How to Enable or Disable Nearby Sharing in Windows 11/10

One of the most useful features that Windows has is Nearby Sharing. This little feature lets you share documents, photos, and other files with Nearby devices using Bluetooth or WiFi. However, by default, the feature is turned off, and you have to turn it on before you start using it. So the question is, how to enable or disable Nearby Sharing in Windows 11/10?

How to Enable or Disable Nearby Sharing in Windows

What is Nearby Sharing in Windows?

Nearby Sharing is a useful Windows 11 feature that allows you to send documents, photos, links, and other content with other Nearby devices using Bluetooth or WiFi. The feature is quite similar to AirDrop, allowing Apple users to transfer content between Apple devices.

However, while the feature seems like a great deal, there is a significant drawback. You can only share files between two Nearby Windows PCs, but it doesn’t allow you to transfer files between your PC and phone or tablet.

But still, this is a useful feature in a workspace, and you might want to have the Nearby Sharing feature enabled.

Minimum Requirements for Nearby Sharing

Not all Windows PC supports the Nearby Sharing feature. Instead, a PC must meet some specific features to support Nearby Sharing. These requirements are:

  • Both the computers must be running Windows 11 or Windows 10 (1803).
  • The PCs should have Bluetooth 4.0 enabled with Low Energy (LE support).
  • The computers should be accessible via Bluetooth or WiFi and enable Nearby Sharing.
  • Both the PCs need to be close to each other.

If you meet these requirements, go ahead and follow the below steps to enable the feature.

How to Enable or Disable Nearby Sharing in Windows 11/10?

There are three ways to enable or disable the Nearby Sharing feature in Windows. These methods are:

  1. Windows Settings
  2. Registry Editor
  3. Group Policy

Now let me talk about all these three methods individually.

1. Windows Settings

Windows offers direct settings to turn on or off the Nearby sharing feature. It is available for all users to be configured on an individual level.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Navigate to System > Nearby sharing.

Windows Settings System Nearby Sharing

  • Now select whether you wish to share files with all available devices Nearby or you wish to share files with your own devices.

Windows Nearby Sharing Options

2. Registry Editor

Registry editor is one of the preferred ways to enable or disable Nearby sharing in Windows. However, editing the registry can put your PC at risk. Hence, it is advised that you should take a backup of your registry files before proceeding ahead, or creating a system restore point is even better.

Once you have taken a backup, follow these steps:

  • Go to Windows search, type down Regedit and launch Registry Editor.
  • From Registry Editor, navigate to the following path:
 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CDP
  • Right-click the white area and select the New > DWORD (32-bit) value option.
  • Then rename the value to CdpSessionUserAuthzPolicy.
  • Once done, double-click on the value and then enter your preferred value from the below chart:
Value Action
0 Disable Near Share
1 Enable Near Share for My devices only
2 Enable Near Share for everyone Nearby
  • Next, please create a new DWORD key and name it as NearShareChannelUserAuthzPolicy.
  • Double-click on the value and change it as per this chart:
  • Now go to the following path:
 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CDP\SettingsPage
  • Now double click on the \DWORD NearShareChannelUserAuthzPolicy to edit it.
  • Next, enter a value by following the below chart:
Value Action
0 Disable Near Share
1 Enable Near Share for My devices only
2 Enable Near Share for everyone Nearby
  • You have to edit the BluetoothLastDisabledNearShare and enter its value as 0 to disable Nearby Share.
Value Action
1 Enable Near Share for My devices only
2 Enable Near Share for Everyone Nearby
  • Finally, reboot your Windows PC, and you are good to go.

3. Group Policy

 Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Group Policy

  • In the right pane of Group Policy, double click on the Continue experiences on this device policy to edit it.
  • Now select Enable or Disable depending on what you would like to do.
  • If you wish it to be enabled, select Not Configured and click on OK.
  • To disable, select Disabled and click on OK.

How to send files with Nearby sharing on Windows 11?

  • Go to File Explorer.
  • Browse to the path where the file is located.
  • Then select the file and click on the Share button from the command bar.
  • Select the file and click the Share button from the command bar.
  • Now select the device you wish to transfer the file to.
  • Then on the destination device, click on the save and open or save button on the notification to complete the transfer.’

How to Troubleshoot Nearby Sharing?

There are a couple of issues you might face while using Nearby Sharing. First, the files might be set slowly. However, this can be fixed by switching to WiFi. Make sure both the devices are connected to the same WiFi network. The network connection profile is set to private on both devices.

Then try to send files again to see if that works. If it does not, go to the device you are sharing files with. Next, select Action center from the right side of the taskbar and check for notifications there. Also, make sure that focus is not turned on.

Is Nearby Sharing Feature In Windows As Good As Apple Airdrop?

No, in comparison to Apple’s AirDrop, Nearby Sharing doesn’t stand a chance. Although, Nearby Sharing is designed to be an alternative for Windows devices. But it lacks a majority of features. Like you cannot share files between your phone or tablet. Instead, it works from Windows to Windows only.

Can I Share File From Android or iOS Devices To My Windows Computer Using Nearby Sharing?

No Nearby Sharing doesn’t have support for Android or iOS devices yet. Instead, to use Nearby sharing, both PCs—the one you’re sharing from and the one you’re transferring to—must have Bluetooth and must be running Windows 11 or Windows 10.

So that was all for how to enable or disable Nearby Sharing in Windows 11/10. Now go ahead and try these methods out and see if they help you. Also, for any other questions, comment below.

Nayan is a crypto and gadget enthusiast who likes to cover topics related to Tech, Startups, Crypto, Gaming, Windows, and other interesting areas. But when he is not working, you can find him playing games or watch random videos on YouTube.

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