How to Change Nearby Share Device Visibility on Android

Share nearby is the Android version of Apple’s AirDrop. It is a universal method of sharing links, photos and files between devices. Here’s how to control who can see and send items on your device.

Nearby sharing is compatible with all Android 6.0+ devices, starting with Google Pixel and Samsung devices. Be sure to read our guide on set up and use sharing nearby before diving into the aircraft’s visibility controls, however.

RELATED: AirDrop for Android: How to use sharing near Android

To get started, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon to open the “Settings” menu on your Android phone. You can also open the app drawer from the home screen and open “Settings”.

Here, tap on “Google”.

Scroll down and tap “Device Connections.”

Select “Share Nearby” from the list.

To decide who can see your Android device, tap “Device visibility”.

These options only adjust who can see your device, not which devices you can see. There are three visibility options:

  • “All contacts”: All your contacts with Share nearby will be able to see your device.
  • “Some contacts”: You choose which contacts will be able to see your device.
  • “Hidden”: No one can see your device.

If you select “All Contacts” or “Hidden”, no additional configuration is required. You will simply be visible to everyone or no one.

If you select “Certain contacts”, you decide who can see your device. The “Recommendations” section lists the people you contact frequently. Below you will see your complete list of contacts; Scroll down and turn on the switch next to anyone you want to see on your device.

Turn on the switch next to the contacts you want to see on your device.

When you’re done selecting contacts, tap the Back arrow at the top left to finish.

Tap the Back arrow.

That’s all! You can adjust these settings at any time by tapping on your profile picture under “Share Nearby”.

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