I'm looking for a way to transfer files between an Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S2, rooted) and any computer system I may need to interact with (this means preinstalled software on the computer, besides a regular web browser, is not an option) without connecting to an actual WiFi hotspot.

Essentially I'm looking for something that works the same was as WiFi direct (allows two phones to transfer files over WiFi) but that would be compatible with any computer with WiFi.

So far I have tried creating an ad-hoc connection from the phone (as I can't take the computer being ad-hoc-creating-able for granted) using Android WiFi Tether and connecting the computer to the device, testing the different modes it offers (WEXT, Netd & Softap). I have tried to connect to and from the computer over LAN, FTP and SMB without any success.

I feel like I'm missing some small step over here. I've looked through multiple other posts, but I couldn't find any that would show a way to do this without actually connecting to an already available wifi network.

  • 1
    For future reference, this is one of the many things that Bluetooth is good for. Jul 16, 2012 at 2:32
  • 2
    Not if you want to transfer large files.
    – Etheryte
    Aug 27, 2012 at 15:49
  • But, you don't want to use a file sharing website? Those are the simplest ways of doing so. There are a few without any storage limits, so...
    – rjt.rockx
    Apr 9, 2015 at 13:24
  • 1
    @rjt.rockx That would be the equivalent of being already connected to a hotspot.
    – Etheryte
    Apr 9, 2015 at 14:44
  • 1
    I think Windows 10 should start integrating full wifi-direct discovery in the near future, as they have released full API support for it.
    – jiggunjer
    Apr 19, 2016 at 12:09

11 Answers 11

  1. Connect your computer with virtual hotspot created by Android device.

  2. Install any FTP Server app on Android device. It'll NOT give you IP of device for sure. :)

  3. In your computer, find IP of Default Gateway of Wi-Fi network of Step 1 (In Windows, you can use ipconfig cmd command). Its the IP of your device.

  4. Use any FTP Client software on computer. Use ftp://IP:Port (Port is generally configurable in FTP server app). Enter username & password configured in FTP Server app. Done!

  • 3
    After some testing with different settings I got it to work flawlessly, thank you very much. For anyone else looking to do this: I used Android Wifi Tether (linked in original question) to start the network using Softap mode, connected to it with the computer, started an FTP server (some server apps might need you to enable 3G mode, even though 3G data isn't actually used, you can turn data connections off if you're paranoid.
    – Etheryte
    Jul 16, 2012 at 0:32
  • 1
    @Nit You could use MobileAP feature of Galaxy S2. Its the easiest way to create hotspot..
    – iOS
    Jul 16, 2012 at 22:00
  • I think the reverse answer should also work: 1) set PC as hotspot. 2) share folder (SMB or SFTP). 3) connect to PC hotspot with phone. 4) Use client like ES explorer to transfer stuff. But setting a PC with wifi up as a hotspot is tricky (infrastructure mode).
    – jiggunjer
    Apr 19, 2016 at 12:06

A simple way (once you're set up) that only requires a browser on the computer side is something like Airdroid, Webkey, or Lazydroid; which essentially turn your phone into a server, and which you can easily access from any browser (even outside your local network - with dyndns you can also keep in contact with your handset if it "disappears", w/o it you'll have to see the phone or find it's IP address another way).

Essentially with a server app on the phone that is linked to a dyndns account, you can walk up to any PC, and access your phone no matter where it is (barring firewalls, no signal, etc) This allows you to sound an alarm, get gps and other sensor info, blank/lockout the screen, view the camera feed, run/interact with any apps on the phone, and lockout the ability to reset (short of a batt pull). Some programs work better than others depending on the device, I have all three on my Atrix for full flexibility. I don't like to waste the processing on it, but you can also set up a persistent fileserv or even host a website.

for full functionality or even for some of these apps to work on some phones you need root access and to make the apps Superusers


You can try the following instead of using FTP:

  1. Install ES File Explorer on your phone
  2. Start a hotspot on your phone
  3. Connect the PC to the phones hotspot
  4. Get the IP address of your PC
  5. Open ES File Explorer on your phone go into the network tab and hit new
  6. Select LAN
  7. In the server box put the IP address of your PC
  8. You will then be able to freely copy or send anything in your shared folders or public folders.
  • This requires the PC having shared/public folders, presumably SMB shares.
    – jiggunjer
    Apr 18, 2016 at 4:57

Step 1: Right click on the Start button and click on Command Prompt(Admin). Type the following command to check for Hosted Network feature: netsh wlan show drivers

If Hosted network supported: Yes, go to Step 2 else if it's No, then you should update your wireless driver or your hardware.

Step 2: Now to configure the Ad Hoc connection, type this command: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=your desired network name key=your password. To start Ad Hoc network, further type this command: netsh wlan start hostednetwork

If it says Failed to start, make sure your PC/laptop's wireless adapter is enabled.

Step 3: Right click on the network icon in the quich launch, click on Network and Sharing Center and then click on Change adapter settings. Then again right click on Wi-Fi network and select Properties. Go to Sharing tab, check the box Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection, if there's a drop down menu select the Ad Hoc connection you just created and then finally click OK.

Now you can connect all your Wi-Fi devices such as mobile Phones and other lappys to this Ad hoc network and share files.

On a side note: If you have Windows 7, then from Set up a new connection or network, one can easily create an Ad Hoc wireless connection through "Set up a wireless Ad Hoc". The above procedure is for Windows 8.1.


Get filedrop (it requires the person that you want to transfer the file to to have it) It works a lot like AirDrop but on any device. I use it often when I have to transfer files between my friends. There are two options on a computer, either their app, or their website

  • 1
    Doesn't support transferring files without already being connected to a wireless network.
    – Etheryte
    Apr 15, 2015 at 22:54

I know this is too little too late, but...

I tried to connect my phone (LG Motion on Stock 4.0.4) and couldn't initiate a Ad Hoc network from the phone to my PC. I wrote this workaround using 'Fast File Transfer' app to establish the Ad Hoc network and proceeded from there.


With a little tinkering (maybe the wpa file hack or a custom ROM) I'm sure I could get it to work through Airdroid alone, but I find the stability of the stock ROM as inherently better and this is a quick workaround.

  • 3
    No, it's not too late, but you've also not provided any information. Answers on Stack Exchange are expected to be self-contained. Without the information at the other side of that link, there is nothing of value here. At the very least, consider what happens when that link no longer functions. Also, please don't "sign" your posts. Please read our FAQ.
    – ale
    May 15, 2013 at 14:50

SuperbeamPro has the ability to share file between android and pc through wifi direct

  • Taken right from the app description: "In order to use this app, your computer and your phone need to be on the same local area network."
    – Etheryte
    Apr 13, 2015 at 9:23
  • @Nit updated the answer
    – samnaction
    Apr 13, 2015 at 9:45
  • This would be a great tool, but the free version allows you to conveniently move files only in one direction, from the phone to the computer. Also, the amount of ads is ridiculous.
    – Etheryte
    Apr 15, 2015 at 22:55

I would suggest you an app named "Xender".

Xender for PC Windows is the ideal choice for all those android users who are looking for best quality transmission app to help them transfer files with blazingly fast speed.

In fact, this app allows its users to transfer files from one android device to another without requiring any of the usual connectivity options such as 3G, Wi-Fi, or even something as basic as a SIM card. Therefore, it can be the best option for transferring files without costing anything for mobile traffic.

  • Xender uses its own temporary wifi hotspot. I use it a lot and it's a mess, since it overrides the custom hotspot settings under Settings.
    – Firelord
    May 27, 2015 at 12:58

You can use WeLine, Connect PC or recently Xender, Transfer & Connect PC both created by Anmobi.inc. It's a free app and uses wifi direct. Xender transfers everything you need between your phone and your computer, be it PC, MAC or Chromebook.


☆ Simple way to connect your phone to computer by scanning QR code. No cables!

☆ No need to have your phone and computer under same WLAN as long as both are online with internet access. And you can transfer files both ways(i.e., Phone -> PC/MAC and PC/MAC -> Phone) wireless.

☆ Compatible between your Android phone and your PC or MAC

☆ Full access and management of phone resources including pictures, music, videos, documents, applications, files and folders.

☆ Supports management of phone SD card from your computer.

☆ Two way file transfer between phone and computer with high transfer speed under direct link mode.

☆ Play the music in your phone on your computer.

☆ Cast pictures from phone to computer and supports full screen display.

  • The question asks specifically for solutions for which you don't need to be connected, this doesn't satisfy the requirements.
    – Etheryte
    May 27, 2015 at 11:37

Or you can use wifi file transfer pro apk first create hotspot then open the app and choose the start button it will activate FTP on yoir phone and then just enter ip address displayed in your pc browser after connecting to your network


This solution is similar to #1 but requires no additional software on the PC side. Once set up its easy to use. (...running a FTP server on the PC can also represent some additional risk, unless you use SSH SFTP and its all set up correctly)

  • Install SMB client on Android. (AndSMB works)
  • Fire up hotspot on Android (typically an icon on the same drop down as WiFi, but have to first set up (one time) under settings->Wireless&Networks->More->Tethering & portable hotspot->WiFi hotspot->set up WiFihotspot. Adjust network name if desired, and enter a password.
  • Turn on the hot spot. Typically you will not be able connect to WiFi and have the hotspot on at the same time. When you turn on the hotspot it turns the WiFi connection off.


  • Use your regular WiFi to connect to your Android hotpot, using the password you created above.
  • Run from a command prompt ipconfig /all
  • Under the Wireless Lan Adapter Network Connection in use, note the IPv4 address, copy the numbers and dots only, not the (Preferred) part if its included.
  • Be sure you have file sharing turned on. For Win 10 its Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network and Sharing Center\Advanced sharing settings Under Private drop down Turn on file and printer sharing. This means anyone connected to your local LAN via wire, or via your routers Wireless, can access files and printers on that PC, by logging in (as if they were at that PC).

On Andriod

  • In the SMB client, add a SMB server
  • Host - use the above IP number
  • username - use the username you use when you log in to your PC
  • password - typically leave blank and enter each time
  • domain - leave blank
  • local directory - typically use default
  • Remote directory - typically /users/yourPcUserNameHere/desktop
  • Save

Once set up, to use

  • On Android turn on the hotspot (typically just a button on the same drop down as Wifi)
  • On PC use WiFi to connect to the hotspot
  • on Android run SMB client
  • Use your PC password
  • Get or put files in both directions

After files are transferred

  • On Android, turn off hotspot. Typically you turn WiFi back on. It typically auto connects.
  • On PC, once the hot spot is off it typically auto connects to your regular local WiFi.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .