Share files between iPad and Windows PC

The iPad is a great device. It has performance that can put even a computer to shame, it’s got portability, a great travel companion, an awesome battery. On the top of this, you get the premium user experience provided by Apple’s ecosystem. What is not so great about iPad (or other such i-products) is that file share is a pain. You need to find a workaround for almost every simple type of file that you want to share. This pain of sharing files to and from an iOS device to Windows increases many folds if you are coming from Android’s environment.

The good old feature of simply connecting your Android device to your computer and transfer files to and from your device, just doesn’t work between Apple and non-Apple device. I mean, surely the options exists like following

  • Install iTunes for Windows
  • Install a FTP server on Windows PC and an FTP client on iOS device
  • Buy a mac 😛

The solutions listed above work and most of the tools are available for free. But if you like to have minimal setup and avoid bloating your hard drive with resource heavy software, the solutions mentioned above just don’t seem right. In this post, we will explore how to Share files between iPad and Windows PC without using any third party application.

The Files app in iPad OS

Lucky for us, iPad OS now has a decent file-manager the Files app. This app has a nice feature to connect to remote server and explore files. We will use this feature to setup our file sharing between windows and iPad.

Set up share in PC

Lets start with PC. We need to enable samba sharing in our PC. Let us assume that we want to share a folder named “Test” (on our PC) with iOS device, so that this folder will act as a gateway between the two devices.

Share the folder

  • Right click on the folder
  • Click on Properties > Sharing > Advanced Sharing
  • Click Share this folder > Permissions
  • Remove Everyone from Share Permissions box
  • Click Add > Advanced > Find now
  • From within the Search results, select the user. This user’s credentials will be used in our iOS device. Lets call the user “John Doe”
  • Click OK
  • Select the Permission this user will have, choose from Full Control, change, read.
  • Click OK
  • Again, click OK
  • Close dialogue box for “Test Permission”

Connect to Windows PC from iPad

  • Connect your PC and iPad to same network
  • Find out the IP address of your PC. Press windows key + R > type “cmd”, this will open up command prompt
  • In command prompt, type “ipconfig”
  • Most likely you will be connected via Wifi. We are interested in the IP address of Wireless LAN adapter
  • Open the Files app on iPad
  • Click on “More” button at top
  • Click “Connect to Server”
  • Enter the IP address found above in the “Server” field
  • Next, in the “CONNECT AS” dialogue, select “Registered User”
  • Enter the Name and Password of the user, with whom we shared the “Test” folder (John Doe in this case)
  • You should now be connected with the folder “Test” on your PC.
  • To transfer files from iPad to PC, just copy the file and paste in this folder on iPad.
  • To transfer file from PC to iPad, first place the file in this shared “Test” folder in PC. Once this is done, connect to this folder from iPad, copy the file and paste in some other location within the iPad.

The above setup gives you a free of cost solution to Share files between iPad and Windows PC