Access Windows shared folders & files from iPhone

The Windows OS has the built-in file and folder sharing feature for long which allows other devices and/or systems on the same network to get access to the shared files on PC. In this post, we are not going to discuss how to setup the file sharing on a Windows computer, but how you can use your iPhone to access those folders and files that have been shared from a Windows PC. You can refer to this tutorial to turn on network discovery and setup file sharing on Windows computer if not yet.

Files app on iPhone iPad isn’t just a simple file explorer. Apart from letting you view and manage files and documents on the iOS storage, iCloud Drive, you can also use it for other things too. For example, you can use it to scan documents on iPhone to digitize your paper documents; you can use it to access shared files and documents saved on other network devices. Today, we will demonstrate in this post how iPhone users can access Windows shared folders and files with the help of the Files app which is pre-installed with the iOS.

Access shared Windows folders & files on iPhone

Launch the Files app on iPhone. It is the default file explorer or manager for iOS. See the app icon below.

iphone ipad files app icon

Tap the menu (three dots in a circle icon) from the top right corner, select Connect to Server from the drop-down menu. See below screenshot.

iphone files app - connect to server

The Connect to Server screen opens, type in your PC IP address in the Server box. It is the local IP address in your private network, other than public IP address in the Internet. Scroll down to the bottom to find out how to find out your computer IP address if you are not familiar with it.

iphone files app connect to server - input server ip

Once you entered the computer IP address on iPhone, tap on Connect button at the top right corner. See below screenshot.

iphone files app connect to server with username password

Choose Registered User, then input your computer login information, the username and password, on iPhone, tap on Next. You can then access shared files and folder on PC from iPhone using the stock Files app.

Find your computer IP address

There are various ways to find your local IP address in Windows OS. If you are using the latest Windows 11, you can open the Settings, choose Network & Internet from the left panel, your current active Wi-Fi network shows on the right. Click on the Properties button to view details of your Wi-fi network. The IPv4 address is the local IP address of your PC.

Alternatively, you can also use the Command Prompt to find your local IP address:

  1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “cmd” and press Enter to open the Command Prompt.
  3. In the Command Prompt, type “ipconfig” and press Enter.
  4. Scroll down to the section labeled “Ethernet adapter” or “Wi-Fi” (depending on how you are connected to the network).
  5. Look for the “IPv4 Address” entry under the appropriate adapter. This is your local IP address.

Note that IP addresses of your devices and computers in the local network may change as your router uses use DHCP server to automatically assign IP address from the pool of available IP addresses to new devices connected to the network without any interaction from the user or a system administrator. You may be able to manually set a static IP address to a device from the router’s admin panel if like. However under most situations, we can just leave the IP address assignment to the DHCP server and not to be burdened with the hassle of manually managing our IP assignment tables.

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