Android’s answer to AirDrop is finally coming to your Windows PC

A PC and Android phone next to each other in front of a colorful background
(Image credit: Google)

Google’s answer to Apple’s AirDrop just got a big upgrade with the launch of its Nearby Share for Windows PC app beta.

Just like how you use AirDrop, Nearby Share lets you quickly and easily share files between nearby Android devices. This feature tends to be quicker than sending files via an email or Google Drive link, and is simpler than trying to transfer them over a typical Bluetooth connection. 

Nearby Share just got a lot better, however, as it now lets you do more than just ping files between the best Android phones, tablets, and best Chromebooks – you can now send files to your Windows PC, too. The introduction of the Nearby Share for Windows beta gives the feature a serious boost over AirDrop, as Apple’s feature is locked to its ecosystem of iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Best of all, you can join the beta right now and start sharing your phone files via the new Nearby Share for Windows app in no time.

A phone sending a file to a PC, then sending that file to another phone

(Image credit: Google)

How to download Nearby Share for Windows 

Unlike other recent Google betas – like the Google Bard beta – where you have to sign up and wait to be given access, you can get started with Nearby Share for Windows right now if you want.

You’ll first want to head to Google’s official page, and there you should see a “Get started” button near the top. Click and you’ll download the installation file for the Nearby Share PC tool – open it to begin the installation process.

Once the installation is complete, you should see a window pop up that asks you to sign in to Google and set your Nearby Share preferences. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be ready to share files using Nerby Share with your computer; if you ever need to tweak your settings, you can click the gear icon in the Nearby Share Windows app to change settings like your PC’s name, where files get sent to and its visibility to other devices.

There are a few limitations to what PCs can support Nearby Share – it’ll need to be running Windows 10 or later and it’ll need to support Bluetooth.

Elsewhere, Google isn't only gaining on Apple in the file-sharing world, its Google AirTags could take over the world, too. 

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.