What to Know
- Android: Open the file manager and select files. Choose Share > Bluetooth. Then select a device.
- macOS or iOS: Open Finder or the Files app >locate the file > Share > AirDrop. Follow on-screen instructions.
- Windows: Open the file manager, right-click the file > Send to > Bluetooth device. Then select a device.
This article explains how to use Bluetooth to wirelessly transfer files like photos to and from your mobile devices without incurring data charges.
To set up a Bluetooth file transfer between smartphones, tablets, and PCs, enable Bluetooth (and visibility). You can set up (or pair) the mobile device with a desktop or laptop.
Send Files from Smartphones and Tablets
To transfer files from a smartphone or tablet to a PC:
Open the File Manager app. This also could be called Explorer, Files, File Explorer, My Files, or something similar. On Android Marshmallow or later, open the Settings app to find the file manager.
If your device doesn't have a file manager app, download one from the Google Play store.
While iOS has a Files app, it doesn't generally allow Bluetooth transfers. Instead, it uses AirDrop for non-internet file transfers, which uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Go to the folder that contains the files you want to transfer. Camera photos are usually found in the DCIM folder.
Tap the Menu icon and choose Select.
Select the files you want to send.(Video) 💯 Best Way to Transfer Files Between Devices
Tap the Share icon.
In the list of sharing options, tap Bluetooth.
If the devices haven't been paired, it may take a few seconds to discover the receiving device.
Tap the Bluetooth device you want to transfer the files to. A message that displays "Sending # Files to [device]" appears on the screen.
A file transfer notification appears on the receiving device that shows the file name, file size, and the sending device. This window may disappear (nothing will be transferred) if no action is taken within 15 seconds. If this happens, send the files again.
Select Accepton the receiving device to download the files. If the receiving device is a computer, choose a folder location. If you want to cancel the transfer, select Decline, Cancel, or Reject, depending on your PC.
Send Files from Computers
While macOS supports Bluetooth, file transfers with that system are managed by AirDrop. Windows PCs are able to send files to a mobile device (and vice versa).
Open a file manager (on Windows, open File Explorer) and go to the folder that contains the file you want to send.
Right-click the file.
Only one file at a time can be transferred over Bluetooth.
Select Send To and choose Bluetooth.
Select Next and follow the prompts to rename the file, choose the Bluetooth device, and send the file.
After several seconds, a notification appears on the receiving device.
Tap Accept on the receiving device to download the file.
Select Finish when the file transfer is complete.
What Is Bluetooth File Transfer?
Bluetooth file transfer is a simple way to send files to another nearby Bluetooth device without the need for a separate app. Bluetooth is compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. You can transfer files over Bluetooth using Android OS, Fire OS, Windows OS, Mac OS, and Linux OS.
Bluetooth file transfer isn't supported between iOS and Chrome OS. On iOS, you need to use a separate app such as Move to iOS or Apple AirDrop to transfer files and photos from the iPhone to Android or Chrome OS over Bluetooth. Devices that are compatible with Bluetooth file transfer have a system setting that supports Bluetooth and is called Bluetooth Share (or something similar).
Chrome OS 89 adds a feature called Nearby Share, which lets you move files between your Chromebook and other Chrome OS or Android devices instantly and securely.
Why Use Bluetooth File Transfer?
There are several ways to transfer files from smartphone to smartphone, Android to Android, or from one OS platform to another. Bluetooth isn't the fastest method, but it has the fewest requirements—no app, no cable or hardware, no Wi-Fi network, and no data connection.
When you want to share photos between smartphones, here are the advantages of using Bluetooth:
- Bluetooth vs. USB Cable: If you don't have the USB charging cable for your device, turn on Bluetooth to transfer files. If you do have the USB cable, it may be the type that plugs into a standard USB port instead of into another mobile device.
- Bluetooth vs. OTG Cable: OTG cables will transfer files between devices, but both devices must support USB OTG and have the right connections for the cables.
- Bluetooth vs. OTG Flash Drive: There are flash drives that have dual connectors for use with computers, smartphones, and tablets. While more convenient than OTG cable, OTG, and connector compatibility between devices is required.
- Bluetooth vs. Personal Hotspot: Not all devices use a personal hotspot (tethering). A personal hotspot requires a fee and a strong signal.
- Bluetooth vs. Portable Media Hub/Hard Drive: Some portable media hubs and hard drives broadcast their own local wireless network for devices to connect to. The mobile device needs the companion app to transfer files and the drive needs its battery charged.
- Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi Direct: Transferring files over Wi-Fi direct is similar to transferring files over Bluetooth. But Wi-Fi direct isn’t as universal as Bluetooth, not many devices support the feature, and may require an app to use it.
- Bluetooth vs. Cloud Storage/Email: Cloud storage and email work well for saving and sending files. However, each device needs a strong data or internet connection to transfer files or access email.
- Bluetooth vs. File Transfer App: The Google Play Store and the Apple App Store have apps that transfer files from one device to another. Some of these apps only work when both devices have the same app and some may need a wireless or data connection.
Types of Transferrable Files
Most any type of file can be transferred over Bluetooth: documents, photos, videos, music, apps, and more. If a file is stored in a folder on a computer or smartphone, you can send it. The receiving device needs to be able to recognize the file type to open it (for example, if the sending devices transfer a PDF document, the receiving device needs an app that reads PDFs).
The limitation of using Bluetooth to transfer data is the size of the files versus the transfer rate. The Bluetooth transfer rate depends on the version:
- Bluetooth 2.x has a maximum data transfer rate of 2.1 Mbit/s (about 0.25 MB/s).
- Bluetooth 3.x has a maximum data transfer rate of 24 Mbit/s (about 3 MB/s).
- Bluetooth 4.x has a maximum data transfer rate of 24 Mbit/s (about 3 MB/s).
- Bluetooth 5.x has a maximum data transfer rate of 50 Mbit/s (about 6 MB/s).
To use Bluetooth to send an 8 MB photo from one smartphone to another, and both smartphones have Bluetooth version 3.x/4.x, the photo transfers in about three seconds. A single 25 MB music file takes about nine seconds. A 1 GB video file takes about seven minutes. These times reflect the maximum speed, actual data transfer rates are less than the maximum specified.
Compared to other ways of transferring data, Bluetooth is slow. For example, USB 2.0 has an effective throughput of up to 35 MB/s, 11 times faster than the Bluetooth 3.x/4.x maximum rate. USB 3.0, which is the most common, is around 600MB/s. Wi-Fi speeds range from 6 MB/s to over 25 MB/s (depending on protocol version), which is anywhere between two to six times faster than the Bluetooth 3.x/4.x maximum rate.
Tips for Bluetooth File Transfer
To get the best speed and results when transferring files, follow these tips:
- Disconnect smartphones, tablets, and computers from other Bluetooth devices (for example, wireless speakers and headphones).
- Some devices may limit the number of files that can be transferred at a given time, so it may be necessary to transfer files one at a time, rather than in batches.
- Keep the sending and receiving devices as close to each other as possible with a clear line of sight. This maintains the best signal strength that won’t be interrupted by other wireless signals and physical obstacles.
- Close other apps until all files have transferred. Bluetooth does the sending and receiving, but the device needs processing power to write the data to storage.
- Troubleshoot your Bluetooth devices if there are problems with pairing.
How to Turn On Bluetooth
The steps to turn on Bluetooth on phones and other devices vary. Here are the general steps, with some examples.
Open the Settings app (the icon resembles a gear). To access Settings on Android phones, swipe down from the top to display the notification panel. To access Setting on Windows PCs, go to the Windows Start menu.
Tap Connected Devices on stock Android. Tap Connections on Samsung. Select Devices on Windows.
Select Bluetooth. For quick access to Bluetooth, swipe down from the top of the screen to display the quick settings panel.
Bluetooth has its own section in iOS Settings, toggle it on or off in Control Center.
Turn on the Bluetooth toggle switch to display a list of Paired Devices (such as Bluetooth audio devices you’ve paired with before) and a list of Available Devices.
The receiving device is visible (discoverable) to other devices. A timer may count down the duration of visibility, Bluetooth will turn off when it reaches zero. If there isn't a toggle switch, the device is visible while the Bluetooth settings are open.
To send files from a smartphone or tablet to a desktop or laptop PC, make sure the mobile device is connected/paired to the computer (this action is performed on the computer).
How do I check what Bluetooth version is on my Android phone?
The easiest way to find your Bluetooth version is through the handy app AIDA64. Look under System > Bluetooth > Bluetooth Version. Older versions of Android may have it listed under Settings > Apps > three vertical dots > Show All Apps > Bluetooth or Bluetooth Share > App info.
How do I play music through Bluetooth in my car from my Android phone?
First, you'll need to activate Bluetooth on your vehicle. Then, on your Android phone, go to Settings > Connections > Bluetooth > Scan (or turn on Bluetooth first). Once your Android device scans and locates your car, select it, then run your music app.
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In Bluetooth & other devices settings, select Send or receive files via Bluetooth. In Bluetooth File Transfer, select Send files > choose the device you want to share to > Next. Select Browse > the file or files to share > Open > Next (which sends it) > Finish.How do I transfer files between Android phones using Bluetooth? ›
Tap the Menu icon and choose Select. Select the files you want to send. Tap the Share icon. In the list of sharing options, tap Bluetooth.How do you Bluetooth two phones together? ›
Step 1: Swipe down the Quick Settings menu from the top of the home screen on both phones. Step 2: Tap on the Bluetooth icon to turn on Bluetooth on both phones. Step 3: On any phone, tap and hold the Bluetooth icon from Quick Settings. When the Bluetooth screen opens, tap on the Pair New Device option.What is Bluetooth file transfer? ›
You can send files to connected Bluetooth devices, such as some mobile phones or other computers. Some types of devices do not allow the transfer of files, or specific types of files. You can send files using the Bluetooth settings window.Is there a limit to Bluetooth file transfer? ›
Data sent via Bluetooth socket is abstracted as a stream. Here the transport layer is broken into packets, where packet has a maximum size of almost 1KB(1000 bytes).Where does Bluetooth file transfer save files? ›
To locate a file received using Bluetooth
- Find and tap Settings > Storage.
- If your device has an external SD card, tap Internal shared storage. ...
- Find and tap Files.
- Tap Downloads.
When using frequency-shift keying modulation, the transmission rate of Bluetooth classic is about 1Mbps. The data rate is enhanced up to 24 Mbps in Bluetooth low-energy (BLE).How do I transfer media files between Android phones? ›
Open the file that you'd like to share > tap the share icon > tap Nearby Share. Your phone will now start searching for devices nearby. The person you're sending the file to will also need to enable Nearby Share on their Android phone. Once your phone detects the receiver's phone, you simply tap their device name.How do I Transfer files between Samsung phones? ›
- Navigate to a file you'd like to share.
- Tap the Share icon, and then tap Nearby Share. Tap Turn on, if needed.
- Your phone will begin looking for another device. Hold your phone and the other device close together; make sure both devices are unlocked. ...
- Tap Send when it appears.
On your iPhone device, download the Google Drive application and sign in with the same account that you used to back up your data files on Android. Once the setup is done, Google Drive will sync the account and all the files will be available for your use on your iPhone.
One of the easiest methods to share files between any two Android devices is via Bluetooth. This feature is built-in on every Android phone and anyone can use it for free.
With a USB cable, connect your phone to your computer. On your phone, tap the "Charging this device via USB" notification. Under "Use USB for," select File Transfer. A file transfer window will open on your computer.Which is the best app to transfer data from old Android to new Android? ›
1. MobileTrans App. MobileTrans App is one of the best apps to transfer data from Android to Android without a PC. You can try to use MobileTrans App to transfer up to 8 types of phone data between devices, including contacts, messages, photos, music, videos, documents, apps, and more data.What happens when you pair two phones with Bluetooth? ›
In Bluetooth, pairing enables two Bluetooth devices to communicate with each other. For devices to find and identify each other so they can communicate, one or both must be discoverable, which means they broadcast a Bluetooth signal other devices can detect and connect to.What happens when you pair two devices with Bluetooth? ›
With Multipoint headphones, you can connect to 2 Bluetooth devices at the same time and select which audio source to play. This way, if you're playing media on one device, your headphones can switch to calls on another connected device.What is file transfer used for? ›
According to Techopedia: “File transfer is the process of copying or moving a file from one computer to another over a network or internet connection. It enables sharing, transferring or transmitting a file or a logical data object between different users and/or computers both locally and remotely.” 1.Is it safe to transfer files via Bluetooth? ›
Bluetooth is Not Secure
The security in using Bluetooth actually comes at the device level. Things like Bluetooth headsets or receivers in a mobile phone are the things that actually secure the data before it is sent out wirelessly. If these devices aren't secure themselves, then your data isn't secure either.
Photos, video files, documents, music files, etc. But keep in mind that the receiving device should be able to open and read the file type you are sending.Why does Bluetooth File Transfer fail? ›
Check whether your computer and the Bluetooth device are too far apart. A greater distance between the two devices results in a weaker Bluetooth signal and slower file transmission. 3. If the file is large in size (for example, larger than 100 MB), it is recommended that you use Wi-Fi, USB, or another transfer method.How can I improve Bluetooth transfer? ›
- Remove Obstacles. ...
- Connect only the two devices, disconnect others. ...
- Turn off background apps. ...
- Keep the devices near each other. ...
- Don't transfer too many files at one go. ...
- Keep the devices up to date. ...
- Invest in devices with the latest technology.
- Upload your files to a cloud storage service, and share them or email them to others.
- Use file compression software, like 7-Zip.
- Purchase a USB flash drive.
- Use Jumpshare, a free online service.
- Try Sendy PRO.
- Use a VPN.
- Transfer files using SFTP.
- On your PC, select Start > Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices. ...
- Make sure the device that files will be sent from appears and shows as Paired.
- In Bluetooth & other devices settings, select Send or receive files via Bluetooth > Receive files.
Or select File > Save As. Select where you want to save the file. You can save to your computer, OneDrive, or another location.How can I transfer files via Bluetooth to my computer? ›
- Step 1: Go to Settings> More Settings> Bluetooth option in your Android phone. ...
- Step 2: Now, you need to pair both the devices, i.e., the computer and Android mobile. ...
- Step 3: Tap the file you want to transfer to the computer on your Android mobile.
Bluetooth 3.0 and 4.0 can achieve higher speeds of up to 24 MB/second, but this data is not actually transferred over the Bluetooth link. It is instead sent over an ad-hoc IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) link. USB 2.0, on the other hand, allows for transfer speeds of up to 60 MB/second.
While Wi-Fi Direct isn't quicker than any cable data transfer (such as USB 2.0 or USB 3.0), it's certainly capable of transferring a 1.5 GB file within 10 minutes; in contrast, Bluetooth takes almost 125 minutes to shift the same data.What is a good file transfer speed? ›
A good rule of thumb is that for periodic transfers it should be possible to get throughput equivalent to 1/4 to 1/3 of a shared path that has nominal background load. For example, if you know your receiving host is connected to 1 Gbps Ethernet, then a target of speed of 250-300 Mbps is reasonable.Can you transfer files from i phone to Android? ›
Moving your data is easy—just connect, select, transfer.
Copying your data from your iPhone to your new Android phone is safe and easy. Simply connect the two phones with a cable or pair them wirelessly over Wi-Fi to securely copy your contacts, photos, calendars, and more.
- Use external storage media. This is the way most people do it. ...
- Share via LAN or Wi-Fi. For computers that are close to each other, there are two main ways to share files and folders. ...
- Use a transmission cable. ...
- Manually connect HDD or SSD. ...
- Use cloud storage or web transfer.
Use the Smart Switch app to transfer photos, contacts, messages, files and important data to a new device. Smart Switch can transfer all your data, including your device settings, so that you can pick up your new device and carry on right where you left off.
You can transfer the contents from the old phone to a microSD card, and then restore the contents on your new Galaxy phone. Does Smart Switch delete content from the old phone? Smart Switch does not remove any content from either phone. When the transfer is complete, the data will exist on both devices.How do I transfer data from Samsung to Samsung via Bluetooth? ›
- 1 Open the folder to find the files to be transferred.
- 2 Select More options (3 vertical dots) on the top right of the screen.
- 3 Select Share from the dropdown menu.
- 4 Select the files that you want to transfer. ...
- 5 Select Bluetooth in the share panel.
- 6 The Bluetooth menu will open and scan for available devices.
- Get started on your Apple device. ...
- Tap Move Data from Android. ...
- Open the Move to iOS app. ...
- Wait for a code. ...
- Use the code. ...
- Connect to a temporary Wi-Fi network. ...
- Choose your content and wait. ...
- Set up your iOS device.
Can you share data from iPhone to Android via Bluetooth? Unfortunately, no. Even though iPhones come with the Bluetooth feature, but lack file transfer options that are limited by the operating system. One of the main reasons for this is compatibility issues.How do I transfer files from Android to iPhone without PC? ›
On your Android device, open the Move to iOS app. If you don't have the Move to iOS app, you can tap the QR code button on your new iOS device and scan the QR code using the camera on your Android device to open the Google Play Store. Tap Continue, and read the terms and conditions that appear. To continue, tap Agree.What is the fastest way to transfer data from phone to phone? ›
Enable Bluetooth on both Android phones and pair them. Open File Manager and select the files that you want to transfer. Tap the Share button.
- Upload your files to cloud storage. Uploading files to cloud storage is a great way to transfer large files such as photos and video. ...
- Compress the Files. Another tried and tested method of transferring files is to compress them. ...
- Use a VPN. ...
- USB flash drive. ...
- FTP. ...
- SFTP. ...
- FTPS. ...
- 1: AirDroid Personal.
- 2: Google Drive.
- 3: SHAREIt.
- 4: Zapya.
- 5: Xender.
- 6: Slack.
- 7: Dropbox.
Possible Reasons. File Transfer is disabled on your Android phone or tablet. The USB cable you're using to connect both devices is damaged or malfunctioning. Similarly, it can be an issue with the USB port on your Mac.What is MTP mode? ›
Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) is a standard developed for connecting media devices and smartphones over USB. It has been adopted on a number of platforms including Android.
What is USB debugging? USB debugging is often used by developers or IT support people to connect and transfer data from an Android device to a computer. While this feature is useful, a device isn't as secure when connected to a computer. So that's why some organizations require you to turn this setting off.How do I transfer everything to my new phone? ›
- Turn on the new phone.
- Select start.
- Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
- Choose which apps and data to copy onto the new phone.
- Select Ok when asked, select No cable?
- Select a backup from an Android phone.
- Follow the on-screen prompts.
Then launch the installed app and select the apps that you're looking to share from the Android phone. Step 3: Once you select the apps, tap on "Send/Share" and select "Bluetooth". Step 4: Choose the Android device you want to share the apps with.What app do you use to transfer data from one phone to another? ›
Samsung Smart Switch
It is a free app for Android users. It can transfer data either wirelessly or with the help of a cable. Main Features: Wireless transfer: Without the digital or USB cable, you can transfer data from one Android device to another.
On the old phone, tap Send data, and then tap Wireless. On your new phone, tap Receive data, tap Galaxy/Android, and then tap Wireless. Next, complete the connection by tapping Allow on the old phone. On your new phone, choose the content you want to move, and then tap Transfer.How does smart switch work? ›
Samsung Smart Switch is an app that facilitates transferring of data like photos, messages, contacts, files, etc., from your old Android or iOS device to your new Samsung phone. You can also capitalize on the app to create a backup of your old phone and store it on your Windows or Mac device.What does smart switch do? ›
Smart Switch can be used to transfer between tablets, between smartphones, and between a tablet and a smartphone. Please note: To use Smart Switch, your phone must run Android 4.3 or iOS 4.2. 1 or later. You can transfer your data from both Android and iOS devices over Wi-Fi, with a USB cable or with a PC or Mac.How fast is Bluetooth file transfer? ›
When using frequency-shift keying modulation, the transmission rate of Bluetooth classic is about 1Mbps. The data rate is enhanced up to 24 Mbps in Bluetooth low-energy (BLE).What is the easiest way to share files between iPhone and Android? ›
On your iPhone device, download the Google Drive application and sign in with the same account that you used to back up your data files on Android. Once the setup is done, Google Drive will sync the account and all the files will be available for your use on your iPhone.Where are Bluetooth sent files on Android? ›
To locate a file received using Bluetooth
- Find and tap Settings > Storage.
- If your device has an external SD card, tap Internal shared storage. ...
- Find and tap Files.
- Tap Downloads.