Google introduced Nearby Share to Chromebooks back with ChromeOS 91, which has since become an indispensable feature for those who also use an Android phone and like to share files back and forth between these two devices. But that’s not the extent of what Nearby Share can do.
During the last Google I/O Developer Conference, Google announced that it had plenty of new features prepped for ChromeOS that would make working across devices easier. As promised, with the release of ChromeOS 103, Nearby Share gained the ability to share your Wifi network and password with your friends or family. A perfect solution if they also have an Android or Chromebook device and would like to hop on your Wi-Fi with the least amount of friction possible. So, we thought we’d put together the guide below on how you can share the Wi-Fi network info saved on your device with a guest with a Chromebook.
On the Android phone that has the Wi-Fi info
On your Android phone, navigate to Settings > Network and Internet > Internet > Wi-Fi. Then tap on the gear to view the details for the WiFi network you want to share. On the network details page, tap on the “Share” option with the QR code icon. This will take you to a “Share Wi-Fi” page with a QR code that contains all the details of the network you want to share, including the WiFi password.
At this point, you can show this to the person you want to share this information with, and they can either write it down or use the QR code to connect a device that supports this, like another Android phone. However, if the result is to use this information to connect a Chromebook automatically, we need to go one step further and tap on the “Nearby” button that appears underneath the QR code.
Once you tap on “Nearby,” you will see a notification shade at the bottom letting you know that your phone is looking for a device nearby and will let you know once it has detected the Chromebook, which at this time should not be connected to another WiFi network. Once it sees it and you’re ready to share, tap on the icon at the bottom with the name of the Chromebook device that it found.
On the Chromebook you want to connect
Once you’ve tapped on the name, you can move on to the Chromebook that is receiving the WiFi information from the phone. You should then see a notification letting you know that a phone is trying to share a Wi-Fi network via Nearby Share, at which point you should click on “Accept” in order to receive it. Next, you will see another notification letting you know that the Wi-Fi network has been saved, and you should see the Wi-Fi connection status change from “Connecting” to fully connected.
I just want the steps!
On the Android phone
On the Chromebook
- Navigate to Settings > Network and Internet > Internet > Wi-Fi
- Tap on the gear to view the details for the WiFi network
- Tap on the “Share” QR code icon
- Tap on the “Nearby” button underneath the QR code
- Once your phone finds it, tap on the name of the Chromebook you want to connect
- Click on “Accept” on the notification to receive Wi-Fi info via Nearby Share
- Chromebook should then connect to that Wi-Fi network
The Chromebook should now be connected to the Wi-Fi network you shared from the Android Phone, and it used the Nearby Share feature to do it. Using this method should make it easier for guests to connect as all they would have to worry about is clicking “Accept” once and be done without ever knowing the steps you took on your phone to make it so seamless.