Every time, I have to copy files from or to my Android smartphone, I look for the USB data cable that connects PC to the Android device. Then when you plug it in, Android asks whether you want to turn on the USB storage. After you tap on Turn on USB Storage, it takes 5-6 seconds before the removable disk drives finally appear in your desktop computer and you can access the files on Android, delete them or copy more files there. But why go through this long tedious way when you have a WiFi enabled Android smartphone? You can simply access your files on the Android smartphone over the WiFi connection without having to use the USB cable.
Accessing files over WiFi is possible only if you meet some requirements. First of all, you must have a working common access point (also called hotspot). A simple WiFi router or WiFi enabled ADSL modem can do this job for you. Secondly, both your Android smartphone and computer should be WiFi ready and connected to the common access point. It does not matter what type of operating system you have in the computer.
At this point, you should go ahead and install the app WiFi FTP in your Android smartphone (the link to this app is given at the bottom of this article). This app runs a small FTP server accessible over the WiFi network. Run this app, and you can tap on the gear like icon to open its settings.
In the settings, you can choose the username, password and port number for the FTP server. The port number cannot be the usual port 21 used in FTP servers for security reasons. If you leave both the username and password blank, then you will be connected without any password prompt.
Now back to the main WiFi FTP interface, you can tap on the Start Service button to start the FTP server. It will show you an FTP address that you have to type in your computer. Head back to your desktop (or notebook) computer and type in this address exactly as it is shown (including the ftp://) in Windows File Explorer or any of your web browsers.
You will be able to access the files as if you are connected to an FTP server with full access. You can perform all types of file operations here – modify files, delete files, copy files, create new files, work with folders etc. When you are done, you can switch off the FTP server in your Android smartphone by tapping on Stop Service button.
Conclusion: You can access your Android smartphone files without USB cable over the WiFi network using the free app WiFi FTP. It starts an FTP server in your smartphone and you can connect to this server through your desktop PC to access the files on your smartphone storage. This makes things much easier and neater when transferring files between mobile devices and desktop computers.
You can download WiFi FTP from
UPDATE (Feb 3rd, 2018): Free version of the WiFi FTP app has been discontinued and now only a paid pro version is available from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nalic.app.wifishare.pro.
You can get a FREE alternative to this app from https://www.trishtech.com/2014/07/access-android-files-over-ftp/.