There are several ways to Access your Windows shared folder from other devices. For instance, you can use TeamViewer remote file access feature to access your computer files from any part of the world. Though, this needs an active internet connection on both devices. But if both your PC and Android phone are on same Wi-Fi network, then you can easily access your PC files over LAN connection.
I often use this method to stream movies that are on my Desktop from my Android smartphone when I’m in the Kitchen or rooftop. And assuming that you have 21 Mb/s router (most home router’s are,) you can get around 3 MB/s (21/8) transfer speed, which is sufficient enough for streaming movies and audio over WiFi.
For this instance, we’ll use Solid File Explorer app on Android. It’s our favorite file manager after ES file manager started doing shady stuff like sending user data to the Chinese server. Like ES File Manager you can do pretty cool stuff with the Solid Explorer, and since it’s a paid app, you know where all your money is going.
- Both Computer and Android should be connected on same WiFi network
- Solid Explorer Android App
Access Windows Shared Folder From Android
1. Share Your Windows Folder
Open up your File Explorer on Windows and go to the folder whose content you would like to access for the other device. It can be your movie folder or your entire Users folder in c drive. I prefer sharing the entire Users folder since I keep most of my shareable stuff in Desktop or Downloads folder.
Next, Right-click on the folder you want to share, click on Properties to open the folder properties.
Now, go to the Sharing tab and click on the Share button.
A new File Sharing window will open, here you need to specify with whom you want to share your PC files. To avoid any complexity, select Everyone the drop down arrow near the input box and click on the Add button.
If you only want the other party to see and copy your files, then give Read-only access. But if you want them to have complete access to the shared folder, like they can add new files to that drive or even delete yours, then give Read/Write permission.
Once you are done, click on the Share button. And then click on Done.
2. Turn ON Network Discovery
The next thing you need to do is turn on Network sharing on your computer. Here we’ll configure if you want to keep password protection ON or not.
Go to the Start menu and click on Network and Sharing Center, and click Change Advanced Sharing settings.
A new window will open, click on the drop-down arrow next to your All Networks.
Now, click on the radio button next to the option that says Turn ON Sharing.
Next, choose if you want to enable or disable Password Protected Sharing. This one is a bit tricky, so choose wisely.
If you are on the Home network, then you can choose to disable password protection, this will make the connection process a bit easier since you won’t have to type in your login username and password.
But if you are using it on your office Network, then it’s better to go with Password protection. Better safe than sorry. For this instance, we’ll go with Turn On Password Protection sharing, so that you know the complete steps.
Once done, click on Save changes.
3. Make a note of your Windows Username and Password (optional)
This part is often confusing, as many people don’t know the username and password of their PC. You’ll need this information, only if you have turn ON password protection on your PC.
To find your Windows Username, press Win + R and type in cmd and then press Enter. In the command prompt window type echo %username% and hit Enter. Your current username will be displayed. Remember the username is case sensitive in Windows.
And well, the password is the same password that you used to login into your Windows user account. Once you both username and password, write it down on a piece of paper or remember it. We’ll need them later.
4. Find your computer IP address (optional)
You will have to manually enter the IP address of your PC if Solid Explorer can not detect it. You can find the IP address by typing in ipconfig in the cmd or use the Fing Android or iOS app. Here is the detailed guide on how to find IP address of any device on the network.
5. Accessing Shared Folders From Android
Now, Download Solid Explorer File Manager App from Google Play Store if you haven’t already. The app is available for two weeks free trail, and then you have to pay to use more features. Or you can also download the free classic version of the app. It has an older design and is Ads supported, but it’ll also work for this task. Next, open the Solid File Explorer app, and tap on the + sign.
You will see several options, tap on – New cloud connection.
In the Network Connection Wizard, tap on LAN/SMB > Next
It’ll start scanning for all the Shared Computer on your network. Ideally, you should see your Windows PC right here. But in case you don’t, make sure your Windows computer is Turned On and connected to the WiFi network. Select your computer and tap on Next.
In case you don’t see your computer in the list, tap on the arrow next to ‘Didn’t find what you’are looking for?’ A new screen will slide in, under Remote host name, type in your Windows computer IP address that you noted down in step 4.
Login with the username and password (that we found in step 3)
If you set password protection ON. Else. Login as a guest.
Next tap on Connect > Finish.
If everything goes right, you’ll be able to successfully, login to your PC.
Next tap on the User > your username > and there you’ll see all the shared folder.
What you can do?
You can stream the video files directly, no need to download it on your Android tablet or smartphone. The streaming speed depends on your router speed.
You can also copy files from your Windows to Android or vice versa (if you have r/w access enabled)
Or even edit documents without even downloading it on your Android.
So, here we have seen how to access Windows shared folder from Android over WiFi using Solid Explorer. But, guess what you can also use Solid Explorer to access your Mac files from your Android. The steps are same for the Android part, the only difference is, you need to turn ON sharing on your Mac OS. To do this go to System Preference > Network > Enable sharing.
Details steps by step guide can be found here How to Stream Videos From Mac to iPad/iPhone