How to ‘AirDrop’ from iPhone to your Windows PC

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I think it is safe to say, Apple has built its ecosystem beautifully. Comprehensively, too. It’s almost as if you’re living in a walled garden, meaning, everything in this garden, inside these walls, is as beautiful as it gets. If you didn’t really get the gist of what I’m talking about, let me brief you up.

Apple makes a variety of products, right from an iPhone to a HomePod. Along with these products, Apple builds its software in such a way that it’s all intertwined and working in harmony. Services like AirDrop, CarPlay, iCloud, and the continuity that you get while switching from one device to the other.

AirDrop is probably the most widely used, closely followed by iCloud.

Imagine that you’re editing a video, on a Windows PC. You’re very close to the deadline, and there are still a few shots that you need to take. Rather than taking out your DSLR, you take your iPhone with you.

When you come back, you start uploading the shots to Drive but that’s too slow. You can’t share the videos via the lightning cable, and you don’t even have an iMac, so you can’t even AirDrop them.

What if I tell you that you can still wirelessly transfer your videos and photos, from your iPhone to your Windows PC, not via AirDrop but something even maybe better than that.

The best part about this method is that you don’t need to use any third-party software on your PC. You just use all the built-in wireless options available, with an app called FE File Explorer, installed on your iPhone.

Let me run you through your Windows settings first.

  1. Open up Windows settings and just click Network & Internet.
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2. Go down and select the option that says Network and Sharing Centre.

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3. In the Network and Sharing center select the tab that says ‘Change advanced sharing settings’

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4. After that, choose the Private dropdown tab, make sure the ‘Turn on Network Discovery’ is turned on and ‘Turn On File Sharing’ is also turned on!

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And that’s pretty much it, your PC is good to go!

Now, let’s set-up your iPhone.

  • You need to go and download this app called ‘FE File Explorer
  • Once you’re done with that, you need to press on the ‘+’ icon in the top right corner.
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  • Then in the bottom, you’ll find your Desktop’s name, if you set it up propery.
  • You’ll be asked to enter your ID and Password. It will mostly be your Microsoft account’s ID and Password.
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  • Once you’re logged into your desktop, you can go and choose the file you want to transfer.
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  • And then, just press save image and you’re done!
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The FE File Explorer App is just one of the many such free data transfer apps available on the App Store. There’s also a pro paid version of this app, but that just enables you to be connected to more than one computer system at the same time. Below are a few other features of the free version.

Features:

* Access network shares on macOS, Windows, Linux, Time Capsule, NAS via SMB/CIFS protocol.
* Access WebDAV Server, FTP Server and SFTP Server
* Access USB Drive and SD Card
* Access SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive

Automatically discover computers, NAS and FTP server when you setup new connections:
* View, copy, move, rename and delete your files right on iPhone/iPad.
* Stream movies and musics from network shares to iPhone/iPad.
* Sort and search files
* Dark Mode
* Multiple windows on iPad
* Built-in FTP Server

File Transfer:
Copy files among network shares, servers, iPhone and iPad.
Transfer files by drag and drop.
Sync files with network shares and servers.
Nearby file transfer: Directly transfer files between two nearby iOS devices without Wi-Fi or LTE connection.

Photo Transfer:
Copy photos between iOS photo library and network shares.
Backup photos to network shares, servers and cloud storages.

Supported File Formats:

  • Document: PDF, WORD, EXCEL, PPT, PAGES, NUMBERS, KEYNOTE, TXT, HTML etc.
  • Photo: JPG, PNG, GIF, CR2, NEF, ARW, DNG, etc.
  • Music: MP3, AAC, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, APE, etc. Music Playlist: CUE, M3U
  • Video: MOV, MP4, AVI, XVID, MKV, RMVB, WMV, FLV etc.