As it often happens, when you need something really bad – it cannot be found. I was looking for my USB data cable for the Android smartphone so that I can copy some files over to my notebook, but it just did not want to be found. After turning everything upside down in my apartment, I sat down and started to think of alternatives – I did not have any other such cables, it was midnight so stores are closed, I did not want to disturb any friends, how about using WiFi? Then I figured out that you can actually run an FTP server on your Android phone and then connect to its from Windows PC to copy files back and forth. And the setting up whole thing took only 1 minute. Now who needs the USB data cable (except when charging the battery)?
If you also want to access Android files from your desktop or notebook computer over the FTP, then you can follow these simple instructions:
- First of all you have to install an FTP server app on your Android smartphone. There are many such apps, but I chose The Olive Tree FTP Server App because of simple design and many features. After the installation, you can launch and tap on the red power button to start the FTP server.
- The FTP server will not start if you are not connected to any network (like WiFi, Ethernet, Internet etc.), so make sure you have turned on WiFi (which is connected to the same network as your desktop PC). Connecting both your smartphone and desktop PC to the same WiFi router will take care of this problem. When the FTP server is started, the red button will turn green and it will show you the server details like the server IP address and port, username, password, home directory etc.
- By default, it uses francis as both the username and password. But you can modify these in the settings where you can also disable anonymous login, change username, change password, change home directory, port number, network type (WiFi, Ethernet, Mobile network, Bluetooth etc.) and more.
- Now that your FTP server is running, you can power on your desktop PC, open Windows File Explorer and type the ftp address in the address field. You will be asked for the username and password after which all the files will be accessible in the File Explorer. You can perform any file operations on these files and folders – copy, cut, paste, delete, edit etc.
You would notice that the FTP speed is not as fast as the USB data cable speed, but for emergencies, when you do not have a cable or it is damaged, this is great alternative. When you are done using the FTP server, you should stop the server by tapping on the green button for security reasons and to preserve the battery charge.