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Tech Q&A: How to share Windows 10 files with other PCs

Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Science & Technology News

Q: We have two Windows 10 PCs and would like to share documents and photos between them. On our Windows 7 PCs we would have used the "Homegroup" function, but it's been discontinued in newer versions of Windows 10. As a result, the two PCs can "see" each other on our home network, but they can't share files. What should we do?

-- Gregory Leyes, Mentor, Ohio

A: You can share files between PCs with a Windows 10 feature called "Nearby sharing." It uses Bluetooth wireless technology to detect nearby PCs, and shares files with them via either Bluetooth or your home Wi-Fi network (Wi-Fi is faster.)

To use Nearby sharing, you need to make sure the feature is enabled on both PCs. Open Settings (the gear wheel in the tool bar), then click System. On the left side of the screen, click "Shared experiences." Then, on the right side of the screen, make sure "Nearby sharing" is turned on. On the same menu, below Nearby sharing, you can choose which PCs are allowed to share files, and where shared files will be stored by the recipient PC.

Once that's done, open File Explorer on the PC that will share one of its files. Right-click the file you want to share, and in the resulting menu choose "Share." That will produce a list of nearby PCs. (Nearby typically means within about 30 feet, the maximum range of most Bluetooth devices.) Choose the PC with which you want to share the file.

Once you share the file, the recipient PC will get a message about the impending transfer, and its user must accept or decline. (For more details, see tinyurl.com/y7kr6qb2).

 

Video lag

I recently answered a question from Phil Morton of Eden Prairie, about why his video image was lagging behind on a Zoom call (see tinyurl.com/y7uqemwt.) The problem hadn't occurred on a rival video call service, Microsoft Teams.

When my suggestions didn't solve the problem, Morton switched the camera from a USB 2.0 port on his PC to a USB 3.0 port. The video lag time then disappeared on Zoom calls.

Why did that work? I have three guesses:

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