What Is Nearby Sharing in Windows 10?

Share files, photos, and URLs with nearby Windows 10 PCs

The Nearby Sharing feature for Windows 10 allows you to wirelessly share files like documents, pictures, and URLs with nearby PCs via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Nearby Sharing works with all apps that have a sharing option including Microsoft Edge, File Explorer, and the Photos app, so you no longer have to rely on third-party file sharing platforms like DropBox.

Information in this article applies exclusively to computers and tablets running Windows 10.

How to Enable Windows Nearby Sharing

Nearby Sharing is included only with the latest builds of Windows 10. If you don’t see the option on your PC, you must install Windows updates. To enable Nearby Sharing:

  1. Select the Windows Action Center (the speech bubble icon) on the Windows taskbar.

    Select the Windows Action Center (the speech bubble icon) on the Windows taskbar.
  2. Select Nearby Sharing to turn it on.

If you do not see the Nearby Sharing option, select Expand to see more options.

Select Nearby Sharing to turn it on.

How to Update Windows

If you still don’t see the Nearby Sharing icon, then you need to update Windows:

  1. Select the Windows icon in the taskbar, and then select the gear to open your Windows 10 Settings.

    Select the Windows icon in the taskbar, and then select the gear to open your Windows 10 Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security.

    Select Update & Security.
  3. Select the Windows Update tab on the left side, then select Check for Updates. If new updates are available, follow the prompts to bring your PC up-to-date.

    Select the Windows Update tab on the left side, then select Check for Updates.

How to Share From Microsoft Edge

To share with others using Nearby Sharing in Microsoft Edge, they must have a compatible Windows 10 PC and Nearby Sharing enabled. They also must be physically close to you and accessible via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. To share a URL in Microsoft Edge with Nearby Share:

  1. Open the website and select the Share button in the top-right corner of the Microsoft Edge menu bar. It looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it.

    Open the website and select the Share button in the top-right corner of the Microsoft Edge menu bar.
  2. Wait while Edge looks for nearby devices, then select a device from the list to share with. The user will receive a notification in their Windows Action Center, which they can click to access the shared content.

If no nearby devices are detected, make sure both devices have Nearby Sharing enabled.

Wait while Edge looks for nearby devices, then select a device from the list to share with.

How to Share in File Explorer

To share with others using Nearby Sharing via File Explorer, they must have a compatible PC and Nearby Sharing enabled. They also need to be nearby and accessible via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. With those requirements met:

  1. Open the File Explorer and navigate to the file you want to share, then select the Share tab at the top of the window.

    Open the File Explorer and navigate to the file you want to share, then select the Share tab at the top of the window.
  2. Select Share (the icon with the green arrow). Wait while the available device list populates, and then select the target device. The user will receive a notification, which they can click on to access the shared file.

    Select Share under the Share tab in Windows File Explorer.

How to Share in the Windows Photos App

To share with others using Nearby Sharing via the Photos app, they must have a compatible PC and Nearby Sharing enabled. They also need to be nearby and accessible via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. With those requirements met:

  1. Open the photo to share in the Photos app and select Share.

    Open the photo to share in the Photos app and select Share.
  2. Wait while the app looks for nearby devices, then select a device from the list to share with. The user will receive a notification they can click on to see the photo.

    Wait while the app looks for nearby devices, then select a device from the list to share with.