Android phones come with a built-in file explorer, called “My Files”, but this app can only browse the phones memory card.
To improve your Android Windows Networking and copy files easily across the network, download and install a free app such as ES File Explorer, available from the Google Play Store.
First, lets setup a Network Share folder in Windows, which will be visible on the network, and to the phone. Once set, Windows will remember this share setting.
On your PC, using Windows Explorer, browse to the folder you want to share. In the example picture shown below, I am using the ‘New Folder’ on the desktop. (Click on the image below to zoom in)
Windows 8 Network Share Folder
To setup a folder as a Networked Shared Folder in Windows:
- Right-click on the folder you want to share.
- Choose ‘Properties’, and then the ‘Sharing’ Tab.
- Click on the “Advanced Sharing’ button.
- Select the “Share this folder” checkbox, and enter a name.
- Click the ‘Permissions’ button.
- Select ‘Full Control’.
- Click ‘Ok’, ‘Ok’ and ‘Close’.
This folder is now visible on the network and you can access (read and write) this folder from other network devices. You can repeat this process for multiple folders on multiple devices.
Now to the Android phone: To transfer files wirelessly using ES File Explorer on the Android phone, you will need to be connected to your network Wi-Fi, and download and install ES File Explorer from the Google Play Store.
Left: Android Phone, Middle: Network Devices, Right: Share Folders
When starting ES File Explorer, the ‘Local’ phone memory card is displayed, and you can swipe to the right to see the devices on your network.
Alternatively you can tap on the ‘Local’ button to bring up this menu (right), where you would select ‘LAN’.
Initially you will need to add your PC. To do this tap the Android Settings button, then tap “New” and “Server”. Enter the IP Address of your PC and a friendly name in the “Display As” box. Depending on your networking you may need to enter Login and Password details for that PC too.
Tapping on the PC (Eg: WIN8-AMD) displays a list of the shared folders within it, and tapping on those shared folders will navigate you to the shared files.
ES File Explorer also uses a handy toolbar featuring buttons for common tasks such as selecting, cutting, copying, pasting, and deleting files.
ES File Explorer can also connect to nearby devices via Bluetooth, and Web / FTP Servers on the internet. Here’s a short YouTube video demonstrating these and some additional features:
ES File Explorer lets you copy files to/from your Android phone and your PC.
Google Play Store link: