Nearby Share Not Working on Android? Try These Fixes

Is Google Nearby Share not working on your Android mobile? As frustrating as it is when that happens, consider the tips below to help you figure out what could be going wrong and have you back sharing files and links again.

Nearby Share is Google’s answer to Apple’s AirDrop. It is effective, easy to use, and available on most devices powered by Android. Still, like any other Android feature, it can malfunction from time to time. 

In the following guide, we’ll step you through possible fixes for when Google Nearby Share is not working on your Android phone.

What are the Requirements for Using Google Nearby Share? 

Initially, Nearby Share was only available to Google’s Pixel devices. It was an experimental state. But now, years after things have changed. Nearby Share is available on all Android-powered devices.  

Still, You need to be aware of a few necessary requirements. These will be important if you want to successfully transfer files via Nearby Share. Let’s check them out.

  • Version 6.0 of the Android OS or any later version 
  • Activated Bluetooth 
  • Activated Location Service 
  • Devices should be within 1 foot radius 

So, these are the requirements and they are pretty simple to follow. If you are having issues even after fulfilling these criteria, then the following troubleshooting tips will come in handy. 

9 Solutions for Fixing Google Nearby Share Not Working on Android 

Here are the solutions to fix Google Nearby Share not working on your Android device. Implement these and you will be able to start sharing files in no time.  

  1. Enable Google Nearby Share
  2. Place the Devices Closer
  3. Restart Both Devices 
  4. Turn Airplane mode on/off
  5. Enable Bluetooth on Your Devices 
  6. Turn On Location Services
  7. Check the Visibility Settings 
  8. Clear Cache for the Google Play Services 
  9. Update Google Play Services 

1. Enable Google Nearby Share

If you are having trouble transferring files via Google’s Nearby Share, simply check if the service is enabled or not.

It’s an honest mistake, it can happen to all of us. Nearby Share is not a default service. You need to enable it manually.

It is also possible that Nearby Share was enabled and you have used it before. But due to some unforeseen reasons, it is currently not working. So, just check its status. 

Simply, swipe down the Android Quick Settings Panel. Locate the Nearby Share option and tap on it to enable the feature.     

Android Quick Settings Panel
Enable Nearby Share from Quick Settings Panel. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

There’s another way to do it. It’s a longer procedure. So, let’s check out the steps. 

  1. Open the Settings app and select Google
Select the Google Option
Choose Google Under Android Settings. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor
  1. Now, choose Devices and Sharing and tap on Nearby Share
Select Nearby Share
Select Nearby Share Under Devices and Sharing Menu. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor
  1. In the following page, you will have the option to enable this feature. 
Activate Nearby Share Service
Toggle the Button Under Nearby Share Menu. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

If Nearby Share is already enabled on your Android device, you don’t have to go through all these troubles. Simply, skip to the next solution. 

2. Place the Devices Closer 

Most of the file-sharing applications have a limited range and Google’s Nearby Share is no different. 

If you keep the devices one mile away from each other, you can forget about sharing files. The devices must be kept within 1-foot distance from each other which translates to 30 cm or 12 inches.  

Now, we are sure that you are maintaining this distance. But when the feature fails to work, placing the devices closer could be beneficial. You can give it a try. 

3. Restart Both Devices 

If getting the devices closer didn’t work, then you need to cancel the transfer and start again after restarting the devices. 

The problem is likely to have been caused by a minor glitch and refreshing the device can fix it. So, try to cancel the file transfer and reboot the devices. 

If you can’t, don’t worry. Just hold the Power button and the devices will be turned off. After giving it a few seconds, turn on the devices and initiate the file transfer again.    

4. Turn Airplane Mode On/Off

If Google Nearby Share is not working due to network issues, the fix is easy. You’ll only need to activate the Airplane/Flight mode. 

The Airplane mode is available on all Android devices and its only function is to cut off all the outgoing signals from your device.

But in this case, we will be enabling the Airplane/Flight mode initially and then disable it after a few seconds.

Activate Flight Mode from the Quick Settings Panel
Android Flight Mode Enabled. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

So, enable Airplane/Flight mode from the Android Quick Settings Panel to reset networks. If nearby Share was malfunctioning due to network issues, it should be fixed.   

5. Enable Bluetooth on Your Devices 

Bluetooth is an integral part of file transfer via Nearby Share. While initiating the file-sharing process, you will be asked to enable Bluetooth on your mobile. If you agree, Bluetooth will be turned on. 

Tap on the Bluetooth Option
Enable Bluetooth from the Quick Settings Panel. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

But often, this fails to happen. And when it does, you have to manually activate Bluetooth. So, swipe down the Android Quick Settings Panel and enable Bluetooth. If it is not already enabled. 

6. Turn On Location Services

Similar to Bluetooth, you also need to enable the Location Service on your Android mobile. As soon as you launch Nearby Share, you will be asked to enable it. You can agree. But if it fails to activate automatically, you need to do it manually.

Tap on the Location Option
Enable Location from the Quick Settings Panel. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

As usual, sometimes the feature just fails to activate. And when that happens, you know exactly what to do. You have to enable the Location Service from the Android Quick Settings Panel

7. Check the Visibility Settings 

Google’s Nearby Share comes with a lot of options and Visibility is one of them. And quite frankly, it is an important option. So, you have to set the visibility properly. Otherwise, you will have issues.

Now, you have three visibility options to choose from. All Contacts, Everyone, and Hidden.  

If you have selected the Hidden option, no one will be able to see your device in their Nearby Share list.

If the visibility is enabled for only selected people in your contact list, the same thing will happen. Possibly the person with whom you want to share files didn’t make it to the list. So, you need to enable visibility for All Contacts

  1. Launch the Settings app and select Google
  2. After that, choose Devices and Sharing and tap on Nearby Share
  3. In the Nearby Share menu, tap on the Device Visibility option. 
  4. Set it to All Contacts
Set Device Visibility Setting
Change Device Visibility to All Contacts. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

Now, your device should be visible on the other device’s Nearby Share menu. We also recommend not to choose the Everyone option in the visibility settings. This could put your privacy at risk.

8. Clear Cache for the Google Play Services 

If the previous methods didn’t work out, you might want to fix the performance of the Google Play Services.

Google Play Services is available on all Android devices and due to piled-up cache files, it can malfunction. Which in terms will affect the performance of Nearby Share. 

So, all you have to do is remove those cache files.  

  1. Launch the Settings app and tap on Apps
  2. Locate Google Play Services and tap on it. 
  3. On the App Info page, tap on Storage
Choose the Storage Option
App Info for Google Play Services. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor
  1. Now, you will find the Clear Cache option. Tap on it. 
Clear Google Play Services Cache
Tap on the Clear Cache Option at the bottom of the Panel. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

If Nearby Share was malfunctioning due to corrupted cache files, there’s no need to worry anymore.

9. Update Google Play Services 

When you have tried every possible avenue and there’s nothing left, update the Google Play Services.

Now, updating the Google Play Service is easy and there are two ways to do it. It is true that the users mostly prefer updating it from the Google Play Store but you also have to option to do it manually. 

You can launch the Google Play Store app and locate Google Play Services. Upon opening it, tap on the Update button. If you are having trouble locating it, you can try out the link here.  

On the other hand, choosing to take the manual path means difficulty. First, you’ll need to download the APK file.

Speaking of downloading APK files, you may want to learn what an APK file is and if it is safe to download. Once you know the file is free of malware, go ahead download it and install it. Then, provide the necessary permissions. 

Afterward, reboot your Android device to complete the process. te problem will disappear after successfully updating the Google Play Service. 

Wrapping It Up 

There’s nothing more to say apart from hoping for the best outcome. All of the discussed solutions are verified and we expect them to have worked for you. 

Now, if you have come up with a new way of fixing Google Nearby Share not working on Android, we would like to hear it. So, be sure to speak your mind in the comment section below.

Saurav is passionate about tech. He loves sorting through tech jargon and making sense out of them. When he's not working, he is most likely on a date with his gaming PC.

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