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This overlooked feature lets you transfer folders between Android and Windows

The Nearby Share tool debuted earlier this year, but many users weren't aware of this ability.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Person using phone with laptop
Zave Smith/Getty Images

When Google launched Nearby Share for Windows earlier this year, life got a little easier for people who wanted to share files between their laptop or desktop and mobile device. 

The feature, which first dropped in 2020 for transfer between two Android devices, lets users send files from one device to another by simply selecting the file (or multiple files), then choosing where you'd like it to go. 

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Users have found the tool surprisingly useful, especially with the app estimating how long the transfer will take and displaying an image preview to make sure the correct file is being sent.

And while it's long been known that the option to transfer multiple files at once is available, X users discovered this week that you can send entire folders and their contents in either direction. This is especially useful when sharing to or from a Windows machine, as all the files show up in their folder opposed to as a long list.

At present, this process only seems to work fully with the Google file explorer, as Samsung's native file app simply sends the entire contents of the file rather than the file itself.

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Sharing files between devices has often been a bit clunky, with every manufacturer having a feature that deals with this process, but only within their own small ecosystem. Transferring files between devices from different manufacturers often meant simply emailing the files or resorting to a third-party app.

To get started using the tool, download it from the Android website. Once you're signed in with a Google account (it's not necessary to be signed in, but it makes the process easier), you can choose to send a file to any device that's on the same Wi-Fi network. 

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