You may think something as simple as transferring filesbetween computers on your home network would be easy. Unfortunately, that’s notthe case.
On corporate networks, the company’s IT department willoften create a network share drive where anyone with a computer connected tothe network can place and exchange files over the network. On your homenetwork, you don’t have an IT department to do this for you.
You don’t have to worry, because there are lots of simple ways to accomplish this. Also, if you prefer, check out our YouTube channel where we cover some of the options mentioned below in a short video .
1. Nearby Sharing: Sharing Files in Windows 10
Prior to April 2018, sharing files over a home networkrequired that you attempt to set up what was known as a “homegroup”. This wasessentially a group of your computers on your home network attached to a commonnetwork group. It allowed for sharing files, but it was extremely complicatedto set up and didn’t always work right due to security software or networkfirewalls.
Thankfully, Microsoft introduced other, much easier ways toshare files over a network (and over the Internet).
Sharing over your local network involves a feature called Nearby Sharing.
You’ll need to enable Nearby Sharing on all the computers youwant to share files with. To do this:
- Open Settingsand click System.
- Select Sharedexperiences.
- Scroll down and find Nearby sharing. Toggle the switch to On.
- Set the dropdown below it to Everyone nearby.
Once you’ve enabled Nearby Sharing on all the Windows 10computers on your network, you can start sharing files with them.
To do this, open FileExplorer, right-click the file you want to share, and select Sharing.
Now you’ll see all computers with Nearby Sharing enabledunder the Find more people section.
When you select that remote computer system, a notificationwill appear on the other computer that there’s an incoming file.
Select either Save& Open or Save to initiatethe file transfer.
This process is far easier than using Homeshare ever was.
2. Transfer Files by Email
Another way to transfer files between computers, not onlyover your local network but over the internet, is sharing by email.
The process is like Nearby Sharing. Just right click thefile you want to transfer and select Share.
At the top of the Share window, you’ll see your emailcontacts to choose from.
Click on Find morepeople to open your email contacts and choose from your contact list.
This will open an email composition page. You can edit theemail or just click Send to send offthe file.
If you haven’t used the email service you select to use, youmay need to provide Windows with permission to send email on your behalf.
When you receive the file via email, you can receive it onany device – either another computer or any mobile device.
3. Transfer Files Via the Cloud
Another approach you can take to transfer files from yourWindows 10 PC to other devices is via the cloud. You can do this by sharing thefile to any Windows app that supports services like OneDrive or Google Drive.
Just right click the file you want to transfer and select Share.
At the bottom of the Share window, you’ll see a list ofWindows apps to choose from. At least one of these should be OneDrive.
When the app opens, just click the Add (checkmark) button toadd the file to your OneDrive cloud account.
The file will upload to your OneDrive account. When it’sfinished, you can open the OneDrive app on your other computer (or mobiledevice with the OneDrive app) and upload it there.
On the other computer, open the OneDrive app, right-click onthe file, and select Download.
This will complete your file transfer to the other computeron your network (or over the internet).
4. Use LAN File Sharing Software
If you want to go beyond just transferring files and insteadactually browse folders and files on the other computer, there are plenty ofLAN file sharing applications for Windows 10 that can help.
One of those is D-LAN. D-LANis a free application that’s easy to set up and use. It’s so easy that allyou do is install the application on all the computers you want to share filesback and forth from, and you’re done.
You right-click in the right pane to add a new folder onthat computer. Viewing the D-LAN application on the other computer, you’ll seethe new folder show up in the pane for the computer you’re sending from.
Once you see all the folders, you can open them and add orremove files just like you would in File Explorer.
5. Use FTP Client/Server Software
Another excellent solution is using FTP as a quick filetransfer over a LAN. Running an FTP Server on one computer allows you toconnect to it over Port 21 using FTP client software on another computer.
The problem with many FTP server applications is thatthey’re complicated to set up and configure. Thankfully there are several FTPserver apps that are quick and simple. BabyFTP is one of those.
With BabyFTP, you simply install the application and it’lllaunch a simple anonymous FTP server on the originating computer. In Settings,you can configure the folder to transfer files from and to, and what actionsyou want to allow like adding or removing directories and files, and whetherthose can be modified by the remote client.
Once you start the BabyFTP server, you should see “FTPServer started on port 21” if everything is working properly.
Now, on the other computer, you can use any FTP client, likeFileZilla, to open a connection to that remote computer using it’s IP addressand port 21.
No ID or password is necessary with this application sinceit uses only anonymous connections (which is fine inside your secure homenetwork).
Once you connect, you’ll see the remote directory you’ve setup in the remote site location. You can right click files there to upload themto your local computer, or right-click files on your local computer to transferthem to the remote one.
Transferring Files Between Windows 10 Computers
It’s amazing that something as simple as transferring filesbetween computers can be so difficult without third-party software and othersolutions. Thankfully, there are lots of choices for making the process assimple and easy as possible.