LocalSend: A Free and Lightning-Fast Way to Transfer Files via Wi-Fi

Share files between Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile devices – No internet required.
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While cloud storage services offer convenient file sharing across all devices, sometimes local file transfers are irreplaceable.

Enter LocalSend. This free and open-source application uses your local Wi-Fi network to transfer files between nearly any two devices. It’s much faster than uploading files to cloud storage services and waiting for downloads.

Most importantly, LocalSend runs across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, so there are no annoying ecosystem barriers to hinder file sharing. (Looking at you, AirDrop.)

Using LocalSend to Send Files

To use LocalSend, you must install the app on each device. Visit the LocalSend download page for the desktop version, or use direct app store links for iOS and Android. There’s also an Amazon Appstore version for transferring media files or sideloading apps to the Fire TV Stick.

Once LocalSend is installed on at least two devices, head to the “Send” tab in the app. Your other devices should appear under the “Nearby Devices” heading, with randomly assigned nicknames and details about the device type.

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Use the “Files”, “Folders”, “Text”, or “Media” tab to select the file, then click on the device you want to save the file to. On the other device, accept the file transfer request, and it will begin downloading.

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Want to send files to multiple devices at once? Click on the gear icon in the “Nearby Devices” section title and select “Multiple Devices”, then click on all the devices you want to receive the file.

You can also generate a shareable link or QR code from the gear icon menu, allowing you to share files with devices that don’t have the LocalSend app installed. Keep in mind that these devices will need to download each file individually.

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Adjusting LocalSend Settings

While LocalSend works out of the box, the settings menu of this application contains many additional adjustments that you may find useful:

  • Minimize to Tray/Menu Bar on Exit: When enabled, LocalSend will run in the background on your PC after closing the window, making it still visible to other devices on the network.
  • Destination: Choose the location to save files.
  • Device Name: Select a more memorable identifier (e.g., “Desktop” or “iPad”) rather than a randomly generated one.
  • Quick Save: With this feature enabled on each device, files will automatically download without a confirmation prompt. Do not enable this feature outside of your home network.
  • Auto-Completion: When enabled, LocalSend will close the file transfer status window a few seconds after the transfer is complete.
  • Save to History: Disabling this setting will prevent LocalSend from retaining previous file transfer records. (You can also manually delete records through the history icon in the “Receive” tab.)

Several Alternatives

pairdrop

Pairdrop provides local file sharing through any web browser.

While LocalSend is the most universal way to transfer files over a local network, there are several other options worth considering:

  • Pairdrop.net runs in any web browser without the need for installing any software, but it lacks the ability of LocalSend to run in the background and automatically accept file transfers.
  • Payload has a smoother and more intuitive interface than LocalSend but does not support sharing with mobile devices.

Please note that none of these options automatically sync files and folders between your devices.

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