Near Share is Microsoft’s Answer to Apple’s AirDrop for PC

Great news for those who have long waited to wish for a similar feature like AirDrop on PC, it’s coming to your Windows 10. If you are running Windows 10 insider build, you can try this new feature now. Make sure you are receiving the build via “Skip ahead to the next Windows release” to update to the latest public released insider preview build from Microsoft.

In build 17035, Microsoft introduced this new feature called Near Share. It allows you to share pretty much any Photos, Videos, Documents, and URLs from the web to a person near you. Just like Apple’s AirDrop relies on Bluetooth connection, Windows 10’s Near Share need a Bluetooth enabled PC, and both parties need to have build 17035 or higher installed.

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Go to Settings > search for “Near Share” or view from the Action / Notification Tray, there will be a new menu “Near Share” allows you to toggle between on/off. When turned on, you will be able to see nearby Windows 10 who also have the same feature turned on.

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To share a file with Near Share you need to use the “Share” button throughout Windows 10 to find the nearby people. Above is an example of Near Share with Microsoft Edge. You can also use Windows Explorer, right-click any file > “Share” and find the nearby Windows 10 to share. Microsoft did not explicitly say that both machines need to be connected to the same network but I would imagine if they both have WiFi on or already connected to the same network it will make sharing speed much faster. With Apple’s AirDrop, you have to enable Wifi on the Mac in order for AirDrop to work, same would apply for Windows 10 to use this Near Share feature. The Bluetooth was the initial handshake to establish a connection between the two PC, for actual file transfer they were actually communicated via WiFi instead of Bluetooth protocol alone.