Google Close by Share Beta for Home windows actually provides AirDrop a run for its cash, and this is the way it works

Google Nearby Share Beta for Windows really gives AirDrop a run for its money, and here's how it works

For the reason that introduction of close by sharing in 2020, Android customers have loved the comfort of wi-fi file transfers between their telephones and tablets. Nonetheless, shifting information from an Android machine to a Home windows laptop has at all times been just a little extra clunky, making us envy Apple’s AirDrop. Occasions are altering, and Google lastly has a viable Close by Sharing implementation for Home windows, presently in beta. We took the utility for a spin to take a look at all it has to supply.


Google introduced plans to launch Close by Sharing for Home windows at CES 2022. Almost a yr later, like a lot of you, I used to be nonetheless sending information to myself by way of e mail, utilizing cloud storage as a go-between, or texting to myself on whatsapp. However hope for change got here earlier this week when Google introduced the beta of Close by Share for Home windows. Whereas nonetheless in testing for now, this launch provides us a stable take a look at what to anticipate from the steady characteristic.

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An animation to show how Nearby Sharing works between an Android phone and a Windows PC


  • It really works reliably and shortly, transferring each to and out of your laptop
  • Transfers will be achieved in My Gadgets mode for Close by Share
  • It really works with no particular modifications required on the cellphone

In opposition to:

  • Android 13’s UI design would possibly look misplaced on Home windows 10
  • The pc should have Bluetooth, limiting applicability
  • Applied as a standalone app, as a substitute of integrating Neighbor Share already in Home windows


The Google beta is obtainable within the US and lots of different international locations, with notable exceptions primarily in Europe. You’ll need a tool working Android 6 Marshmallow or newer (i.e hopefully this isn’t an issue for just about anybody) and a pc working the 64-bit model of Home windows 10 or 11. Sadly, ARM-based computer systems will not be supported.

All gadgets concerned within the switch want Bluetooth and should be related to the identical Wi-Fi community. Google recommends a most distance of 16 ft (5 meters) between your cellphone/pill and laptop.

Set up and configuration on PC

To make use of Google’s Close by Sharing utility, that you must obtain and set up the software program. Click on Begin with Beta On the Close by Share app webpage, obtain the setup file (named BetterTogetherSetup.exe) and run it. Throughout setup, it could ask you to sign up to your Google Account, title your laptop for Close by Share Transfers, select who can share with you, and activate sending diagnostic information. Don’t be concerned about setting them up incorrectly throughout set up, as a result of we are able to change all of those settings later. Shut the installer after set up is full.

Google Close by Share Home windows Beta set up course of

Sadly, the set up would not create a desktop shortcut, however you will discover it Close by Share Google Beta it now lives in your Begin menu. You possibly can pin it to the Begin Menu or set it to auto-run after startup like I did. Activate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from the system tray in your Home windows laptop and open this system. I used to be happy to see a relatively Android interface, even when it means a stark distinction to the Home windows 10 or 11 UI. In this system, click on on gear icon within the higher proper nook to alter some settings (these configured throughout set up) earlier than the primary file switch utilizing Close by Share.

THE System title setting defines how your laptop will seem to different gadgets. Beneath that, you’ll be able to configure the listing to save lots of the acquired information. By default, the applying makes use of the Downloads folder, which is ok, however do not forget that you can’t outline the save location individually for every switch. The System visibility setting has 4 choices, similar to on Android:

  • Everybody — Anybody utilizing the identical Wi-Fi community can ship information to your PC.
  • Contacts — Solely your contacts saved on the identical Wi-Fi community can ship you information.
  • Your gadgets — Solely gadgets signed in to the identical Google ID because the Close by Sharing beta can ship you information.
  • No one — Flip off discoverability of the machine, even for those who go away Close by Share working within the background.


We don’t advocate utilizing Everybody mode on public Wi-Fi akin to in airports and occasional outlets, for safety causes. The mode is beneficial for those who’re on safe Wi-Fi, although. I discovered it handy to alter the machine visibility from the dropdown menu on this system’s house web page.


It is also very good how this system is minimized to the taskbar nook overflow menu even whenever you shut it. Keep in mind that you need to use Everybody mode with out logging in throughout the setup course of, however different modes require logging in to Google.


The best way to arrange your cellphone

In your cellphone, be certain Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on. An choice to activate Close by Sharing ought to be out there under Settings > Related gadgets > Connection preferences > Close by sharing. Right here, toggle the switches for Use Close by Share AND System visibilityin order that your cellphone is seen in your laptop.

You possibly can faucet the System visibility choice to toggle between All mode and another setting. For this demonstration, we are going to use Everybody mode on each your PC and Android machine, however for those who sign up to the identical Google account on each gadgets, you’ll be able to stick with the Your gadgets mode for elevated safety. Be aware that System visibility should be turned on for transfers, even for those who share information between your gadgets.

The best way to ship information out of your PC

As soon as you’ve got efficiently configured and related to the identical Wi-Fi community, you can begin your first switch.

  • Click on the Choose information OR Choose folders possibility within the Close by Sharing program in your PC.

Google-Nearby-Share-Windows-Beta home screen

  • Use File Explorer to find the file/folder you wish to ship, choose it after which click on Open. You can even choose a number of information/folders without delay. Alternatively, you’ll be able to find information utilizing File Explorer on Home windows and easily drag and drop them Google Beta Close by Sharing to start out a switch.

Google-Nearby-Share-Windows-Beta-File Explorer

  • Your PC will begin trying to find close by gadgets. Your Android cellphone/pill ought to seem in a listing on the correct hand facet. Click on in your machine title.

  • Your PC will connect with your Android machine, and you may have to unlock the latter to substantiate a PIN code proven on each. Faucet Settle for in your cellphone if the PIN matches. The switch ought to start robotically, and you may obtain a notification on each gadgets when the file switch is full.

The best way to obtain information in your PC

Getting information to your PC is simply as simple, so long as you join the gadgets to the identical Wi-Fi community.

  • Find the file in your Android machine and hit the file Share possibility.
  • From the share sheet, choose Close by sharing.

  • Your Android machine will begin trying to find recipients. Click on the icon to your PC when it exhibits up.

  • Swap to your PC and click on Settle for button for incoming file switch if the PIN code matches on each gadgets.
  • The file should be saved within the preconfigured archive listing. After the switch, the desktop program provides you an choice to Open the file or Dismiss the notification.


A handy expertise, even in beta

In our utilization over the previous couple of days, Google’s Close by Sharing beta labored reliably, and we skilled no failed transfers or random disconnects, so long as the Android machine was near the PC. Switch speeds are respectable too, with most photos and paperwork taking simply seconds to switch to and out of your Home windows laptop.

Google’s Close by Sharing for Home windows has the potential to turn out to be the AirDrop equal we have at all times needed, however the firm’s selection of an Android-inspired design for the Home windows shopper serves as a relentless reminder that this is not the native resolution by Microsoft. Google’s resolution is purposeful, however for a really seamless expertise, we might have to attend for Microsoft to replace their Close by Share for Home windows to assist Android telephones.

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