How to Use Wi-Fi Direct

Connect mobile devices wirelessly without a router

A screenshot of the Wi-Fi Direct screen on a Galaxy S8.

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.

Instructions in this article apply to Samsung devices running Android 7, 8, and 9.

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, then tap Connections.

  2. Tap Wi-Fi.

    A screenshot of the connections menu on a Galaxy S8.
  3. Tap Wi-Fi Direct.

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

  4. Under the available devices, tap the device you wish to connect to.

  5. Once connected, the device name will display in blue font. To disconnect at any time, tap the device name again.

    A screenshot showing 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 will connect with new Galaxy S9/10s without issue.

When sharing files, printing jobs, or screencasting to TVs, it's highly recommended to use the same manufacturer or brand.

  1. Navigate to the file you wish to send, tap and hold it, then tap SHARE in the upper right corner.

    A screenshot showing a file beiing selected in the My Files app on Android.
  2. With the share options visible, tap Wi-Fi Direct.

    A screenshot of the sharing options in Android 7.
  3. Under the available Devices, tap the phone or tablet you want to send to, then tap SHARE in the top right corner.

    A screenshot displaying available Wi-Fi Direct devices 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 screenshot showing completed inbound transfetrs on a Galaxy S8.
  6. On the sending device, a notification will appear, indicating the file transfer was successful.

    A screenshot of a notification showing that a file was sent via Wi-Fi Direct.

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