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How to send files over Bluetooth on Windows 10

Windows 10 has a feature called Nearby Share which works over Bluetooth. It requires version 4.0 of Bluetooth and, works only between Windows 10 devices. It’s restrictive to say the least but Windows 10 can send files over Bluetooth via the context menu. Here’s how it works.

Connect devices

Before you can send files over Bluetooth, you need to make sure your device supports receiving files over it. Turn Bluetooth on and pair and connect the device.

Send files over Bluetooth

Once you have everything set up, you’re ready to send files over Bluetooth. We’re going to detail the context menu method as well as how you can do it from the Command Prompt.

Context menu

With the device you want to send files to connected to the system you want to send files from, right-click a file and select Send to>Bluetooth.

In the window that opens, select the device that you want to send files to.

Command Prompt

In order to send files over Bluetooth from the Command Prompt, you need to download and install a utility called btobex. During installation, it will ask if you want to add it to your Paths environment which you should to make it easier to use.

Open Command Prompt and run the following command;


 btobex -n "Device name" "file name"


 btobex -n "Nexus 6P" test_image.png

The app takes a little longer to send files than the context menu option but it nevertheless gets the job done. The file transfer will begin on your system however, in both cases, the device that you’re sending the file to must accept the file transfer. If the device rejects the transfer, you can’t force it.

The Command Prompt method works with devices that Windows 10 doesn’t play nice with and it happens to have quite a few problems with Bluetooth to begin with.

btobex supports a few other functions as well and the toolset that it’s a part of can manipulate various aspects of Bluetooth including rename devices, disable remote services, and manage ports, among other things.

If you’re sending files between Windows 10 desktops, nearby sharing really is the best way to do it. It’s as secure as any other Bluetooth transfer method even though in some cases the nearby devices don’t always show up. Once your system finds the other device though, it will be able to reliably send files to the other desktop. As far as the Bluetooth version restriction goes, most devices purchased in the last three years run 4.0.

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