illustrate how to connect to other Samsung devices using Wi-Fi Direct on Android 9, 8, and 7.

  1. Launch the Settings app and tap Connections.

  2. Tap Wi-Fi.

    Connections menu on a Galaxy S8 with Wi-Fi highlighted.
  3. Tap Wi-Fi Direct.

    Ensure your other device or devices have Wi-fi Direct enabled and are visible.

  4. In the Available devices section, tap the device you want to connect to.

  5. When it is connected, the device name displays in a blue font. To disconnect at any time, tap the device name again.

    Wi-Fi Direct connecting to a Samsung Tablet

How to Use Wi-Fi Direct to Send Files Between Samsung Devices

Samsung phones and tablets work exceptionally well with Wi-Fi Direct. Older devices like the Galaxy S5/S6 connect with new Galaxy S9/10s without problem.

  1. Open the file you want to send, tap and hold it, then tap Share in the upper right corner.

    A file selected in My Files with the Share button highlighted
  2. With the share options visible, tap Wi-Fi Direct.

    Wi-Fi Direct highlighted in the Sharing menu
  3. Under Available devices, tap the phone or tablet you want to send to and then tap Share in the top right corner.

    Displaying available Wi-Fi Direct device in Android Nougat.

    If you wish to print a document, tap the Wi-Fi Direct supported printer. If you want to cast your phone or tablet's screen to your Television, tap the Wi-Fi Direct TV.

  4. On the receiving device, tap the File received notification.

  5. Under the file list, tap the file you just received to open or view it.

    A completed transfer on a Galaxy S8
  6. On the sending device, a notification appear indicating the file transfer was successful.

    Notification that a file was sent via Wi-Fi Direct

    Disable Wi-Fi Direct when you're finished using it to save power. To disable Wi-Fi Direct, disconnect from all paired devices.

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