8 Easy Fixes for Nearby Share Not Working on Android

Nearby Share is a fantastic feature on Android and Chromebooks that allows you to wirelessly share files with nearby devices. While it usually works seamlessly, there may be instances where it encounters some issues. If you're facing problems with Nearby Share not working on your Android device, don't worry. We've got you covered with these simple fixes.

1. Ensure Nearby Share is Enabled on Both Devices

Before troubleshooting any further, make sure that Nearby Share is enabled on both the device you're sharing from and the device you want to share files with. To check if it's enabled:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Search for the Nearby Share option and open it.
  3. Enable the toggle beside Use Nearby Share if it's not already enabled.
  4. Complete the setup process with your Google account.

2. Bring Devices Closer

If you've enabled Nearby Share and still can't transfer files to the other device, try bringing both devices closer to each other. Ideally, have them within a foot or two of each other. Once they're close, attempt to share files again.

3. Unlock the Receiving Device

Although Nearby Share should work even when the receiving device is locked, some Android phones may stop background processes when the device is locked. This can affect the functionality of Nearby Share. To resolve this, simply turn on the receiving device and unlock it. Then, try sharing the file again from the other device.

4. Enable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Location on Both Devices

Nearby Share requires Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location services to be turned on for both devices. While it automatically enables Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the sending device, you need to manually check and ensure that all three services are turned on in the quick settings of both devices.

5. Check Device Visibility Settings

When you enable Nearby Share on your Android phone, it automatically enables Device Visibility and sets it to contacts only. This means that only people from your contacts can send you files, ensuring a secure transfer. If the device you're trying to send files from is not saved in your contacts, it won't be able to send files. To customize device visibility settings:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Search for Nearby Share and select the option.
  3. Make sure the toggle beside Device Visibility is enabled.
  4. Tap on it again and select the Everyone option.

By choosing the Everyone option, your Android phone will be visible to everyone nearby, rather than just your contacts. You can also choose the Keep everyone mode on all the time option to prevent switching back to contacts mode.

6. Reset Network with Airplane Mode

If Nearby Share still can't send files on your Android device, try turning on Airplane Mode and then turning it off. This will reset all Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location services, which are essential for Nearby Share to function properly. You can turn on Airplane Mode from the quick settings panel or from the Settings app.

7. Clear Google Play Services Cache

Clearing the cache of Google Play Services, which includes Nearby Share, can help resolve any issues you're facing. To clear the cache:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Go to Apps > See all apps > Google Play Services.
  3. Open the Storage & cache option.
  4. Select Clear Cache.

Clearing the cache will force Nearby Share to restart and may fix any underlying problems.

8. Update Google Play Services

Make sure that Google Play Services is up to date on both Android devices. Outdated versions of Nearby Share can cause connectivity or compatibility issues, leading to failed file transfers. To update Google Play Services:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Go to Apps > See all apps > Google Play Services.
  3. Open the App details option.
  4. This will take you to the Google Play Services page on the Play Store. If an update is available, tap on the Update button.

Updating Google Play Services will ensure that Nearby Share works smoothly on both devices.


By following these simple fixes, you can troubleshoot and resolve most issues related to Nearby Share not working on Android. Remember to enable Nearby Share on both devices, bring them closer, unlock the receiving device, enable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location services, check device visibility settings, reset network with Airplane Mode, clear Google Play Services cache, and update Google Play Services. With these steps, you'll be able to enjoy seamless file sharing using Nearby Share on your Android devices.