How to Access Android Files on Windows PC

How to Access Android Files and Folders from Windows PC

If you are an Android user, then you should have faced situations where you need to quickly transfer files between your Android device and computer. Obviously, there are a ton of apps like AirDroid which let you do this, but these apps are Web-based. They won’t let you map your Android device to your Windows computer so that you can access all the files and folders on your Android device using the Windows File Explorer over WiFi. However, here is how you can access Android files from Windows File Explorer over WiFi.

To access Android files and folders on Windows PC over WiFi, we are going to use the popular file manager ES File Explorer.

To start off, install ES File Explorer if you haven’t already. Launch it, swipe from the left side of the screen and then select the option “Remote Manager” from the main menu.

es-file-explorer-select-remote-manager

Once the Remote Manager window has been opened, we need to configure it. Just tap on the Settings icon to continue.

es-file-explorer-select-settings

The above action will open the Remote Manager settings window. As you can see from the below image, ES Explorer already set the default port and the current user to “Anonymous.”

es-file-explorer-default-settings

I would recommend you add a username and password so that other users on LAN cannot access it without authorization. To do that, tap on the option “Set Manage Account,” enter the username and password and touch the “OK” button to continue.

es-file-explorer-set-username

If you want to you can also change the “Current Port” so that it is easy to remember when adding it to other systems. Make sure that the port number is between 1025 – 65534.

es-file-explorer-set-port

Also, if you want to change the root directory, tap on the option “Set root directory” and select your default root directory. In my case, I’m selecting my external SD card as my root directory. If you want to access both internal and external storage, then select “/.”

es-file-explorer-set-root-folder

Once you are done, this is what it looks like in the Remote Manager settings screen.

es-file-explorer-es-configured

Now, head over to the main screen, and tap on the “Turn On” button. This will activate the FTP server. Also, ES Explorer displays the FTP address that we will be needing.

es-file-explorer-ftp-turned-on

On Windows open the File Explorer and select the option “Map Network Drive” from the “Computer” tab.

es-file-explorer-select-map-network-drive

In the “Map Network Drive” window, click on the link “Connect to a Web site…”

es-file-explorer-map-network-drive-wizard

The above action will open the “Network Location Wizard.” Here, click on the “Next” button to continue.

es-file-explorer-add-network-location-wizard

Now, double-click on “Choose a custom network location.”

es-file-explorer-select-custom-network

Here in this window, enter the FTP address along with the port number as shown in the ES Explorer screen, and click on the “Next” button.

es-file-explorer-enter-network-address

Uncheck the “Log in anonymously” checkbox, enter the username that you used in ES Explorer and click on the “Next” button to continue.

es-file-explorer-enter-network-username

Name your network share. You can always change it later.

es-file-explorer-enter-share-name

Just click on the “Finish” button to complete the procedure.

es-file-explorer-network-folder-configured

Since we mapped the network share, it will appear in the Windows File Explorer under Network Locations. Just double-click on it to open.

es-file-explorer-drive-mapped

Since this is the first time, Windows will ask for your FTP password. Just enter the password and click on the “Log On” button. If you log in frequently, select the option “Save Password.”

es-file-explorer-enter-username-password

As soon as you click on the Log On button, you will be logged in and can access all your files and folders directly from Windows File Explorer over WiFi.

es-file-explorer-done

When you are done woking with files and folders on your Android device, turn off the Remote Manager.

Quick tip: By navigating to Remote Manager settings and tapping on the option “Create Shortcut,” ES Explorer will create a quick shortcut icon on your home screen which can be used to quickly launch the FTP server. This eliminates the need to launch ES Explore each and every time you want to turn on Remote Manager.

es-file-explorer-esftp-shortcut

If you are not using ES Explorer and want the same solution, then there are several other dedicated FTP Server apps you can try.

Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to access Android files and folders directly from Windows File Explorer over WiFi.

14 comments

  1. been looking for such an application. downloaded, worked first time following the directions! Thanks!!!

  2. Personally I’m a fan of ftp because I don’t like solid blocks of text.
    You ever download a txt that appears as a solid block of text in notepad but has proper formatting when opened in your word processor of choice. This is caused by Linux (android is linux), Microsoft and apple being unable to agree on somthing simple as text file formatting.
    Personally I use filezilla because it will convert those line endings to the proper format for the destination system.

  3. I followed your directions and it did work. Sort of. No matter how I set up the “root directory” in ES (I tried both, “/” for internal and external sdcard and “/storage/extSdCard” (which is how it’s displayed in ES settings) and I can only access internal storage. And even then, I cannot view any images in the camera folder. The images are present as .jpg but are shown only as jpg file, not a thumbnail of the image, nor do those images open when clicked on. Some folders in the internal storage even show as empty, even though they’re not — such as the “screenshot” folder. What am I doing wrong or not doing? Or, is it my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone that won’t allow it? If you or anyone else sees this, perhaps you can reply via my email address. Others can reply via comments here.

  4. If your default file explorer in android has the FTP feature then no need to download ES File explorer.
    I did without ES in xiomi MI4i

  5. This whole article is wrong. ES file explorer also connects the phone with PC only via the web. Without internet connection, your screen would be different than the 2nd screenshot shown on this page – instead of the “TURN ON” button, there would be “TURN WLAN ON” button. And when you press it, it would open another screen asking you to choose from a list of available networks. Whatever you do, without connecting to internet, that “TURN ON” button would not appear and you cannot connect your PC with phone. And if you do the same with internet connection, you are only using the web to transfer files between your PC and phone.

      • It is supposed to be, I know. But it’s not. I tried everything, it’s impossible to view files on your phone on computer using ES file explorer. At least on Windows 7.

  6. When i open that, its getting opened in browser. Its automatically opens Chrome and shows me browser view, with which i cant copy paste any folder :(

  7. Got the process to function, but couldn’t get thumbnails to show up in Win7 File Explorer. Since my goal is managing photos on the phone (Samsung Galaxy S4), this limits usefulness by a lot. Is there a setting to enable thumbnail viewing on the PC in Explorer?

    Earlier poster is correct that if you attempt to actually open a file (photo) on the computer, it opens in the web browser instead of the default app for viewing photos.

    Charlie

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