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Wirelessly Share Files Between An Android And A Computer

Ron from FL asks:

How do I transfer files between my desktop computer and my Android device?

Transferring files between an Android phone and a desktop computer can be really tricky, especially when you have to deal with multiple phones and computers at home or workplace. You have to carry the USB cable everywhere and there are situations when it is very much impossible to copy files from your Android to a desktop computer which you don’t own.

Consider this example scenario.

You are visiting your client’s office and need to transfer a very important file from your Android device to a Windows PC. Your client uses a Blackberry phone and thus, he has not installed the necessary USB driver of Android on his desktop. Now, even if you have the USB cable you won’t be able to transfer any files to that computer, because as soon as you connect your phone to the computer via the USB cable – the operating system won’t recognize the phone’s SD card (due to the lack of proper drivers).

Downloading the required USB drivers from the vendor’s website is a viable solution but there can be complex situations when you won’t have favorable conditions. This includes restricted installation permissions in Windows user account, operating system compatibility issues, bad driver installation and so forth.

In this tutorial, we will learn an alternative way of transferring files from an Android phone to any computer, without using any USB cables.

Transfer Files Using A Common Wireless connection

If both the computer and the Android phone is connected to a common Wi-Fi access point, you can seamlessly transfer files between the two devices. The advantage of this method is that it is platform independent, needs no software installation on the host computer and works out of the box on any computer running any version of Windows, Linux or MAC operating system.

Here are the steps:

1. On your Android device, go to the Android Market and search for the “Wi-Fi File Transfer” application. Alternatively, you can use this link [1]and click the “Download” button, as shown below:

2. Once the app is installed, run it and tap the “Start” button.

3. Now you will be given an internal network address in the form of (XXXX is the port number).

4. Fire up a web browser on your desktop and enter this address. Bingo!

The file explorer of your Android device will load in the desktop browser and now you can transfer, copy, move, rename or delete files, directly from the computer’s web browser.

Here is how the file explorer of Android will look in the computer’s browser:

To copy files from your Android’s SD card to the desktop computer, all you have to do is select the required files/folders and hit any of the actions link placed just next to the selected items. In the following example, I have selected the “Pictures” folder at DCIM and I will hit the “Download” button to copy the entire folder to my Windows computer.

Similarly, you can upload files from the computer to your Android by clicking “Upload”, select the file that is stored on the computer, choose the destination directory on your Android’s SD card and click “Start Upload”.

Please note that using this app, you can not control application settings and system preferences of your phone from the desktop browser. This app is just an intermediary between your phone’s SD card and your computer’s hard drive, provided they are connected to the same Wireless access point or Wi-Fi hotspot.

Note: We recommend you to use this application only on trusted wireless connections and not on public Wi-Fi access points. It is strongly recommended not to use this method in public libraries, airports or cafeteria’s; as anyone may guess the port number and use a web browser to access all the files of your phone in a matter of half minute.

~Amit Banerjee