How to Change Visibility of Nearby Sharing Devices on Android

How to Change Visibility of Nearby Sharing Devices on Android

Sharing Nearby is Apple’s Android version of AirDrop. It is a universal method for sharing links, photos and files between devices. Here’s how to control who can see and send things to your device.

Nearby Share is compatible with all Android 6.0+ devices, starting with Google Pixel and Samsung devices. Make sure to read our guide on setting up and using Nearby Sharing before getting into device visibility controls.

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. Alternatively, you can open the application drawer from the Home screen and go to “Settings”.


Here, tap on “Google”.


Scroll down and tap “Device connection”.


Select “Nearby Sharing” from the list.


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


This option only adjusts who can see your device, not the devices you can see it. There are three visibility options:

  • All Contacts“: All your contacts with Nearby Sharing will be able to see your device.
  • Multiple Contacts“: You select which contacts can see your device.
  • Hidden“: Nobody can see your device.


If you select “All Contacts” or “Hidden”, no further setup is required – you will only be visible to everyone or nothing.

If you select “Multiple Contacts”, you decide who can view your device. The “Recommendations” section will list the people you contact frequently. Below that, you will see a complete list of your contacts; scroll through and toggle the switch next to whoever you want to see your device.


After you finish selecting contacts, tap the Back arrow at the top left to finish.


There she is! You can adjust this setting at any time by tapping your profile picture in “Nearby Sharing”.


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