How to Access Network Shared Folder from Android or iOS

Stuart Williams
By Stuart Williams 11 Min Read
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Hey there, friends! Have you ever wished you could magically send files from your computer to your phone without using any cables? Or maybe you’ve run out of space on your phone and need a clever way to store more photos, videos, or music. Well, guess what? There’s a super cool trick for this, and it’s called using a network share!

Now, you might be wondering, “What’s a network share?” It’s a fantastic tool that lets you send files back and forth between devices like your computer and smartphone, all without needing any wires! You can either set up your own mini server at home (which sounds way more complicated than it is, I promise!), or just share a folder from your Windows computer.

In this post, I’m going to be your tech guide and show you how to access a Network Shared folder right from your Android or iOS device. This is going to be a game-changer, folks! You’ll be able to move files around wirelessly, and even stream your favorite tunes or videos from one device to another. Let’s dive in and make tech fun and easy! 🌟📲💻

Connect to Network Drive on iPhone

Alright, let’s talk about how you can use your iPhone or iPad to tap into a shared network drive. It’s like having a secret tunnel to access all your files from your computer on your phone. Cool, right?

Easy Steps to Share a Folder on Your PC

First things first, if you don’t have a fancy Network Attached Storage (NAS), no worries! You can just pick a folder on your Windows PC and share it. Here’s how:

  1. Right-click on the folder you want to share.
  2. Click ‘Properties’ and then head over to the ‘Sharing’ tab.

For those using Linux or macOS, you can share a folder in a similar way too.

Accessing Files on iPhone or iPad

Once you’ve got your folder sharing set up, grab your iPhone or iPad. You can peek into this shared folder through your computer’s local server IP address. If you’re scratching your head wondering, “What’s an IP address?”—it’s basically a special number your computer uses to talk to other devices. You can find it in your computer’s settings under ‘Network & Internet’, then ‘Ethernet’ or ‘WiFi’. Look for the ‘IPv4 Address’ entry.

Next, let’s use the Files app on your iPhone or iPad to get into the network folder. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Join the Wi-Fi Party: Make sure your iPhone or iPad is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your computer.
  2. Open the Files App: It’s a built-in app on your device.
  3. Find the Magic Button: In the Files app, tap the ‘triple-dot’ icon at the top-right corner and select ‘Connect to Server’.
  4. Enter the Secret Code: Type in your local server IP address and hit ‘Connect’.
  5. Log In: Choose ‘Registered User’ or ‘Guest’, depending on your network share setup. If ‘Registered User’, enter your username and password.
  6. Explore and Conquer: You should now see everything in the shared folder. If you’re allowed, you can even add new stuff from your iPhone.

Troubleshooting Tips

Sometimes, things might not work smoothly. Like, my iPad connected fine, but my iPhone gave me a headache with an error message. If you hit a roadblock, here’s a quick tip: if you don’t see the ‘Connect to Server’ option, your iOS might be version 12 or older. Don’t fret; there’s another method for these versions, which I’ll cover next.

Stay tuned, and let’s make this tech journey an easy and fun ride!

Cannot Connect to Server iPhone

Ran into a roadblock trying to connect to your network drive with your iPhone or iPad? No problem! We’ve got a neat workaround using a third-party app called Documents by Readdle. This app isn’t just for browsing the web or downloading files on your iPhone; it’s also a handy tool for connecting to network services.

Here’s How to Get Connected Using the Documents App

  1. Download the App: Head over to the App Store and download the Documents by Readdle app for free.
  2. Set It Up: Open the app and tap on the settings icon at the top left corner. Then, choose ‘Clouds & Connection’ > ‘Add Connection’ > ‘Windows SMB’. (Select the option that matches your server type.)
  3. Enter the Details: Put a name for your connection in the ‘Title’ field and type in the IP address in the ‘URL’ field. Then tap ‘Done’.
  4. Access Your Files: Now, go back to ‘My Files’ in the app, and voila! You should see your network drive and be able to access your files easily.

Why the Documents App is a Winner

The Documents by Readdle app is not just a workaround; it’s a powerhouse for your iPhone or iPad. It not only helps with network connections but also offers features like downloading and managing files. It’s definitely a must-have for anyone looking to boost their productivity and make file handling a breeze on their iOS device.

So, if the direct method through the Files app didn’t work, this app is your go-to solution. Get ready to connect and manage your files like a pro! 🌟📂📱

Add Network Drive to Android

Got an Android phone and want to connect it to a network drive? It’s a handy way to access files from your computer or other devices right on your phone. Some Android phones have this feature in their built-in File Manager app. If yours doesn’t, no worries! There’s a fantastic app called Cx File Explorer that will do the trick.

Connecting to a Network Share on Android with Cx File Explorer

  1. Download the App: Head to the Google Play Store and download Cx File Explorer. It’s free!
  2. Connect to Wi-Fi: Make sure your Android phone is connected to the same network as your network share.
  3. Open Cx File Explorer: Tap on ‘Network’ in the app, and then select ‘Remote’.
  4. Set Up the Connection: Under the ‘Remote’ tab, choose ‘SMB’ or another option that matches your network share type.
  5. Enter the Details: Type your network drive’s IP address in the ‘Host’ field, and add your username and password. Hit ‘OK’ to access all the content on the network drive.

Turn Your Android into a Network Drive

Here’s a cool feature: you can make your Android phone a network drive itself! Just tap on ‘Access from Network’ in the Cx File Explorer app. This sets up your Android device as a network drive, accessible from all your devices on the same network. This means you can even transfer files wirelessly from your Android to your iPhone.

Why Cx File Explorer is a Great Choice

In my experience, Cx File Explorer is way better than the stock File Manager app on Android phones. It’s not just for connecting to network drives; it’s a fantastic tool for analyzing and managing all the files on your phone. Whether it’s cleaning up space or organizing your documents, this app makes it a breeze.

So, if you’re looking to bridge the gap between your Android device and other devices on your network, Cx File Explorer is the way to go.


And there you have it! Setting up a network share folder is like having a superpower for your files. It’s all about making your life easier when it comes to sharing and transferring files across different devices.

One of the coolest things? With the Cx File Explorer app, moving files between your Android and iPhone wirelessly becomes a piece of cake. You don’t even need a PC to play the middleman. Imagine sending photos, videos, or documents from your phone to another without any USB cables or complicated setups!

Even if your device doesn’t support network sharing natively, don’t worry. These third-party apps – Documents by Readdle for iOS and Cx File Explorer for Android – are lifesavers. They’re not just workaround solutions; they’re powerful tools that enhance what you can do with your devices.

In this tech-savvy world, being able to effortlessly share files across devices is essential. Whether it’s for work, school, or just personal use, knowing how to set up and use network shares makes you a bit of a tech wizard. And remember, whether you’re an iPhone user, an Android enthusiast, or juggling both, these apps have got your back.

So go ahead, set up that network share, and start sharing files like a pro! 🌟💾📲

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Hey, I'm Stuart, a tech enthusiast and writing expert. With a passion for technology, I specialize in crafting in-depth articles, reviews, and affiliate content. In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, I've witnessed how the age of the internet has transformed technology journalism. Even in the era of social media and video marketing, reading articles remains crucial for gaining valuable insights and staying informed. Join me as we explore the exciting realm of tech together!
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