Can You Use AirDrop on a Windows PC or Android Phone?

Configuring AirDrop on an iPhone and a Mac
Aleksey Khilko /

Apple's AirDrop is a convenient way to send photos, files, links and other data between devices. AirDrop only works on Macs, iPhones and iPads, but similar solutions are available for Windows PCs and Android devices.

Windows 10: sharing nearby

If you're just moving photos or files between two nearby Windows 10 computers, you do not need anything more. "Proximity Sharing" function of Windows 10 has been added in the Updated April 2018. This feature works a lot like AirDrop for Windows. When this feature is enabled on two nearby computers, you can send anything, even files, using the file sharing feature built into the Windows 10 File Explorer. Files are transferred via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Fi.

To do this, go to Settings> System> Shared Experiments and enable "Sharing Nearby". You can choose who can send you content, but you will still need to agree whenever someone wants to send you something.

Receiving a file sent with the sharing nearby under Windows 10

RELATED: How to use nearby sharing on Windows 10

Android: Google files (and fast sharing)

On the Android plan, Google is working on a "fast sharing" feature that works like AirDrop and sharing nearby. Via a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it will allow you to share files, photos and even snippets of text with other people nearby.

This feature is not yet output-9to5Google discovered a version under development in June 2019. This may take some time.

Until this feature comes online, you can try the official software Google files app. It includes a "Offline sharing" functionality which uses peer-to-peer file sharing to send files to someone else with the nearby Files by Google application. In other words, it works a lot like AirDrop: two people on which the installation of Files by Google is installed can use the application to send files to the help of Bluetooth.

Sharing AirDrop style files for Android in Files by Google

Cross-Platform Alternatives to AirDrop

classical network file sharing tools always works well with Windows PCs, Macs and even Linux systems. You can configure a shared network folder on your local network. Using the tools built into your operating system, you can access the network folder in your operating system's file manager and copy files in both directions.

Enabling Network File Sharing on Windows 10 from File Explorer

If it sounds a bit technical or if you want to transfer files over the Internet, try using a file synchronization service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Apple iCloud Drive– which also works under Windows. You can share files (or folders) with other accounts and they will be available in the cloud storage of another person. Dropbox even has a "LAN Sync" functionThis will ensure that any file shared with you by someone on the local network will be transferred to your local network and not the Internet, saving you time and bandwidth.

Dropbox Preferences Showing Enable LAN Sync Options

If you prefer to continue sending files over the local network, try Snapdrop. It's a kind of AirDrop clone based on the web. Unlike many other web services, you can open Snapdrop on two devices on the same LAN and send a file. The file will be transferred to your local network, not the Internet.

Snapdrop website showing multiple computers

To send larger files, consider a file sending service. There are many, but Firefox Send is manufactured by Mozilla and is free. You can download files on the service. You then receive a link that you can send to a person. This person can open the link in his browser and download the files. This transfers files to the Internet.

You can use this tool without any account. You can even use it in Google Chrome, Safari or any other web browser other than Firefox.

Firefox sending interface

Unfortunately, we do not find any type of Windows client for AirDrop or an Android application compatible with AirDrop. AirDrop only works between macOS systems, iPhones and iPads.

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