/ Geek tricks

How To Access Folders From Your Windows PC and Stream Videos Over Wi-Fi On Your Android

Do you want to play videos of your Windows PC on your Android without going through the process of copying it to your phone? Well, you can do that easily. Share the particular folder that contains videos over the network and you are good to go. Here is the detailed process.

Android does not naively support the access to the shared Windows folders or Homegroup, but it can be set up easily enough. We've talked earlier about how to Wirelessly Operate Your Android From Your Favorite Browser with AirDroid, which supports the reverse process but it can't be used for streaming over Wi-Fi, so we have found another option that will let you stream your computer's videos on to your phone over Wi-Fi.

How To Share a Folder On Windows

To make a particular folder visible/shared to everyone, you'll need to share it to "Everyone".

To do so, navigate to that folder and click "Share" and click on "Specific People..".

From the dropdown menu, select "Everyone" and click "Add".
Now, by default "Everyone" will have only "Read" support. But if you want full read and write support, then select "Read/Write" from dropdown. After choosing the appropriate option, click on "share".

Now click on "next" and you are all set to access this shared folder! (Turning On sharing might take a while if you are doing it for the first time.)

Next, go to the Network and Sharing Center. Click Start, type "Network and Sharing" and press Enter to quickly open it.
In the Advanced Sharing settings you may want to disable password-protected sharing. If you disable password-protected sharing, only folders you share with "Everyone" will be accessible without a password.
You can also try leaving password-protected sharing enabled, in which case you'll need to enter user account credentials before connecting to your shared folder on Android. This may work, although I couldn’t get it to work, myself.

How To Access Shared Folders On Android

To access these shared folders from Windows, we will be using the robust ES File Explorer which is a high quality, free file explorer with support for SMB (Samba) Protocol to access the shared folders on Windows. Just what we needed!

From ES File Explorer’s main screen, swipe from the right to the left to access the LAN section. You can also tap the Local option at the top left corner of the screen and select LAN in the list. 

Tap the New button on the toolbar in the LAN Shares section and select Scan to scan your network for PCs sharing files. 
You can also tap New and select Server to enter your computer’s IP address manually. 

After the scan is complete, tap a computer to view its shared files. If ES File Explorer finds your computer but continues scanning for more computers, tap the screen to stop the scan process.

Log in as Anonymous if you disabled password-protected sharing earlier. If you didn’t, try to log in with your Windows username and password – this didn't worked for me though.

Browse to the folder you shared in your computer’s file system. I shared my user account’s Videos folder, so I’d tap Users, tap my user account’s name, and tap Videos.

Tap a video, music file, image, text file, or any other type of file to view it. You can also long-press a file to view a menu and optionally copy it to your device.

If the file type is supported by Android, it'll straight away start streaming from the shared folder. Cool isn't it?..I've tested this and all videos streamed like a charm. And now I don't need to copy them to watch on my Galaxy Nexus!!

Rajat Patel

Rajat Patel

Founder at TheNextGeek.com. Software Engineer & Business Analyst by profession. Avid open source evangelist. Mostly writes about Technology that interests him, and some neat tricks to make your day-to-day tech life a breeze.

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