A Niche Yet Practical Solution to Cross-Platform File Sharing: Microsoft Edge Drop

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Last updated June 13, 2023
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File sharing is a routine part of our digital lives. However, when it comes to sharing files across different platforms, the process can become frustratingly complicated. Each platform has its own proprietary file-sharing system—AirDrop for Apple, QuickShare for Samsung, and Nearby Sharing features for Android and Windows. These systems work well within their own ecosystems, but they often fail to communicate effectively with each other, leaving users in a bind.
Enter Microsoft Edge Drop. It's a niche feature—after all, not everyone is routinely shifting files between different platforms—but for those who do, it offers a practical solution.

What is Edge Drop?

Edge Drop is a feature integrated into the Edge browser that facilitates the sharing of files, multimedia content, and documents between devices, regardless of their platform. Edge Drop offers a unique approach to cross-platform file sharing by operating through the cloud, using OneDrive and a Microsoft account to transfer data between devices.
When files are shared through Edge Drop, they are uploaded to OneDrive and become available across devices via the Edge browser linked to the same Microsoft Account. It's worth noting that everything shared via Edge Drop takes up OneDrive space. Microsoft offers 5GB of free cloud storage with its account. If you need more, you will have to buy additional storage space, similar to other cloud services1.

How to Use Edge Drop?

Edge Drop resides in the Edge Sidebar, alongside other services and apps like search, WhatsApp, Apple Music, YouTube, and more. If you're ready to give Edge Drop a try, follow these steps:
  1. Ensure you have the latest Edge 110 update installed.
  1. Go to Edge Settings → Sidebar → Show Sidebar → Customise Sidebar -- Enable Drop toggle.
  1. Click on the Drop icon from the sidebar, and you're set to start sharing notes, documents, files, and anything else you need.
  1. To access shared files, open Edge on another device. You'll receive a notification for the shared files, or you can simply open Drop to find the files. Ensure that both devices are connected to the internet.
The functionality of Edge Drop is akin to an instant messaging app. Any text, files, documents, etc., shared through it can be accessed on any device via the app logged into the same account. It's a clever workaround to the persistent problem of cross-platform file sharing1.

Wrapping Up

The ability to seamlessly move between devices of different platforms is increasingly essential in our interconnected world. Edge Drop, while a niche feature, presents a practical solution to the issue of cross-platform file sharing. While it's not perfect—the OneDrive storage limit could be a constraint for some—it's certainly a step in the right direction. If you're someone who frequently grapples with transferring files between different devices, Edge Drop might be worth exploring.