Share files between PC and iPhone via Windows File Sharing

There are many ways you can share files and documents between a computer and a mobile phone. In Windows system, you can turn on file sharing to share files and folders with yourself or other people on your home network. You can setup file sharing on Windows PC. In this guide, we will share you the easiest way to enable file share on Windows computer, connect and access shared Windows folders and files from iPhone over Wi-Fi, copy files from PC to iPhone or iPhone to PC.

Setup file sharing or enable smb in Windows

The first steps is to turn on the file sharing or configure the SMB server on your PC. On Windows 11 or 10, open File Explorer, then click on Network from the left pane. If network discovery is currently disabled, you will get the error message saying network discovery is turned off, network computers and devices are not visible, you can turn it on from network and sharing center. Click the OK button, then click the banner and then select Turn on network discovery and file sharing.

turn on network discovery and file sharing from file explorer in windows 11

Then confirm that you want to turn on network discovery and file sharing.

turn on network discovery file sharing private public networks file explorer windows 11

More details can be found from this guide to turn on network discovery & file sharing in Windows 11.

Share files and folder on Windows PC

On your computer hard drive, create a new folder or right click on an existing folder, then click Properties from the context menu. When the properties box opens up, switch from the General to the Sharing tab. Click Share button, you will open the File Sharing box where you can choose people to share the folder with.

Add the Everyone user/group and grant it the Read/Write permission so you can view, open, modify, and delete the content on the folder you are sharing from iPhone or other network devices. Windows will take a moment to set up your new shared folder and it’ll be accessible from other devices on the same local network. 

Now go to add files to this shared folder on your Windows computer.

Read-only vs full control access

If you ran into permission denied issues, or you find yourself can only view and download files shared on PC from iPhone, but not able to upload files from iPhone to computer, you need to grant the Everyone user/group the full control other than read-only access.

Go back to the Properties > Sharing > Advanced Sharing. Then check the Share this folder option, click Permissions and enable the Full Control permission for Everyone.

Method 1. iPhone to access shared folders saved on PC

You can connect your Windows computer via SMB and transfer files between your PC and iPhone. You need to connect iPhone and PC to the same network to initiate the transfer. Your PC can be connected via cable or Wi-Fi. Every device in your local network has its IP address.

On iPhone, you can use the stock Files app to access Windows Shared Folders or download a third-party file explorer app which support Windows SMB server. Here we will show you how to connect to Windows SMB shares from iPhone using Files app which can be found on all iPhone and iPad.

Make sure your iPhone and Windows PC are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

On your iPhone, open the Files app. Tap the Browse tab at the bottom of the screen. Tap the More menu(three dots inside a circle) at the top right corner, then select Connect to Server from the drop-down menu.

iphone files app connect to windows smb server

Enter the local IP address or name of your Windows PC in the Server field, preceded by “smb://” (e.g., smb://, smb://windows-pc).

How to find IP address on PC?

  1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “cmd” and press Enter to open the Command Prompt.
  3. In the Command Prompt, type “ipconfig” and press Enter.
  4. Scroll down to the section labeled “Ethernet adapter” or “Wi-Fi” (depending on how you are connected to the network).
  5. Look for the “IPv4 Address” entry under the appropriate adapter. This is your local IP address.

Tap Connect > Registered User and enter your Windows username and password. Tap Next. If the connection between iPhone and SMB share is successful, you should see the shared folder from your Windows PC appear in the Files app.

Once you have connected to the Windows SMB connection from iPhone, you can access shared folders on Windows computer from iPhone, then copy files from the Windows SMB server to iPhone or copy files from iPhone to the PC.

Method 2. iPhone access Windows share using Documents app

Third-party apps, such as Documents by Readdle, can also help us access Windows shared folders from iPhone. Documents is the most capable application on your iOS device. It’s the hub for all your files as it replaces a document viewer, PDF reader, web browser, music and video player, file downloader, cloud integrator and bunch of other applications as the one elegant app.

Open the Documents app on your iPhone, tap on the Plus (+ icon) at the bottom right corner to bring up the menu at the lower section of your phone screen. Choose Add Connection > Windows SMB.

iPhone access Windows share using Documents app
iPhone access Windows share using Documents app version 8.10.3

Then input these information:

  • Title: you can type in something descriptive, such as Joe’s PC, My PC, etc.
  • URL: starts with smb://, followed by the PC name or its local IP address. There are various ways to find the computer name in Windows 11. For example, you can open the Settings app, click System in the left pane and your computer’s name will be displayed on the right.
  • Domain: optional.
  • Login: your computer username.
  • Password: your computer login password.

Tap on Done button to save the settings. You will then find the shortcut to access your Windows SMB share from the My Files tab in Documents app.

Stream videos and music from PC to your iPhone

Open Files app on iPhone, switch to the Browse tab from the bottom, then scroll down to the Shared section where you can find network devices or computers. The Windows shared folders will be listed here. Tap to access the shared files from your PC. You can simply tap to play and watch those shared movies, videos, music videos on your iPhone, play and listen to those shared audios, recordings, songs and other audio files from your PC using your iPhone.

Extra tips on PC and iPhone file sharing and streaming

  • Make sure your iPhone and computer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, otherwise iPhone won’t be able to find and connect your files and folders shared via Windows File Sharing.
  • There are several ways to share files between a PC and an iPhone. You can also try other options such as iTunes, cloud storage services like iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. You can attach the files you want to share to an email or message and send them to yourself. There are third-party apps available on the App Store that allow file transfer between your PC and iPhone.

1 thought on “Share files between PC and iPhone via Windows File Sharing”

  1. I was stuck with files I wanted to move into my iphone… Thanks to this webpage, I finally did it ! Really helpful

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