You can access your Windows desktop on your Android smartphone using the Remote desktop feature. But that means that you have to access the files through the Windows GUI and not all the smartphones can do this smoothly. Instead of using the remote desktop feature, you can access your files stored on your Windows PC through the file sharing feature. For this, you have to enable the file sharing in Windows, share one or more folders in Windows and then you can access these shared folders in Android using any file explorer app that can access SMB server.
For this to work, both your Android device and Windows PC should be connected to the same WiFi network. This can be easily achieved by using a simple WiFi router and connecting to this router from both your Android device and Windows PC. After you have connected both the Android phone and Windows PC to the same WiFi network, you can follow these steps:
- First of all you have to enable the file sharing in Windows 8 and this is very easy to do. Just click on the network icon in the Windows notification area, right-click on the WiFi network you are connected to and then choose Yes, turn on sharing and connect to devices.
- You also have to share at least one file or folder. To share a folder, right-click on it and select Properties. In the properties window, switch to the Sharing tab and click on the Share button.
- In the File Sharing window, just click on the Share button. However, if you want to share the files so that they can be accessed by all the users, then you have to add Everyone to the user list before click on the Share button.
- You can also customize sharing options from the Networking & Sharing Options in the Control Panel. You should also note down your internal IP address in Windows when connected to the WiFi network (you can read how to find your own IP address for more information.)
- Now you can go to the Android smartphone and install ES File Explorer. After the installation, open the menu and select LAN from the Network section. On the LAN screen, tap on the New button at the bottom.
- In the new network connection menu, select LAN. On the next screen, you have to enter your Windows PC’s internal IP address (e.g., 192.168.0.5) that you found in step 4 above. You also have to enter the Windows username and password in the screen. You can give a name to the connection if you want to. Finally, tap on OK to save the settings.
- Your new connection will appear in Network section of the ES File Explorer app. You can tap on this new connection to explore the contents of all the shared folders. This way you can watch the videos stored in your PC and listen to the songs without having to copy them to your smartphone.
Conclusion: If you want to access the files stored on your Windows PC, then you can use the file sharing service in Windows and access the shared files or folders over the WiFi in your Android smartphone. It makes things clutter free as you do not have to connect your smartphone to the PC using any data cables.