Use Nearby to connect with other devices

Nearby lets your device interact with other devices that are close to you. For example, you could play a game with friends or collaborate with coworkers who are nearby.

You'll be asked whether you want to allow an app to use Nearby, and you can always turn it off.

How to use Nearby

Apps can use Nearby in many different ways. But in general, each person should have the same app on their device and be within about 30 m (100 ft) of each other. Nearby works on both Android and iOS devices.

Control which apps can use Nearby (Android)

When an app wants to use Nearby, it will ask you for permission. You can also turn off Nearby for each app or all apps.

Turn off Nearby

  1. From the apps menu on your Android device, open the Google Settings app .
    Note: This is a different app than "Settings."
  2. Touch Nearby.
  3. To turn off Nearby for all apps, use the switch at the top .
  4. To turn off Nearby for individual apps, touch Nearby apps and use the switch next to each app.

How it works

Nearby uses a combination of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and inaudible sound to connect with devices close by. If you give an app permission to use Nearby but Bluetooth or Wi-Fi are turned off, Nearby will temporarily turn them on to connect when needed before turning them back off. Nearby may also need to use small amounts of your data plan to connect.

Buzzing sound

You may hear a buzzing sound when your device uses Nearby because some people, particularly teenagers, can hear sounds in the ultrasonic range. The sound should only play for a short time each time your device uses Nearby.

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Kaley is on the Accounts support team and author of this help page. Please leave suggestions below on how to improve her article.

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