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Old May 5th, 2013, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tutorial: How to QUICKLY manage Android folders via WiFi from a PC with ES File Explorer 3.0

I've long been a fan of ES File Explorer for its all-in-one-app Swiss army knife abilities to:
1) Access my phone's files from my PC via WiFi (not USB).
2) Manage the files on the phone (move, delete, rename, etc.).
3) Access & manage web storage (like Dropbox, Box.net, et al).
4) Download files, install non-Play-Store apps, make backups, etc.

I was happy to recently find that ES File Explorer 3.0 makes it much easier to QUICKLY launch the "Remote Manager" (FTP server) and manage the phone's SD card from a PC via WiFi (as long as they're connected to the same WiFi router). In previous versions, the "Remote Manager" was buried in the menus, but now you can make it one-swipe away. I thought some people might like instructions on how to use ES File Explorer to wirelessly make their phone's files PC-accessible with one-swipe and one-mouse-click...

One-time setup on ES File Explorer:
1) Launch ES File Explorer
2) Hit the Android "settings" button on your phone.
3) Select "Settings" (on the lower right menu).
4) Select "Window Settings".
5) Select "Set the default windows".
6) Check the "Remote Manager" box, and hit "OK".
Note that the FTP address is typically something like "192.168.1.122:3721".

One-time setup on a Windows 7 PC to create a "shortcut" to your phone's SD card. (Other Windows versions use a similar procedure):
1) Double-click the "Computer" or "Network" icon.
2) On the left side-bar, right-click "Computer" and select "Add a network location". (The Network Location Wizard appears.) Hit "Next".
3) Highlight "Choose a custom network location" and hit "Next".
4) Type the address of your phone's FTP server as noted above (e.g. "ftp://192.168.1.122:3721").
5) Click "Next" to login anonymously.
6) Choose a name for the folder, e.g. "Cell phone SD card".
7) Click "Next" and "Finish".
That FTP shortcut will appear on the left of your folder below the "Computer" icon. You can drag it to you desktop or someplace else, if you like.

Anytime quick access to your phone's files from your PC:
1) Launch ES File Explorer
2) Swipe right to the "Remote Manger" and hit "Turn On".
3) From your PC, double-click on the FTP shortcut folder that you created.

For me that's much easier than plugging in a USB cable and turning on/off the USB connection. (I always forget to turn off the USB storage before I pull the USB cable, which sometimes messes up my SD card and always causes Android to check it for errors.)

Note: You can set up the FTP server to either turn off whenever you exit ES File Explorer, or to stay on until you turn it off (by accessing it from the notification bar).

I realize that there are other alternatives and don't mean for this to become thread to discuss the pros and cons of each app. I just thought this might help some fellow ES File Explorer users.

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Old May 5th, 2013, 03:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great tutorial man. I'll try it for sure.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Do you know if solid explorer can do this?
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Old May 9th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well that didn't work. When I enter my phone's ftp address into my pc, I get a message saying "that folder appears to not be valid... please choose another". I'm typing the ftp exactly like it is on my phone's screen where it says "Input the address on your pc:"

What gives!
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Old May 9th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Really nice write up man thanks
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Old May 10th, 2013, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinceCorwin View Post
Well that didn't work. When I enter my phone's ftp address into my pc, I get a message saying "that folder appears to not be valid... please choose another". I'm typing the ftp exactly like it is on my phone's screen where it says "Input the address on your pc:"

What gives!
I've seen that message but only when I've typed the wrong ftp address. It should be something like ftp://192.168.1.1:3721/. But if you've typed it properly into the wizard I'm a bit stumped.

If you turn on your phone's ftp server and then open up a Windows Explorer window (while your PC is connected to the same WiFi router as your phone) and type the ftp address into the address bar at the top, does it connect to the phone? (I'm wondering if your PC isn't capable of accessing FTP servers for some reason.)

Which specific version of Windows do you have?

Was your PC set up by a corporate IT person who may have disabled FTP access?
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Old May 10th, 2013, 02:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazzMaTazz View Post
I've seen that message but only when I've typed the wrong ftp address. It should be something like ftp://192.168.1.1:3721/. But if you've typed it properly into the wizard I'm a bit stumped.

If you turn on your phone's ftp server and then open up a Windows Explorer window (while your PC is connected to the same WiFi router as your phone) and type the ftp address into the address bar at the top, does it connect to the phone? (I'm wondering if your PC isn't capable of accessing FTP servers for some reason.)

Which specific version of Windows do you have?

Was your PC set up by a corporate IT person who may have disabled FTP access?
Win 7
I'll give that a try when I get home. Phone not set up by corporate IT.
Thanx for the info.

Will post results when after I give it a go
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Old May 11th, 2013, 07:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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How do I find my FTP address. I used the one you listed but it didn't work.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 01:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazzMaTazz View Post

One-time setup on a Windows 7 PC to create a "shortcut" to your phone's SD card. (Other Windows versions use a similar procedure):
1) Double-click the "Computer" or "Network" icon.
2) On the left side-bar, right-click "Computer" and select "Add a network location". (The Network Location Wizard appears.) Hit "Next".
3) Highlight "Choose a custom network location" and hit "Next".
4) Type the address of your phone's FTP server as noted above (e.g. "ftp://192.168.1.122:3721").
5) Click "Next" to login anonymously.
6) Choose a name for the folder, e.g. "Cell phone SD card".
7) Click "Next" and "Finish".
That FTP shortcut will appear on the left of your folder below the "Computer" icon. You can drag it to you desktop or someplace else, if you like.
Does this require Win7 Pro? I can't seem to find the "add a network location" in my Win7 Home Premium version.

Nevermind. I found it.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pdl2mtl90 View Post
How do I find my FTP address. I used the one you listed but it didn't work.
When you turn on the remote manager it should list the ftp address in the box in the remote manager window.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 02:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This program seems a little more solid than Kies Air that I have been using, but I need something for a user that displays the images in the folder, like Kies does. I am guessing that ES Explorer isn't capable of this as it is meant as straight FTP. Is that correct?

Just to be clear, I understand I can open images through ESEx, but I need something that displays thumbnails so the user can see what they are moving/copying
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Old May 12th, 2013, 12:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazzMaTazz View Post
I've seen that message but only when I've typed the wrong ftp address. It should be something like ftp://192.168.1.1:3721/. But if you've typed it properly into the wizard I'm a bit stumped.

If you turn on your phone's ftp server and then open up a Windows Explorer window (while your PC is connected to the same WiFi router as your phone) and type the ftp address into the address bar at the top, does it connect to the phone? (I'm wondering if your PC isn't capable of accessing FTP servers for some reason.)

Which specific version of Windows do you have?

Was your PC set up by a corporate IT person who may have disabled FTP access?
I tried it this way (typing ftp in explorer address bar) and it worked. Chrome opened up with a page displaying my phone's sdcard content.

So, any idea why I can't add a network location?

I'm stumped
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Old May 12th, 2013, 04:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I tried it this way (typing ftp in explorer address bar) and it worked. Chrome opened up with a page displaying my phone's sdcard content.

So, any idea why I can't add a network location?
If I type the FTP address into a Windows Explorer address bar, I can see the folder icons inside of that Windows Explorer window. It does not invoke my default web browser as your PC is doing. (By the way, if I type the FTP address into my default web browser, it displays a list of links to the folders on my phone, which are not as nice to work with as folders are.)

There seems to be something about your particular Windows setup that is preventing Windows from natively accessing FTP sites. FYI: I have a few Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1, 64-bit PCs and (on all of them) I'm able to make shortcuts as described in my original post. I haven't changed any of the Windows services. I also haven't changed any network capabilities except to set up my Homegroup (which is probably irrelevant). I'm basically running with default settings. So I'm not sure why you're having trouble creating a networking shortcut.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 06:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Love it, thanks for the tutorial!
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Old May 17th, 2013, 09:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have slightly different requirements and got this working in a different way, although the fine explanations in this thread provided reassurance that it could be achieved somehow.

My LG Optimus Slider is very short on internal storage, so I used the very lightweight "FTPServer" app instead of ES File Explorer, and configured it to only accept connections via my Windows 7 laptop's Connectify ad hoc hotspot. I had some trouble getting Windows to behave when mounting the drive, so I wound up using the username "anonymous" with no password. This is obviously quite insecure, but I rarely turn on the Connectify network and only turn on the FTPserver app as needed, as described below. (BTW, I use port 1026 on my phone for FTP, since that way rooting isn't required).

Let me back up for a moment and explain the problem I was trying to solve. I use B-folders, which is a password management app which syncs locally (usually via USB) rather than through the cloud. Following a recent unnecessary wipe of my laptop (thanks HP, the screen was broken but there was no need for your technicians to touch the hard drive), I am unable to mount my phone as a drive on the laptop, and therefore unable to sync B-folders in the normal manner. I also tried mounting my Nook HD+ tablet, also without success, and was unable to address this problem by repairing Windows drivers.

So I decided to use this Wifi approach, but there is one more problem. It is not that difficult (as described by others on this thread) to access an FTP server through Windows. But mounting it as a lettered hard drive (e.g. G is more difficult, and this was a requirement for using B-folders. In the end I was able to do this on an ad hoc basis using a Windows application called NetDrive.

For B-folders users, there is probably a cleaner solution to this entire problem, which I discovered after successfully syncing my phone with B-folders, and decided to also sync my Windows B-folders with my tablet. This tablet dual-boots in a native (unrooted) environment as well as an alternate ROM environment which is rooted. I decided to sync B-folders both ways using FTPserver, and discovered that the when using the rooted tablet, Window's B-folders also presented a "peer" syncing option via a TCP port.

So perhaps I could have avoided much of this pain by rooting my phone instead, but I am not certain of the details.

Sorry for the novella-length post, but hopefully someone will find this useful someday.

Thanks again to the original posters.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 10:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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ok i got it connected ... but i cant see my sd card from my pc. why is that??
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Old August 4th, 2013, 06:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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ES File Explorer also offers a home screen shortcut to one-tap enable the FTP server. I can't remember how, though!


Another option, which will also help with this request:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CybrGuy View Post
This program seems a little more solid than Kies Air that I have been using, but I need something for a user that displays the images in the folder, like Kies does. I am guessing that ES Explorer isn't capable of this as it is meant as straight FTP. Is that correct?

Just to be clear, I understand I can open images through ESEx, but I need something that displays thumbnails so the user can see what they are moving/copying
is to use Samba server on your phone, which will share your phone like a Windows shared folder. Then you can see thumbnails on your computer, create Windows shortcuts to it, etc.

Edit: Forgot to include link.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.funkyfresh.samba
That's the one I'm using. it works great.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 08:55 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thank you for the tutorial.

Trying out on my Galaxy S2, 4.1.2, phone.

Not sure if my problem is solvable?

When I open the folder on my Win 7 Pc (named Samsung S2 phone) I see:-


Computer > Samsung S2 phone > usbStorage

but the folder is empty.

If I open ES File on the phone I see the 4.94GB of folders/files on the 11.50GB internal storage; also if I connect via usb cable can read/transfer files to/from pc.

Again

Computer > Samsung S2 phone > external_sd

but the folder is empty.

If I open ES File on the phone I see the 52.23Gb of folders/files on the 64GB micro Sd card installed on the phone; also if I connect via usb cable can read/transfer files to/from pc.


Does this method allow the read/transfer of files to/from pc to these two storage cards?
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Old August 4th, 2013, 06:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't know about dual-SD-card setups, but I can see and manage the folders on my single SD-card phone from my PC when ES File Explorer is in running an FTP server.
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