Scott Hanselman

Troubleshooting Windows 10 Nearby Sharing and Bluetooth Antennas

October 5, '18 Comments [3] Posted in Bugs | Win10
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When building my Ultimate Developer PC I picked this motherboard, and it's lovely.

  • ASUS ROG STRIX LGA2066 X299 ATX Motherboard - Good solid board with built in BT and Wifi, an M.2 heatsink included, 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 SafeSlots (supports triple @ x16/x16/x8), 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1 and a Max of 128 gigs of RAM. It also has 8x USB 3.1s and a USB C which is nice.

I put it all together and I've thrilled with the machine. However, recently I was trying to use the new Windows 10 "Nearby Devices" feature.

It's this cool feature that lets you share stuff to "Nearby Devices" - that means your laptop, other desktops, whatever. Similar to AirDrop, it solves that problem of moving stuff between devices without using an intermediate server.

You can turn it on in Settings on Windows 10 and decide if you want to receive data from everyone or just contacts.

Nearby Sharing

So I started using on my new Desktop, IRONHEART, but I kept getting this "Looking for nearby devices" dialog...and it would just do nothing.

Looking for Nearby Devices

It turns out that the ASUS Motherboard also comes with a Wi-Fi Antenna. I don't use Wifi (I'm wired) so I didn't bother attaching it. It seems that this antenna is also a Bluetooth antenna and if you plug it in you'll ACTUALLY GET A LOVELY BLUETOOTH SIGNAL. Who knew? ;)

Now I can easily right click on files in Explorer or Web Pages in Edge and transfer them between systems.

Sharing a file with Nearby Sharing

A few tips on Nearby Sharing

  • Make sure you know your visibility settings. From the Start Menu type "nearby sharing" and confirm them.
  • Make sure the receiving device doesn't have "Focus Assist" on (via the Action Center in the lower right of the screen) or you might miss the notification.
  • And if you're using a desktop like me, ahem, plug in your BT antenna

Hope this helps someone because Nearby Sharing is a great feature that I'm now using all the time.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Saturday, 06 October 2018 22:14:27 UTC
Your dilemma is also the point that makes most
students sweat in desperation. Do not copy other people's words, just choose the important points and summarise these a highly effective words.
Tuesday, 09 October 2018 07:28:22 UTC
Hi Scott, a bit offtop, but in the original "Ultimate PC" article you mentioned 44 PCIe lines of the processor as a big advantage to connect peripherals. I wanted to ask, how do you know these lines are really utilized for peripherals? As I read in some articles, most motherboards use chipset PCIe lines for most peripherals, even for M.2. And processor lines are usually used for graphics cards. 7900X processor gives you ability to have 2 cards in 16x mode, and even one more with 8x. I suspect this is the only application of extra lines :( Did you check if at least one of M.2 slots connects directly to processor lines (this is what I'm concerned the most)?
Saturday, 13 October 2018 12:04:32 UTC
Hi Scott. Your work has helped me very much. Keep doing good work. Your work has inspired me very much.
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