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Use Nearby Share with Chromebook

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Chromebooks haven’t had any cross-device synergy with Android devices for nearly a decade. With its Better Together features, Google attempted to bridge the gap between its devices, but it felt like an afterthought when compared to Apple’s Mac-to-iPhone connection. That all changed with the introduction of Phone Hub in Chrome OS 89, and with OS 91, Google finally made it possible to exchange family memories, documents, and files between Chromebooks and Android devices with Nearby Share. Here’s how to utilize it to transfer data between your Google devices without a hitch.

The Setup

First impressions are key, and Google continues to amaze with its onboarding process. The setup UI for Nearby Share makes it easy to get started by providing a fun experience. Open the settings on your Chrome OS device to get started with Nearby Share. Nearby Share can be found on the first page, under Connected devices. Select Set up from the drop-down menu.

Nearby Share is no exception to Google’s love of integrating its simple UI everywhere. The onboarding UI functions as a compass to guide you through the process of installing Nearby Share on your Chromebook. It’s quite easy to use, and the Google-style illustrations keep you entertained while you’re setting it up.

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nearby share setup

You can modify your privacy so that all or some of your contacts can view your Chrome OS device after you’ve given it a name. If you choose “hidden,” your gadget will remain hidden until you enable it from the shelf. When the setup is finished, you’ll be taken to Nearby Share’s settings to review. Before you transmit data, make sure both of your devices are nearby and have Bluetooth and location turned on.

Transfer files to Chromebook

It can be difficult to send files to your Chromebook. Nearby Share streamlines the process and reduces the amount of time spent attempting to share a file. We’ll use Google Photos to share an image using my Chromebook in this tutorial.

neaby share transfer files

To send a photo, tap on the share button at the bottom left of your phone’s screen, and select Nearby Share in the share sheet. Your phone should recognize your Chromebook — tapping “Accept” will begin transferring the photo. You can also share an assortment of documents and files with your Chromebook, too.

Transfer files to your smartphone

You can transfer a document or a photo from your Chromebook to your phone if you want to take it with you. Sharing files from your Chromebook to your Android smartphone is a breeze. In the Chrome OS file manager, right-click any file and choose “Share” from the menu. Select your phone from the list by clicking Nearby Share.

save nearby share
Use Nearby Share with Chromebook 32

It may take a few tries for it to detect your device; launching Nearby Share from Android’s quick settings can help.

When the transfer is complete, your file should appear in your phone’s download directory.

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Nearby Share can also be used to transfer files from one Chrome OS device to another. You can access Nearby Share by right-clicking a file in the Chrome OS files app and selecting “share.” After the receiving party accepts the file from the system tray, the file transfer will begin. My gadgets required a few tries to connect, but once they did, the data transferred quickly. Nearby Share will be available to PWAs that implement the Web Share API, such as PhotoStack.

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