I have a Nexus 7 on which I'd like to create a wifi network, so that I can have my laptop connect to it. The goal is to transfer files back and forth (I have a server running on the Nexus 7).

I'm not talking about tethering — the Nexus 7 is wifi-only. I'm aware that what I'm asking for will mean that neither device will have an Internet connection.

The device is not rooted, and I'm not willing to root it. I'm looking for something that be installed from the Play Store without rooting. Thanks.

I know that I can do things the other way around (create a wifi network on my laptop and have my Nexus connect to it) but let's exclude that for the purpose of this question.

  • Perhaps, since you mentioned capability to transfer files, might it not be worth investigating this server app?
    – t0mm13b
    Jan 12, 2014 at 15:48
  • I regularly "transfer files back and forth" in my non-rooted Android device using the USB cable that came with my phone. (Sometimes in camera PTP mode, more often in media device MTP mode; occasionally using adb ). Not exactly what you asked for (hence not an "answer"), but perhaps better than nothing.
    – David Cary
    Jan 12, 2014 at 17:41
  • My Android devices don't have SD cards, and use MTP mode, which doesn't work properly. Leaving aside the train-wreck that is the Android File Transfer app, I find that the file listings on the Nexus as viewed on the Mac get stale. I tried an sd scanner app, but it stopped working in KitKat. I tried another one, but it worked only for a while. MTP is broken for me. Which is why I'm asking about using Wifi. Jan 13, 2014 at 3:53
  • @t0mm13b There's no shortage of server apps, but my question is about setting up a wifi network. Is there a way to do that as I asked? Jan 13, 2014 at 3:54

5 Answers 5


For transferring files between tablet and computer via Wifi there are a few methods.

  1. For file transfer between Android devices I personally use Superbeam. They also have a Windows app. On one device you select the files you want to send and it gives you a barcode and a Wifi name. On the other device, you scan the code or connect to the Wifi name and the file transfer will start.

  2. FTP. There are different apps that turn your Android device into a FTP server. For this, I personally use Solid Explorer (has a free 14 day trial). It is a file explorer with FTP possibilities, but there are more than enough standalone FTP Server apps in the Store. With Solid Explorer, I go to Menu > File Sharing > Start. If you're connected to a Wifi network, it uses the IP address of your device (something like 192.168.x.x). If you're not connected, it will ask if it should set up a hotspot. Connect to the hotspot and enter the URL given for access. In windows you can make a shortcut in Explorer, so after you make it the first time you can just click on your shortcut.

Solid Explorer FTP server screenshot

Click image for larger version


Setting up a WiFi network:

You can simply start a WiFi hotspot on your android device, and connect Laptop to this WiFi network.

Or you can also connect to a WiFi network created by host laptop, because your aim is to transfer files.


As OP told that there is no UI available on his device (WiFi only device), obiviously, the only possibility to do this on un-rooted phone is to create WiFi network on the other device and connect to that device, or to root the phone and add this functionality by yourself.

You may be interested in following links:

  1. SMS and WiFi Tethering on Nexus 7
  2. Nexus 7 Hotspot and Tether
  3. Can I tether from a Wifi only device?
  4. Asus Nexus 7 Tethering and Wifi HotSpot not available
  5. Activating wifi hotspot tethering on a Verizon Droid with Froyo 2.2
  6. Portable Wi-Fi hotspot Free
  7. Wifi Tether - Rooted
  8. WiFi Tether For Root Users

Transferring files in a WiFi network:

AFAIK, Once you are in a WiFi network, you can use ES File manager for this. Because there is a window with name "LAN". This may give you a clue. (I didn't transferred files though)

  • Saying "You can simply start a WiFi hotspot on your android device" doesn't answer the question. I don't find that UI on a wifi-only device. As I said in the question, let's ignore for the purpose of this question the idea of creating a network from my laptop and having my Android device connect to it. Jan 13, 2014 at 10:53
  • The reverse direction doesn't work BTW: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/116891/… Jan 13, 2014 at 11:33
  • EDITed You may need to root your phone in order to add tethering functionality, @KartickVaddadi
    – Keshava GN
    Jan 13, 2014 at 11:36

I use FoxFi to start hot spots without having to root my phone. The app is free, as well.

  • The app asks for too many permissions (why does it need to access the list of running apps?) and it says the free version will support only a limited usage. So I didn't install it. Jan 17, 2014 at 7:09

Try SuperBeam. It seems to satisfy all your requirements

  • It is available in the play store
  • It uses WiFi direct, so no routers or internet connection needed
  • It does not require root
  • It have a Windows/Linux/Mac client so you can transfer files from and to your PC

I realised that the built-in tethering works even on WiFi-only devices. The catch is that if you have multiple users set up on the tablet, you can enable tethering only when logged in as the first user. This is what I'd missed I posted my question.

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