Share files between computer and iPhone

iOS 13 brings us a more powerful Files app. In an earlier post, we introduced its document scanning feature. Today, we will introduce another excellent feature, SMB file share client.

SMB is an intermediary protocol mainly used for providing shared access to files and devices in a network. Both Windows and Mac support SMB file sharing. With the new Files app, now you can just use your iPhone or iPad to access those SMB shares without paying for a third-party SMB client app.

Enable SMB file sharing on Mac

On Mac, go to Apple menu > System Settings… > Sharing > File Sharing to enable and set up the file sharing over SMB protocol.

turn on file sharing on mac

Enable SMB file sharing on Windows PC

To share files and folders on a Windows PC with other computers or devices on the same network, open the File Explorer on your Windows PC. Click on Network from the navigation panel on the left hand side. If you are prompted to turn on network discovery, click on the link and follow on-screen tips to enable it. You will also have the option to configure File Sharing on the same place.

turn on network discovery and file sharing from Windows File Explorer

After that, you may be prompted to choose a network profile depending on your current configuration. Usually you should choose No, make the network that I am connected to a private network.

To share a folder in your network, find it in Windows File Explorer, right-click the folder and select the Properties option from the context menu. Switch from General to the Sharing tab. Click Share…, then add the Everyone user/group and grant it the Read/Write permission so you can view, open, modify, and delete the content on the folder you are sharing from iPhone or other network devices. Continue to complete the steps to share the folder.

Connect SMB file server from iPhone iPad

The Files app on iOS 13 makes it a cinch to connect to a file server using the SMB protocol.

Open Files app on your iPhone or iPad, switch to the Browse tab from the bottom. Tap the Menu button(“…”) to the top-right, then choose Connect to Server.

iphone files app - connect to server

Type in your computer name or SMB server IP, the local IP address of your Windows computer or Mac. Scroll down to the bottom for more tips if you don’t know how to find out the IP address on your Mac or PC. Tap Connect.

iphone files app connect to server - input server ip

Choose Registered User, type in your computer username and its password. Tap Next and follow on-screen tips to access your SMB file server on computer.

iphone files app connect to server with username password

After that you can access the shared folder on your computer using Files app. And you will be able to copy files between your iPhone or other locations and your computer.

Find your local IP address on Windows PC

You can find your local IP address on a Windows computer by following these steps:

  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”.
  5. Look for the “IPv4 Address” entry under the appropriate adapter. This is your local IP address.

Alternatively, you can also use the Windows Settings app.

  1. Open the Windows Settings app.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click on Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
  4. Scroll down to the Properties section and look for the IPv4 address entry.

Find your local IP address in macOS

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Settings… from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on Network in the System Settings window.
  4. Select the network connection you are using (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc.) from the list on the left side of the window.
  5. Look for the “IP address” entry on the right side of the window. This is your local IP address.

Alternatively, you can also find out your Mac IP address by following these steps:

Press and hold the Option key on your keyboard and click the Wi-Fi icon in the top menu bar, you will see the details about the network. Both your Mac’s IP address and your router’s IP address can be found in this list.

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