I'm looking for a way to access the file system of an Android device (Nexus S) wirelessly, as its USB port has become unfit for anything but charging. Ideally, I'd like the same functionality as offered by connecting the phone to a PC with a USB cable.


7 Answers 7


Over Wi-Fi
Install a small app SwiFTP FTP Server. (original link 'dead' - 2012-09-22, see 'http://ppareit.github.com/swiftp/' instead ) Just, setup username & password. After tapping Start button, your device will become FTP server & the app will give you URL (handy if you don't know device IP & FTP URL format). On PC, you can use any FTP client software to access file system of device. Windows Explorer works, too. You can also create a network drive in computer. For example, you can visit this in address bar of Windows Explorer:

Here, is IP of Android device & 2121 is port on which FTP server is working (you can configure port in app, too). Visiting it will ask you username & password. Enter what you specified in app. Done!

The app will not give you URL if device is not connected to PC using external Wi-Fi router, but it works in those situation too. If you've made device Wi-fi Hotspot & connected PC with Ad-hoc network, then you'll have to find device IP by yourself (ipconfig /all command is fine with Windows). It really works as long as you've IP of device (I've tested it by myself). Just, use this IP in FTP URL & visit it.

The Interesting Thing: As FTP is universal standard, this method will work with any PC, Mac. That's not true for Samba file share, AirDroid etc.

Over Bluetooth
There's no need of external app. If Bluetooth software on PC supports OBEX FTP, you can do this directly. If you've issues with stock bluetooth services, install Bluetooth File Transfer app. It supports both OBEX FTP and OPP. Means, you can do both-side file system access: device to PC & PC to device!

  • 1
    Notice that ftp is an inherently insecure protocol...
    – miniBill
    Jun 24, 2012 at 14:22
  • @miniBill Enter FTPS or FTPES which are almost similar to FTP, but they have compatibility issues. For most of home users, getting things done matters more... not full-time security. Occasionally, file encryption etc can be used to transfer sensitive data (use BoxCryptor without internet).
    – iOS
    Jun 24, 2012 at 15:01
  • Security is not that important, on a LAN. But what about public wifi hotspots?
    – miniBill
    Jun 24, 2012 at 18:12
  • @miniBill The answer also includes MobileAP based solution which is available everywhere.
    – iOS
    Jun 24, 2012 at 22:34
  • The "Bluetooth File Transfer" by Medieval software linked in this answer has some serious drawbacks: I found that it would not allow me to browse the whole filesystem, only one portion that it decided to default to, meaning that all of my SD-stored media was inaccessible.
    – jakebeal
    Feb 6, 2016 at 19:21

Not exactly "accessing the filesystem", but you could try AirDroid. It has a really nice file manager.


There are many ways, you can use ADB over wifi, run an FTP or SSH server on the phone, or use Dropbox.

The easiest to set up is Dropbox, but it's fairly limited which files and you can synchronize. The best solution would be installing an FTP/SSH server on the phone, but setting up those might be difficult.

  • I don't suppose any of these will work over Bluetooth?
    – kotekzot
    Mar 16, 2012 at 12:18

With Samba you can access the files like a network share. I think it requires a rooted phone though.

Should be better than FTP, and it should also be better than USB in that the phone can use the card in the same way (you don't need a specific mode)


Samba Filesharing is a great app for connecting over wifi, but does require root. I use it regularly myself. Just turn on wifi, fire up the app, and then you can browse your SD card from your pc.

  • How is the app requiring root a mistake? BTW, if you read the app description it will tell it needs root under the requirements.
    – Logos
    Apr 8, 2012 at 13:51
  • So I did! Dur. Corrected.
    – Logos
    Apr 9, 2012 at 13:36
  • Excellent, I deleted my original comment as it may only cause confusion now...
    – Joe
    Apr 9, 2012 at 18:08

AndSMB is functionally more useful among free samba file sharing apps.

  • 1
    It is SMB client. What it has to do with the topic?
    – ᄂ ᄀ
    Aug 6, 2016 at 12:26

If you're just looking for a way to easily transfer files to and from your device wirelessly, then rather than an app that lets you access the device's filesystem directly you might want to consider using a file synchronization app instead.

For example, if you use Syncthing to synchronize certain directories (music, pictures, video) on your phone to your PC, then when you want to copy or change a file on your phone you can just update it in the synced directory on your PC. This method is much faster than directly accessing the phone's filesystem, since the actual copy operation happens silently in the background. No need for your phone to even be online at the time; it'll automatically synchronize next time you connect to Wi-Fi. As an added bonus, this solution also doubles as a local backup of all your pictures and other files on on phone.

I realize this isn't quite what you asked for, but I felt I should mention it anyway since I was having a similar problem and this solved it for me.

  • but does that mean those files and folderst will have to stay on computer in same folder and if you remove , they will be removed from phone as well, like in dropbox?
    – Darius.V
    Oct 28, 2023 at 6:33

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