Transfer files via Wi-Fi ( computer to computer, phone )

Published: March 10, 2023

Last Modified: April 18, 2023

How to transfer files via Wi-Fi

There are quite a few cases when it is necessary to transfer or transfer files from one computer to another: from the simple “send me this photo, please,” to a complex system of information exchange as part of a work or educational process.

When this need arises, out of habit, many people reach for a flash drive – but, fortunately, if the devices are connected to the same WiFi network, then there are other ways to transfer files without using external drives. In this article, we will take a closer look at several of these methods, and discuss their positive and negative sides.


Several computers running Windows 7 and higher on the same WiFi network can be combined into a so-called home group. HomeGroup is a quick and convenient way to have constant access to shared files. This innovation has replaced the local folders used for collaboration in earlier versions of Windows. It is best suited for family data sharing or micro-office document sharing.

HomeGroup does not require an Internet connection to work, which makes it not only independent of external conditions, but also fast enough to transfer large and very large files.


  1. Open Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Homegroup
  2. Select Create HomeGroup
  3. In the window that opens, click “Next”, in the next – select which folders to provide access to (later they can be changed).
  4. Save the password that appeared in the last window and click Finish. The homegroup has been created.

You can change any homegroup settings and view the password in Computer Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Homegroup.


  1. Open Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Homegroup
  2. Click the “Join” button, then “Next”, and enter the password generated when creating the group


Modern technologies allow you to store files in cloud storage (“cloud”), making them available from any device with an Internet connection. It is enough to register once and use the cloud as a regular folder on your computer. Moreover, most likely you have access to at least one such service (even if you do not know about it), because each modern operating system automatically provides its users with access to their own cloud storage. For Windows users, it’s OneDrive; for IOS, it’s iCloud Drive; for Android, it’s Google Drive. If for some reason you want to use another service, we recommend that you pay attention to Dropbox or the Russian Yandex. Disk.

The main advantage of this method is its complete independence from operating systems and devices. Your files are available from your computer, phone and tablet for an infinite amount of time in a convenient form (the directory structure is preserved), you can store almost any number of files.

The main disadvantage of cloud storage is that for their optimal use, you need not just WiFi, but good quality Internet access. With a bad connection, you may find yourself in a situation where you have to wait several minutes (or maybe even hours) for the download of the desired file.

How to transfer files from a computer (Windows) to a phone (Apple iPhone) using OneDrive as an example

  1. Open Windows Explorer, click OneDrive in the left pane
  2. Transfer the necessary files to the OneDrive folder
  3. Install and use the OneDrive app from the AppStore to access your files
  4. (or) Open in the browser on your phone, go to the site with the username and password from your Windows account and you will have access to your data.

Almost the same work with cloud services will look for other devices.

This is the most convenient method of all of them, its ideal use: storing your own files with the ability to access them from anywhere.


It’s no secret that the most used method of exchanging files is to send them using instant messengers or email. Almost every user has at least one instant messenger installed (WhatsApp, Viber, Skype) or a social network with the ability to send messages (VKontakte, Facebook/Messenger). If you have the recipient of the file in your contacts, then you just need to attach the files to your correspondence – and you’re done!

An indisputable plus of this method is its simplicity and accessibility even to the most insecure users; in addition, it does not depend on the type of device (computer, phone, tablet) and operating system.
The disadvantages are also obvious: you need not only a good connection to the Internet (as in the case of cloud storage), but also the presence of a messenger / email on both sides. Even under these conditions, the size and number of transferred files will most likely be limited by the rules of the service used (for example, Viber allows you to send no more than 10 photos at a time).


Users of Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, MacBook) can quickly transfer files to each other through the AirDrop data sharing system.

How to transfer files via AirDrop

  1. Enable AirDrop support in the bottom menu: to do this, click on the “AirDrop” item and select with whom you want to share data: with everyone or only with your contacts.
  2. Select the file to transfer, click the “share” icon and wait until the recipient’s avatar appears in the AirDrop item.
  3. Click on the recipient’s avatar.

The main advantage of AirDrop is its accessibility and independence from the Internet connection, only a WiFi network is enough. The main disadvantage is proprietary, files can only be transferred between Apple devices.

NearShare was introduced in recent Windows 10 updates, but so far very few devices support it. Perhaps with its development, Windows users will also be able to quickly transfer files to each other.

In conclusion, we note a few more methods that are used for the same purpose, although they were not considered in detail in the article (write in the comments, is it worth making a separate article or supplementing this one?)

  • Use a direct connection between two computers: Ad-hoc connection.
  • Use dedicated file sharing apps from AppStore / Google Play / Windows Store.
  • Transfer large file via torrent tracker. Surprisingly, they do it that way – and it also works.

We looked at four methods for transferring data from a computer to a computer or phone over a WiFi network. Some of them require an internet connection, some do not; it is impossible to choose the optimal one, because each is well suited for a particular situation. If you know of other convenient ways to share files that were not covered by this review, please share them in the comments.

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