Create a local FTP server on PC

FTP is very useful for file sharing both over the internet or in local networks. Both Windows and Mac OS come with the FTP support. You can create your own FTP server on a Windows PC or Mac computer without third-party software to share files with other devices and computers in your local network. In Windows, you have to enable the Internet Information Services and add FTP site. It has not been made easy as it should be. On Mac, this is a more straightforward process. You can follow these quick steps to turn your Mac into an FTP server.

In this article, we will show you how to create an FTP server on Windows computer using a third-party file manager, Owlfiles file manager. You can find and download it from Microsoft Store onto your PC. It is free to download with the option to upgrade to unlock more advanced features.

Launch the free version of this file manager app, click Settings from the top menu bar.

owlfiles file manager for windows

Switch from General to the Server tab from the top. Currently it supports only FTP server. Optionally choose an FTP user name and password. Or leave them blank to enable anonymous access to the local FTP server. Leave port number to 21 which is the default FTP port number with many FTP clients or apps. Limit the access to certain folder or location on your computer by clicking Browse… button to specify a folder. Finally click the Start Servers button, you will then be presented with the FTP server IP address at the bottom.

owlfiles file manager for windows create ftp server on pc

Connect to Windows FTP server from Mac

Make sure both Mac and PC are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. On Mac, go to Finder menu > Go > Connect to Server….

Mac Finder connect to server - connect ShareMe FTP server on Android

Type in the full FTP server address, started with ftp://, ended with the port number, such as ftp://192.168.50.191:21, from Owlfiles app on PC. Then click Connect. When Mac asks you to connect either as Guest or Registered User, choose Guest since we have enabled anonymous access when setting up the FTP server using Owlfiles app on Windows PC.

Connect to Windows FTP server from Android

Not all file managers or explorers on Android phones come with FTP support. The File Manager on Xiaomi, Redmi phones has the built-in FTP support to both create and connect FTP servers. And we noticed most Samsung phones seems to be able to connect to FTP servers without third-party FTP apps or file managers.

Make sure your mobile phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your PC, otherwise it won’t be able to connect to the FTP server on PC.

Here are the steps you can follow to connect Xiaomi or Redmi phone to FTP server using the stock Mi File Manager app. Launch the File Manager app on your Mi phone, tap the Menu button at the upper left corner, choose Remote from the side menu. Then choose Add remote device on the Remote screen, and choose FTP, you will then get a dialog like this.

  • Host: type in the server IP address on your Windows computer; it is also your local IP address of the PC.
  • Port: by default Owlfiles app creates FTP servers with port 21.
  • Username: leave blank if anonymous access was enabled in Owlfiles app.
  • Password: leave blank if anonymous access was enabled in Owlfiles app.
  • Anonymous: tap to check it if anonymous access was enabled in Owlfiles app

Tap on OK button to save the connection to your Windows FTP server on the phone.

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