Known solutions:

  • USB Mass Storage (sadly, mostly deprecated on Android 4, 5, etc.).

  • MTP, and I know its benefits (a lot) and its weaknesses (browsing on a MTP drive with Windows Explorer has poor integration of usual features: try to right click on a file on a MTP drive, you don't have the usual UI things like Open with etc.)

  • Samba

  • FTP server solutions (good solution, but 1) how to use this if I'm on the road, with no Wifi router like at home? then I cannot link computer <---> phone? 2) it seems that such an app doesn't offer access to external sd card)

  • AirDroid, etc.

But with all these methods, you don't really have access on your computer to the phone's filesystem like if it was a local folder.


Isn't there no solution in 2017 that makes it possible to browse the phone's filesystem as if it was a computer local folder, easily?

  • 1
    ADB can be used to access the file system very easily, just transferring files will be more difficult because of adb push and adb pull but AFAIK there are GUI applications for this. Wireless only works via WiFi anyways and most modern laptops feature a built-in mobile hotspot. – GiantTree Jan 26 '17 at 23:33
  • No, adb does not help to provide an interface for Windows Explorer. Try to reboot the phone (this might kick-off the media scanner) or complain to the manufacturer. Android's MTP daemon does not allow you to transparently view files, it act's as a proxy and only scans for files so often. – GiantTree Jan 27 '17 at 10:29
  • A remote partition/drive can never be accessed like a local folder - at least not on Windows. The best (most local folder-like) you can get on Windows is a SMB/CIFS share. On Linux there are ways to mount a network drive so that it looks like a local drive, however the network drive at some points will still behave slightly differently depending on the used protocol. – Robert Aug 4 '18 at 11:32

According to the mentioned requirements, more powerful tool to use is Sambadroid. SambaDroid is a native port for Android of the popular Samba for Linux. This application allows you to share/manage files on your device easily from any device of your network:


  • No need to use router even a mobile hotpot works fine
  • You can easily set a share from your android device (e.g sd card)
  • Ability to set shared folder with read/write permissions

Setup involves setting the desired share from the device see screenshot:

Sambadroid setup

Note: NO affiliation with the above aplication

Switch on your mobile hotspot and allow your PC to connect to the network.

Once done just type [Win]+[R] in your computer, write \\SAMBADROID or go to PC >> Network and you will see a new share, see below:

Samba share

The samba share will look like this;

Samba folder navigation

You can perform various functions like delete, copy etc. See below:

Samba file ops


  • Due to limitations in later editions of Windows trying to explicity map the network drive can result in (network not found error-but ignore it and use Windows explorer method)

  • Require root (needed for cifs implementation on android)

Alternatively if not root, then its better to create a shared folder on windows then access it from android with a suitable file explorer, you can still perform file operations.

Update: with windows Creators Update you may(or not) need to first enable SMB Server/Client funtionality

Hope this helps

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Yes, there is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSHFS You need an SSH server on your smartphone and an SSHFS client on your PC

It also works on Windows:


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  • I don't think it fits the to browse the phone's filesystem as if it was a computer local folder. Or, if possible, can you give an example of configuration (what kind of client on Windows, etc., what SSH server, etc.) – Basj Mar 20 '17 at 19:38

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