How to enable Nearby Share on your Chromebook

Chrome OS now enjoys the Nearby Share feature found in Android. Jack Wallen shows you how to enable it for your Chromebook.

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Image: iStockphoto/Savusia Konstantin

For Android users, the addition of the Nearby Share feature made sharing files with other devices even easier. If you’re also a Chromebook user, you were left out in the dark. That ends now. With Chrome OS 90, the platform finally gets the Nearby Share. What this means is that you can more easily share files between your Android and Chrome OS devices. No more having to set up third-party apps or share files via email or Drive. Instead, you use the built-in Share menu and select Nearby Share which will then pick up any Android devices that have the feature enabled (to learn how to use Nearby Share, check out: How to enable and use Android’s new Nearby Share).

The bad news is this feature is not enabled out of the box. The good news is that it’s quite simple to enable.

Let me show you how.

SEE: Research: Video conferencing tools and cloud-based solutions dominate digital workspaces; VPN and VDI less popular with SMBs (TechRepublic Premium)

What you’ll need

To enable Nearby Share on Chrome OS, you’ll need a Chromebook running at least version 90 of Chrome. 

How to enable Nearby Share

Open Chrome on your Chromebook and type chrome://flags in the address bar. When the flags window appears, type Nearby in the search box. The Nearby Sharing option should appear (Figure A).

Figure A

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The Nearby Sharing configuration option is ready to be enabled.

Click the Default drop-down and select Enabled. You will then be prompted to click Restart (Figure B).

Figure B

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Time to restart your Chromebook to finish up enabling Nearby Share.

How to use Nearby Share

To understand how Nearby Share is used, I recommend you read the article mentioned above. The general gist, however, is quite simple:

  1. Open the Files application.

  2. Navigate to the folder housing the file you want to share.

  3. Select the file and then click the Share icon.

  4. From the popup, select Nearby Share (Figure C).

Figure C

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Setting up Nearby Share on Chrome OS.

5. If prompted, set up your Chrome OS Nearby Share options—such as which contacts can share with you (Figure D).

Figure D

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Configuring which contacts can share with you.

And that’s all there is to enabling Nearby Share on your Chromebook. This feature will make it considerably easier to share files between Android and Chrome OS devices. Your Chromebook experience just got a bit easier.

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