How to change the visibility of nearby devices on Android

Near Share is the Android version of Apple’s AirDrop. It’s a universal way of sharing links, photos, and files between devices. This is how you control who can see and send content on your device.

Near Share is compatible with all devices running Android 6.0+, starting with Google Pixel and Samsung devices. However, be sure to read our guide on setting up and using Nearby Share before you dive into any of the device’s visibility settings.

AirDrop for Android: How to Use Android Nearby Share

First, 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 app drawer from the start screen and open “Settings”.

Here tap on “Google”.

Tap on

Scroll down and tap Device Connections.

Tap Device Connections.

Select “Nearby Share” from the list.


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


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

  • “All contacts”: All of your Nearby Share contacts can see your device.
  • “Some contacts”: You choose which contacts can see your device.
  • “Hidden”: Nobody can see your device.

Tap All Contacts, Some Contacts, or Hidden.

If you select All Contacts or Hidden, no further setup is required – you will simply be visible to everyone or no one.

If you select “Some Contacts”, you decide who can see your device. The Recommendations section lists people with whom you contact frequently. Below you will see your full contact list; Scroll through and toggle the switch next to everyone 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 in the top left to complete the process.

Tap the back arrow.

That’s it! You can adjust these settings at any time by tapping your profile picture in Share Nearby.

Tap your profile picture in Share Nearby to change your sharing settings.

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