When ever we want to transfer a file from our Android Mobile/Tablet to PC or the other way around usually what we tend to do is connect our Android device with the PC via a data cable or bluetooth. But this is a long process and since bluetooth range is limited we donot get to access our data in a truly mobile way. Wouldn’t it be nice to watch a movie or edit a file stored in our PC via our android device while having a cup of coffee in some other room? Now you can easily do this with just a little bit of work.
You all probably know how file sharing in Windows works and how it can be used to work on different files hosted on another computer using a network connection (LAN or WiFi). Today we will see how to use the same principle of file sharing and access the files shared on our Windows PC via an Android device (Android File Transfer). There are two major steps involved, First configure a shared folder in our Windows PC and then establish a connection between Android device and PC via WiFi and access the shared content. Now lets see step by step guide on how its done.
Sharing A Folder In Windows 7/8
Step 1 : Right click on the folder you like to share and select Properties to open the folder properties. Now navigate to the Sharing Tab and click on the Share Button to open file sharing window.
Step 2 : In the file sharing window enter name of the group as “Everyone” without quotes and click on the Add button. Set the Read or Read/Write permission to the share access depending upon your needs. Once you are finished, click on the Share button.
Step 3 : Now open Network and Sharing Center by right clicking on the Network/Internet Connectivity icon in the Notification icons and select Open Network And Sharing Center (or) Select Control Panel > Network And Sharing Center. Then click on Change Advanced Sharing Settings.
Step 4 : Now turn on sharing under current profile and select a type of sharing under All Networks . If you are on a secure home network, you can choose open file sharing as it makes things a bit easier. But if you are on an unsecured WiFi network, you should select the password protected sharing and then save the changes.
You can see list of all the folders you have shared on your computer by right clicking on the My Computer icon in the start menu and click on Manage. Then click on the Shared Folders >Shares to list all the folders shared on your computer.
The configuration on our Windows PC is now completed. Lets now see what has to be done over Android.
Accessing Shared Folder via Android Device
Step 1 : Download and install ES File Explorer for Android from Play Store. This is a popular and well optimized file manager for Android which is completely free and works on almost every device. ES File Explorer has an inbuilt feature called Server Message Block (SMB) which allows us to access our shared folder from PC.
Step 2 : After downloading and installing the app, launch it. The home screen will display all the files and folders that are on your SD card. Swipe to the left on the screen to navigate to the LAN share screen on the right. Also make sure both your PC and your Android device are connected to the same WiFi network.
Step 3 : Select the Search Option from the bottom of ES File Explorer. It will popup a dialog and will start searching for connected devices in the current network.
Step 4 : Meanwhile find your PC’s IP, Open Command Prompt from Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt or by typing cmd in Run command (Windows key + R) and type in “ipconfig” without quotes. This will display your current IP (or) goto Google.com and type “know my ip” without quote. Google will display your current IP as shown below.
Step 5 : After scanning, ES File Explorer will display all the connected IP of the devices in the WiFi network. Choose appropriate device based on your PC’s IP. Now a connecting to popup dialog will appear. If you have enabled password protected sharing in windows then enter the username and password of your windows user account here else just check the Anonymous option and click OK.
Now you will be able to see all your shared files from your windows PC. If you have enabled Read/Write during sharing you can even transfer, edit and save any files. You can even hear songs and watch movies from files stored in your PC using MX Player or VLC Player. Hope this guide helps you to use your android device for accessing/transferring files from and to PC/Android device. Have any queries? Feel free to ask us in the comment section.