How to share files in File Explorer on Windows 11

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File Explorer is one of the most powerful tools in Windows, and one reason for that is the fact that it offers many different options to share files and folders with others. It has tools for sharing items with your local network but also with other people, using email, various apps, or other means of communication. Here are seven ways in which you can use File Explorer to share files and folders, in Windows 11.

Share Files on File Explorer in Windows 11

File Explorer is the place most file management and transfer happen. In Windows 11, you can find a Share button in File Explorer designed to streamline the sharing. Browse to any folder on your PC in File Explorer, switch from Home to the Share tab at the top left corner. Select any files you like to share. Hit the Share button can be found at the very left end of the toolbar.

Share files and folders by sending them via email

The Email sharing option opens your default email client with the selected file or files attached. All you have to do is complete the message, the sender, the subject, and click or tap Send.

If your file is a bit too large to email, you can try compressing it using the Zip button. This automatically creates a “.ZIP” archive that compresses the file for easier sending.

Use OneDrive

If you have OneDrive files saved on your PC, there are a few ways to share them from File Explorer:

Get a link you can share. Select a OneDrive file or folder and select Share. Choose who you would like the link to work for, select Apply, and then select Copy link.

Email a link. Select a OneDrive file or folder and select Share. Choose who you would like the link to work for, then select Apply. In the To: field, enter the names, groups, or email addresses of the people you want to share with. You can also add an optional message. Select Send to send the email.

Tip: You can generate sharing links through the OneDrive desktop app for Windows 11, Windows 10, and Mac. Just right-click the file or folder in your OneDrive folder on your computer and select the Share a OneDrive link. This will copy a link to your clipboard that you can paste where ever you want to send it. However, these links are set by default to Edit permission. If you want to change the permissions, follow the steps below.

Sharing folders

When you share folders with Edit permissions, people you share with can add the shared folders to their own OneDrive. This lets them keep the folder alongside their own folders and items, easily move items between folders, and more easily work on it offline. Any updates they make sync with the shared folder, so everyone with access to the folder is up to date.

Share to a nearby device

To use nearby sharing, both PCs—the one you’re sharing from and the one you’re sharing too—must have Bluetooth and must be running Windows 11

Share a document

  • On the PC you’re sharing from, select Start, and then select Settings > System Nearby sharing. Choose which devices you want to share with, or view the apps and services you’ve given access to through the accounts listed there. Do the same thing on the PC you’re sharing to.
File Explorer share files
  • On the PC that has the document you want to share, select Search, type file explorer in the search box, and then find the document you want to share.
Share files on Windows 11
  • In File Explorer, select Share from the toolbar at the top, then right-click on the document you want to share. Next, select the name of the device you want to share with.
  • On the device you’re sharing with, select Save & open or Save when the notification appears.


Change your settings for nearby sharing

  • Select Start, and then select Settings > System Nearby sharing.
  • Under Nearby sharing, choose the devices you want to be able to share or receive content from.

    Note: If you choose Everyone nearby, the Bluetooth MAC address and name of your PC are made available to other devices around you so you can share with other PCs nearby. This info could be used to link your PC to you.
  • To change the place where files you receive are stored, under Save files I receive to, select Change, choose a new location, and then select Select folder.
  • On the PC you’re sharing from, select Start, and then select Settings > System Nearby sharing. Choose which devices you want to share with, or view the apps and services you’ve given access to through the accounts listed there. Do the same thing on the PC you’re sharing to.
  • On the PC you want to share from, open Microsoft Edge, and then go to the webpage you want to share.
  • In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more > Share, and then select the name of the device you want to share with.
  • On the device you’re sharing with, select Open when the notification appears to open the link in your web browser.

Share with an app

Select a file, then select Share. Under Share with an app, choose the app you’d like to share with, such as OneNote. You can also select Find more apps if the one you’re looking for doesn’t show on your list.

Conclusion

As you have seen, both Windows 11 offers quite a few different tools that you can use to share files and folders with others. Most of the options are easy to use and to understand. With just a few clicks or taps, you can send any file or folder to anyone you like. Before closing this article, do not hesitate to use the comments form below for any questions or problems you might have.

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