SEARCH

How-To Geek

How to Transfer Files Between Your PC and Android Phone Wirelessly

image

Mounting your Android phone to transfer files is fast and efficient, but nothing beats the convenience of a wireless file transfer. Today, we’ll show you how to transfer files between Android and your computer without a USB cable.

Image by Laihiu

What You’ll Need

Before we go into the details, you need to install several applications on your Android phone:

  • ES File Explorer is an excellent file manager for Android. It comes with a built in search function, image viewer, and most importantly a LAN browser that we’ll use to transfer files to our computer through Wifi.
  • swiFTP is a lightweight FTP server that lets you transfer multiple files from Windows, Linux, or Mac through a secure FTP connection.

Both of them are available for free from the market, and they both worked in our HTC Desire HD when we tested them in our rooted and non-rooted phone.

Enabling FTP Access to Your Phone

Once installed, swiFTP is available from the application screen.

Upon launch, swiFTP prompts you for a user name and a password.

Now you can turn your phone into an FTP server by tapping the start button, and we can establish an FTP connection to your phone.

You should see an IP address when you run swiFTP. Take note of the IP address and the port, you will need this information to establish an FTP connection to your Android.

image

Uploading Files to Android

For convenience, lets create a shortcut to our Android phone in our Windows Explorer. Open the “Computer” folder to map your android phone in Windows file explorer.

image

Enter the IP address of your phone.

image

Enter the user name that we specify in swiFTP, and click next to proceed.

image

Enter an appropriate name for the connection.

image

Now every time you need to access your phone, just double click the FTP shortcut to your phone, enter your FTP password, and you’ll have access to all your files in your phone.

image

Transfer Files to Your PC

We’ve learned how to get files in and out from your phone through FTP, now we’ll show you transfer files directly into a shared folder in your computer with ES File explorer. Read our article on how to share folders, if you’re not familiar with sharing folders on a local network.

To begin, launch ES File explorer from the application screen. ES File explorer consists of three tabs: a local tab that displays all the files in our phone, a LAN tab that displays all the devices on your local network, and an FTP tab that displays any FTP server on your network. Tap the menu button to bring up ES File Explorer menu, and tap the new button.

Scanning the network saves you from having to specify your computer IP address manually. Your phone will search for any accessible devices on your local network, and displays them under the LAN tab.

You should see all accessible shared folders on your local network.

Go back to the Local tab, and copy the files that you want to upload to your computer.

Copy as many files as you want and ES File Explorer will group these files in its clipboard area.

Go back to the LAN tab, tap the clipboard, and you should see all the files that you just copied.

Tap your menu button to bring up ES File Explorer’s Context Menu.

Tap Operation, follow by paste, and ES File Explorer will upload all these files to your computer.

Sync Files through the Cloud

So far we’ve learned how to transfer files between your Android and your PC through WiFi. That’s great, but what if your WiFi is out of range ? No Problem, just use DropBox to sync your files over the Internet. You can read our guide to DropBox if you’re not familiar with this cool cloud-based service.

DropBox is an awesome application for sharing your files with all your computers and devices that you can use for almost anything. We use DropBox to sync files in our iPhone and iPod touch, print important files over the internet, and trigger torrent downloads when we’re away from our home computer. Whatever your need is, there is always a hack to appropriate DropBox in any way you like it.


That’s all folks ! Hopefully you have learned how to make the most out of your WiFi connection to transfer files between your Android and your computer. Feel free to discuss any other Android tips and tricks with the other fellow readers in the comments section.

Zainul spends his time trying to make technology more productive, whether it’s Microsoft Office applications, or learning to use web applications to save time.

  • Published 02/1/11

Comments (34)

  1. Gabriel
  2. Alex
  3. LePeR

    You should check out

    Samba Filesharing
    http://www.appbrain.com/app/samba-filesharing/com.funkyfresh.samba

    Allows access to your Android device over wifi as a Windows shared folder.

  4. stephenowitz

    I really like this article, but its much easier just to have a dropbox account.

  5. LePeR

    @stephenowitz

    This just runs within your LAN whereas Dropbox uploads to the net and back so if your moving large files it goes alot faster

  6. Andi Meyer

    Using File Expert I get two in one. I can connect to any shared directory on my windows network from my phone. The steps are similar to the one above. And I can start an FTP server with a click of a button from within File Expert and send Files from my PC to my Phone using an FTP client (eg. Firefox with FireFTP addon).

  7. Andi Meyer

    Sorry, forgot to say: Thanks for your nice article. Your clearly point out the best options to tranfer files between an android device an a windows network.

  8. essequemodeia

    Samba filesharing is available on the app market and allows full access to the SDCard of your rooted Android phone; makes it easy to map a network drive over WIFI.

  9. essequemodeia

    But this was a really good tutorial nonetheless.

  10. celanire

    WiFi File Explorer is much simpler. Start the app on your phone, hit the web address from the browser on your computer, then upload and download from there.

  11. clee

    Wifi file explorer is a free app and simple to use.

  12. Zainul Franciscus

    Thank you for all the tips, we are trying out these apps in our Android phone and they are really really great =) Stay tune for our next Android article

  13. Kelly

    I use WebSharing (free or at least it was when I first downloaded it, now it is $2.99) http://www.appbrain.com/app/websharing-file-media-sync/nextapp.websharing.r1

  14. webdev

    Thank you for this article, it describes a way I had not thought of. A good alternative for all Windows users that have a wifi card with “hotspot ability” might be the following: Install Connectify and use it to let your wifi module work as a wlan hotspot. Connect the android phone to said network. Now install MyPhoneExplorer on your PC (and the corresponding app on your Android device). Connect both instances of the app via the existing wlan and done you are! Now you can’t only move files between the devices but also write text messages on your PC, sync with Outlook and much more. Excellent solution but probably not for everyone. Best thing: all mentioned software is completely free!

  15. William Acker

    Works great on my windows computer! Thank you.
    Is there a way to configure a similar setup in Ubuntu 10.0.4 ? I installed Gftp on my Ubuntu machine, The phones directories show up on the right hand screen, but when I try to open up any of the directories on the SD card, I get the message: “Can’t CWD to invalid directory”
    It will not let me transfer files from the computer to my android either
    I am using a Samsung moment with 2.2
    Message
    451 Couldn’t open file “sdcard/eoct30793.jpg” aka “/sdcard/sdcard/eoct30793.jpg” for writing
    Could not download /home/william/Pictures/eoct307/eoct30793.jpg from local filesystem
    Disconnecting from site 192.168.1.5
    Error: Remote site local filesystem disconnected. Will reconnect in 30 seconds

  16. Zainul Franciscus

    Hi William,

    We haven’t tried Gftp, but we do use FileZilla (http://filezilla-project.org/) in Ubuntu and Windows to establish a secure FTP connection to our Android. If you don’t mind trying FileZilla out, you’ll find that it is an excellent FTP client for Ubuntu. We hope this will help you to get around your problem.

  17. tidde

    Es File explorer is AWESOME!!!
    if you have a FTP server running, just log in and open an txt file, it will open for edit,
    and any change will automatic uploaded, so free hosting and file manage, which also does
    dropbox but only 2gb free account, with you own ftp server free at all.
    and ES Explorer does it all
    Awesome

  18. Mark collins

    I am using FileReflex to share my PC files to android phones wirelessly

  19. john

    by using swiFTP method, but i am using window 7, i cant create a new network location, could u please help, thxx

  20. Antaine

    I installed the ftp server and the file manager as instructed. I set up a network location on my laptop and can view all the files on my phone from the laptop. But when I do a scan as instructed under LAN, my phone finds nothing, so I can’t transfer files from the phone to the laptop.

    Could you please advise where I’m going wrong? I use Vista SP2 32bit. I would really value being able to use this wi-fi transfer method. Thanks!

  21. peterpk

    Using FileReflex you can share desktop files through P2P and PCP

  22. Eckerwall

    When I try to open the android older in windows I get the following error: 550 Can’t CWD to invalid directory. What does that mean?

  23. skyrider

    Wow. Thank you for the write up. It must have been a great mental exercise for you. It motivated me to go out and hunted for an easy solution, really easy…. I found couple. Polkast and zumocast are cool, simple and innovative.

    Using to Polkast from http://www.polkast.com would be simpler and more flexible. Your set up is download and login. From anywhere, you can access to all the files on your PCs from android devices. When the PCs and devices are on the same network, they connect directly over wifi so it’s so much faster than typical cloud solutions, up 10X (my internet upload is less than 1 Mb/s)… and you can still access to all the files while you are out and about.

  24. John Thomas

    How can I move files from my computer directly to my root drive?

  25. Ayya

    I don’t seem to have write permission. How do I work around that?

  26. sandy

    thanks this was a super helpful article!

  27. Jimmy

    Great article. The screen shots make the effort easy. But this operates from the LAN, in your home network with the control being the PC…I think.

    I use FileLinx Professional. Works on tablets and phones from anywhere( Wi-Fi, 3G,4G). No cloud, like Dropbox, so transfers depend on my connection only. I can access all of my files from anywhere on my “C” drive. Since the Android is the control, I can also print remote to my pc-connected printer.Great if you are on the go. Easy setup for anyone that can follow directions.

  28. Ade

    Everything seems fine until I try to access my pc from es file explorer it says Login failure Try new user name/password what is this is it the password username from FTP setup as if so it don’t work???

  29. José Juan Méndez G.

    Fantástico ! Yea

  30. nlm

    THANKS FOR ALL YOU ARE GREAT MAN..

  31. Sherry Jobs

    Exchange Mail is the most effective and seamless way to sync Mobiles and Tablets with Outlook. Take a look at the solutions by trioSync. It is a hosted Kerio Exchange Mail with ActiveSync, adaptable by any user on any domain. Unlike other hosted Exchange mails, triosync is a port and use exchange mail box, that does not require any changes to your Email, Domain or Server settings. Simple, safe and easy to setup

  32. Stuart

    Could not get it to work. Did not see a password to use for the userid given for swiftp. Also, when connecting via my laptop it did not recognize the ip address that was shown. I will try something else.

    I’m afraid that these smartphones are really for the young and bright. I will be going back to a pure traditional phone shortly. The time required to figure these phones out are too much.

  33. taib

    Thanks a lot man,your article have made my day

  34. Robert

    Earlier i used to plugin the USB cable and Transfer files between android and PC. Now thanks to this info i can do this simpler.

    Also checking out other information provided by users.

Get Free Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 134,000 newsletter readers

Email:

Go check your email!