Windows 10 Nearby Sharing not working: How to fix it

Windows 10 Nearby Sharing not working

Microsoft Windows 10 Nearby Sharing not working can be terrifying when we urge to send a bunch of important files to nearby devices.

In this guide, we’ll be showing Windows 10 users how to deal with the errors that may occur during the use of this useful feature.

Remember the days when we used to connect our devices to our PCs with cables whenever we wanted to transfer a file? It stayed like this until Bluetooth came into the frame and sharing got easier.

Fast forward to 2018, Microsoft Corporation unveiled its Nearby Sharing feature that allowed us to share media files with the help of both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

After this advent, file transfers got even quicker and simpler. Nearby Share has surely evolved throughout the past few years and got some upgrades to it. However, it can still sometimes bug users and cause errors.

So, keep on reading if you don’t plan on returning to the old days of using flash drives for transfers!

Table of Contents

Windows 10 Nearby Sharing not working: How to fix it?

Fix device detection

First things first, the most common error that occurs in Nearby Sharing is your PC not being able to detect other devices.

  • Ensure that the device you want to detect has their Nearby Sharing feature running and set to “Everyone nearby“;
  • This can be done by accessing Settings>System>Shared Experiences>Nearby Sharing.

Some users often make the mistake of being too far away from the device they’re trying to connect with.

Since the feature is called Nearby Sharing and uses Bluetooth, it only works when both devices are in close proximity to each other.

Generally, Bluetooth connections require devices to be in a 30 ft/10-meter proximity. When nothing stands in the path of the signals, the transfer takes barely a second or two.

Check Windows and Bluetooth version

Note that this feature can only be availed by computers with Windows 10 (version 1803 or later) and Bluetooth version 4.0 or higher.

  • To see which version a Windows PC has, navigate to Settings>System>About and scroll down.

You can download and install Windows updates if the OS is not up-to-date. This will take a bit of time, so if you’re in a hurry, scroll down and consider reading our “Alternatives to Nearby Sharing” section.

Check Bluetooth compatibility

As mentioned previously, the Nearby Sharing feature primarily uses Bluetooth to share files with a nearby device.

Errors during sharing might be a result of an older version of Bluetooth adapters in any of the two systems.

Another reason behind Bluetooth not working properly can be its lack of Low Energy support. Therefore, the solution is to check compatibility between both devices and fix Bluetooth Low Energy Support.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Click on the Start button and type “Device Manager“. Access the program by clicking it;
Windows 10 Nearby Sharing not working

  • Look for the Bluetooth option, then click on the drop-down symbol next to it;
  • Right-click on the Bluetooth adapter, then choose “Properties“;

  • Click on the “Details” tab;
  • Click on the drop-down menu below “Property“;

  • Choose the “Bluetooth radio supports Low Energy Central Role“. If the value shown below is <true>, then your Bluetooth adapter compatibility is good to go;

  • However, if the value displayed is <false>, your adapter is unsuitable for Nearby Sharing.

Note: An external adapter is the only way to fix the problem in such a case. Alternatively, you can go to the “Advanced” tab to check the firmware version. It must be at least 4.0.

Out-of-date Bluetooth driver

Another common cause of Nearby Sharing errors is an out-of-date Bluetooth driver. Updating the drivers of your Windows 10 PC can guarantee the smooth operation of all features.

Although this is usually done automatically by the OS during Windows Update, there’s still a chance old BT drivers are the barrier between you and other devices.

Here’s how to take care of this:

  • Click on the Start button and type “Device Manager“. Select the program once the window pops up;

  • Click on Bluetooth’s drop-down menu and right-click on “Bluetooth Device“;
  • Select “Update driver“. If this option appears in grey, turn on your Bluetooth and check again.

Once the driver is updated, see if Nearby Sharing is still giving you a hard time.

Set your network connection to Private

Nearby Sharing works best when your network connection is set to private, as recommended by Windows.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Access your computer Settings app;

  • Click on “Network & Internet“, then on “Status“;

  • Now, select “Properties“;

  • Under “Network profile” you’ll find a private and public button. Select the private button to finish.

Alternatives to Nearby Sharing

We understand that using cables and drives can be a tiresome process of transferring files. Moreover, if Nearby Sharing is giving you a hard time too, it’s best to consider other methods.

Following are some other options for file sharing with other devices.

  • Email

Undoubtedly, emailing will remain one of the fastest ways of sharing files with other users.

However, this will require an internet connection of course, along with a browser like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

  • AirDroid

Out of the dozens of programs out there that allow you to share files without an internet connection, AirDroid definitely comes in the top 10.

The best part is that it works on smartphones as well. You can download Windows AirDroid from here.

  • OneDrive

OneDrive is a good option for sharing and it also comes packed with several other useful features.

It allows you to upload your files to your OneDrive account and access them from any other device by logging in.

You can use it by logging into your Google or Microsoft account.

If Bluetooth doesn’t make your transfers easy, you can also use Wi-Fi to transfer files from one device to another using Nearby Sharing.

Not only is this a faster way to transfer files, but it also does not require the devices to be close to each other.

You can do this by having both PCs connect to the same Wi-Fi network. Simply click on the Wi-Fi symbol on the bottom right and see which network you’re connected to.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What can you transfer using Nearby Sharing?

You can share images, documents, and links with other devices using Nearby Sharing. Unfortunately, the feature does not allow sharing videos.

How can I share a file using Nearby Sharing?

Firstly, turn on Nearby Sharing on both devices (sender and receiver). Navigate to the address of the file you want to share in File Explorer then right-click on it.

Click on the Share button then choose the device you want to transfer the file.

Can’t find the file you just received by Nearby Sharing?

Usually, you get a notification with a save file option if your device just received a file. If you miss it, look for the notification in the Action Center located at the bottom right corner of your screen.

You can also change your default file-receiving folder by accessing Settings>System>Nearby Sharing>Save files I receive to.

Can Nearby Sharing be used on any device?

Other than Microsoft Windows OS, the Nearby Sharing option was recently made available for Android phones. So, it is possible to now share files between an Android phone and a Windows 10 device.

Why is Nearby Sharing sending files too slowly?

Consider using a Wi Fi network for sending files when using Nearby Sharing as it speeds up the process. You can also bring the devices closer for the transfer to be completed sooner.

Wrap up

Wireless transfers have gotten a lot easier and quicker thanks to Nearby Sharing.

The feature is quite helpful for users who find dealing with cables and drives to be a hassle.

Though Nearby Sharing can sometimes cause errors, you’re well aware of how to deal with them now.

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