Tutorial: Mounting smartphone sdcard & external sdcard onto Windows over Wi-Fi as a driver letter using only a free, ad-free Android WebDAV server

Tutorial: Mounting smartphone sdcard & external sdcard
onto Windows over Wi-Fi as a driver letter
using only a free, ad-free Android WebDAV server
Posted out of the goodness of my heart to help others mount their
smartphone internal and external storage more easily than it took me.
Note my Android 12 phone is not rooted & it has no Google account set up.
The phone is connected to a hidden broadcast SSID on a static IP address
with a random MAC address assigned on every connection to the home router.
I did not set my home router to reserve any specific IP address for DHCP
because each Android 12 connection, by default, randomizes the MAC address
upon every Wi-Fi connection; so my home router is set to hand out DHCP IP
address only _after_ that low IP address range _and_ my phone is set to
a static IP address of 192.168.0.2 which is _below_ the router DHCP range.
Note also that it's common convention that "DavWWWRoot" is a keyword for
the WebDav server "Home Directory", which you will see being used below.
Today I switched from this ad-based free WebDav server with a simple setup,
but which wouldn't (for some reason) mount the external sdcard over Wi-Fi:
*WebDAV Server* by The Olive Tree
Free, +ads, requires gsf, rated 3.5, 100K+ installs
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was initially chosen simply because it works well out of the box.
Instead, I switched to this WebDav server which has a more complex setup.
*WebDAV Server - BestDAV* by ZQ Software
Free, ad free, gsf free, rated 3.4, 10K+ installs
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The setup is tricky as you must know a few things that you manually set.
For example, you'll need an _accurate_ filespec for your Home Directory.
Note that _many_ Android file explorers _simplify_ the visible filespecs!
Hence, I chose this file explorer because it shows the _real_ filespec:
*X-plore File Manager* by Lonely Cat Games
Free, ad free + inap$, requires gsf, rated 4.5, 10M+ installs
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Using X-Plore, I noted the actual filespec to my internal sdcard folder:
/storage/emulated/0
And I noted the actual filespec to my external sdcard top level folder:
/storage/0000-0001 <== long ago I had named that sdcard using Windows 10
In the BestDav server, I set the following settings manually:
Web server setting:
Website Home Directory = /storage/emulated/0
Server Port = 8080
Bind to Local IP = any
Concurrent Connections = 8
Allow notifying status = checked
SSL settings:
Enable SSL = unchecked
Use our SSL certificate = unchecked
Key Store File = unset
Key Store Type = BKS (vs PKCS12)
Key Store Password = unset (XXXXXXXXXX)
Key Manager Password = unset (XXXXXXXXXX)
Authentication:
Allow HTTP digest authentication = unchecked
Setup Users = (I will do that later)
Setup Resources = (I will do that later)
Setup Allowed IPs = unset
Default features:
Allow the Default Home Page(_home.html) = checked
Allow Browsing Directory from Web Page = checked
Allow Uploading File from Web Page = checked
Allow WebDAV LOCK/UNLOCK method = checked
Miscellaneous:
Start server on boot = unchecked
Start server when WIFI connected = unchecked
Specify the SSID of the WIFI network = any
Keep the Wi-Fi lock = checked
Keep the device alive = checked
Device Discovery:
Enable Bonjour Discovery = checked
Log Setting:
Enable Logging = checked
Log file directory = [SDCARD]/weblog/
Maximum preserved days = 7
Receive message from Web:
Allow receiving message from web = checked
Vibrate when message is received = checked
Play sound when message is received = checked
Message Ringtone = defValue

Now click the "USERS" & "FOLDERS" buttons to set up the users and the
resources so that Windows can mount Android as a drive letter over Wi-Fi.
USERS:
I created a new user named "foobar" with a password of "snafu".
If you don't wish to set up a user, you can allow everyone to connect.
Note that "foobar" is _not_ the Windows 10 user, nor is "snafu" its
password, but you can set the user/password to that of your Windows user.
Note the GUI takes getting used to, where doubleclicking is required
to begin editing the users and passwords that you created for them.
FOLDERS:
I created a "Resource/Access Right" of "/" with the following permissions
/ === /storage/emulated/0 === everyone (_)none (_)Read only (o)Read/Write
/ === /storage/emulated/0 === foobar (_)none (_)Read only (o)Read/Write
Note that "/" here indicates the "DavWWWRoot" folder which is whatever
you set your "Home Directory" to (as all three terms are equivalent).
Then I pressed the Android BestDav server button "START SERVER".
This reports the URI you can use if you wish to connect using a browser.
http://192.168.0.2:8080 <== note I didn't use SSL but I could have
On Windows, I entered this command as a typical user:
C:\> net use Z: \\192.168.0.2@8080\DavWWWRoot /user:foobar snafu
The command completed successfully.
On Windows, that created a new mount point over Wi-Fi named:
DavWWWRoot (\\192.168.0.2@8080) (Z:)
Which the Windows File Explorer and the Windows command line respects.
C:\> Z:
Z:\> dir
Volume in drive Z has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 0000-0000

Directory of Z:\

05/15/2022 08:29 AM <DIR> .
05/15/2022 08:29 AM <DIR> ..
12/29/2021 12:15 AM <DIR> Samsung
02/02/2022 06:19 AM <DIR> Android
02/22/2022 07:52 AM <DIR> Music
05/17/2022 05:58 PM <DIR> Pictures
12/29/2021 12:15 AM <DIR> Ringtones
12/29/2021 12:15 AM <DIR> Alarms
12/29/2021 12:15 AM <DIR> Notifications
05/15/2022 08:29 AM <DIR> DCIM
04/16/2022 03:06 PM <DIR> Movies
05/16/2022 01:33 AM <DIR> Download
01/30/2022 06:04 AM <DIR> flore
04/08/2022 12:28 AM <DIR> Documents
12/29/2021 12:15 AM <DIR> Audiobooks
01/03/2022 10:33 PM <DIR> .face
01/01/2022 02:50 PM <DIR> Aurora
05/20/2022 02:14 AM <DIR> 0000 <== my tattletale folder
01/05/2022 06:12 PM <DIR> navigator
01/05/2022 11:17 PM <DIR> .UTSystemConfig
05/17/2022 05:45 PM <DIR> .DataStorage
04/21/2022 11:45 PM <DIR> MotionDetectorPro
04/22/2022 08:17 PM <DIR> ACRCalls
05/06/2022 02:16 AM <DIR> vysor
02/08/2022 10:05 PM <DIR> Unlocked
02/22/2022 11:18 AM <DIR> Cellular Info
02/22/2022 10:42 AM <DIR> Cellular_Connection_Monitor
02/22/2022 03:56 PM <DIR> InternetConnectionAlert
02/27/2022 03:27 AM <DIR> rfsignaldata
02/27/2022 03:45 AM <DIR> data
04/07/2022 09:49 PM <DIR> carbon
04/08/2022 02:02 AM <DIR> AppBackup
04/16/2022 06:02 AM <DIR> OSSLog
04/16/2022 06:11 AM <DIR> .csproduct
05/03/2022 09:46 PM <DIR> Podcasts
05/03/2022 09:46 PM <DIR> Recordings
05/05/2022 03:05 PM <DIR> BARIA
05/15/2022 07:25 AM <DIR> GCam
05/15/2022 08:05 AM <DIR> temp
05/15/2022 08:29 AM <DIR> hudunrecorder
05/15/2022 08:29 AM <DIR> .hudundevice
0 File(s) 134,628 bytes
41 Dir(s) 76,833,701,888 bytes free

That gave me read permission from Windows 10 over Wi-Fi of the entire
sdcard, including folders where I did not have write permission; but
crucially, in folders I had created on Android, I _did_ have write
permission from Windows 10 File Explorer (which is fine by me that way).
Now it's time to see the _external_ sdcard, instead of the internal sdcard.
I disconnected the mount point on Windows using the right click menu item
of the same name and killed the WebDav server on Android but I found out
later that you don't even need to disconnect the mount point from Windows.
With the WebDav server off on Android, in the WebDav server settings
I changed the Android WebDav server setting for the "Home Directory":
FROM: /storage/emulated/0
TO: /storage/0000-0001
And then I restarted the Android WebDav server.
And re-ran the Windows command:
C:\> net use Z: \\192.168.0.2@8080\DavWWWRoot /user:foobar snafu
Voila!
On Windows, that created a new mount point over Wi-Fi named:
DavWWWRoot (\\192.168.0.2@8080) (Z:)
Which the Windows File Explorer and the Windows command line respects.
C:\> Z:
Z:\> dir
Volume in drive Z has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 0000-0000

Directory of Z:\

05/17/2022 10:41 AM <DIR> .
05/17/2022 10:41 AM <DIR> ..
05/03/2021 08:17 AM <DIR> System Volume Information
12/24/2021 05:48 PM <DIR> Music
01/31/2022 01:57 AM <DIR> Android
12/24/2021 05:48 PM <DIR> Podcasts
12/24/2021 05:48 PM <DIR> Ringtones
12/24/2021 05:48 PM <DIR> Alarms
12/24/2021 05:48 PM <DIR> Notifications
03/12/2022 12:24 AM <DIR> DCIM
12/24/2021 05:48 PM <DIR> Movies
04/13/2022 07:19 PM <DIR> Download
01/05/2022 06:12 PM <DIR> navigator
12/24/2021 05:48 PM <DIR> Documents
12/24/2021 05:48 PM <DIR> Audiobooks
05/20/2022 02:29 AM <DIR> 0001 <== my tattletale folder
04/13/2022 09:16 PM <DIR> Pictures
04/07/2022 09:49 PM <DIR> carbon
04/13/2022 07:24 PM <DIR> Toon
05/03/2022 09:46 PM <DIR> Recordings
0 File(s) 73,728 bytes
20 Dir(s) 76,831,617,024 bytes free
Finally, I can see (read and write) mounted as a drive letter over Wi-Fi
the Android 12 external sdcard using the Windows 10 File Explorer.
As before, from Windows, I can create a directory not in the top level
but in lower levels in folders I had previously created on Android, which
is fine by me.
Apparently it's all in the settings, which is why I was careful to document
the settings I used so that others can more easily follow in my stead.
In summary, given I purposefully chose free software, anyone can run this
step-by-step cut-and-paste tutorial to connect their entire Android phone
over Wi-Fi to their Windows computer for seamless bidirectional file
transfer.
The hope is that this tutorial is useful to you, and, better yet, that
someone out there knows more than I do about this who can improve it.
That way we all benefit from the effort that went into writing this up.
Reply to
Andy Burnelli
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In the Android newsgroup the same question was asked where Steve responded first with FTP, and, in response, I outlined _all_ the known methods we've tested over the years, so rather than repeat all that effort, I'll paste it here so not only will the OP benefit from those years of effort testing every known freeware solution, but so will others on the Windows platform.
Note that _most_ of the software below is Windows freeware, but some is Android freeware (and some, like the M$ solutions, requires both!).
sms wrote:
To be purposefully helpful, below is a summary of tested connections.
For the technically competent, Frank Slootweg and I spent a ton of time analyzing _all_ the possible networking solutions over Wi-Fi years ago. a. FTP freeware eservers b. HTTP freeware servers/WebDAV freeware servers c. SMB/Cifs/Samba freeware clients d. MTPfs/LibMTP freeware tools e. KDEConnect freeware tools f. NitroShare freeware tools g. Kies tools (I'm not sure if they're freeware though) h. Vysor/Scrcpy freeware tools etc.
A freweare FTP server on Android, as Steve suggested, works reasonably well, where the two I suggest are "primitive FTP" & "FTP Server (free)".
The problem with FTP servers is that they will allow Windows to connect as a network storage, as Steve mentioned, but not as a Windows drive letter.
The freeware WebDav servers, on the other hand, do allow the Android phone to be connected to Windows as a drive letter.
The two WebDAV servers I suggest are "The Olive Tree WebDAV server" and "BestDAV WebDAV server".
Of course, plenty of the other solutions above use Windows freeware too.
Reply to
Andy Burnelli
That link is to the fully freeware solution using M$ Windows freeware.
Try this method of keeping the link in one line (let me know if it worked): *How to Link an Android Phone to a Windows 10 PC With Microsoft Phone Link*
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That method uses two applications, one on Windows and the other on Android (although for most Samsung phones, the Android app is already installed). *What Is Microsoft Phone Link on Windows 10 and 11?*
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Here is the Android app, which has had half a billion installs already! *Link to Windows* by Microsoft Corporation Free, ad free, requires gsf, rated 3.9, 500M+ installs
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Interestingly my Samsung isn't listed as having the app by default, but it's there, or at least an app with the same name is there by default.
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Ah, I spoke too soon... it's on this longer detailed list, that's why:
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For Windows, apparently, Microsoft claims it's already installed on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 (but I didn't see it on my Windows 10 Pro).
I don't use this method but half a billion people do, so it must work. Note that it's a fully Windows freeware solution that most people use.
Reply to
Andy Burnelli
This is the exact same one-line question the OP posted to the Android newsgroup, (which is fine), but rather than type up a new response given all the work I put into responding there, I'll just paste what I wrote there to help him out, and, I'll add them to this thread.
Note that this uses Windows freeware, in addition to Android freeware.
MajorLanGod wrote:
I would like to be purposefully helpful to answer your question.
Given there are _many_ potential solutions, there probably isn't enough information in your one sentence to steer you toward the best solution.
Yet, to keep being purposefully helpful, I would suggest at first the most _common_ Wi-Fi solution, which works especially well with some phones.
*Together is better with Microsoft and Samsung*
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*How to use Microsoft Your Phone Companion on your Galaxy smartphone*
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*Set up Link to Windows with your Samsung Galaxy phone*
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*Samsung Galaxy Phones and Link to Windows* *
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* That works especially well with Samsung because the app is native on Samsung phones, but you can also download the app onto other brands.
Windows software: *
Introducing Microsoft Phone Link*
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Android software: *Link to Windows*
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Note Microsoft keeps changing the name of the app on Windows.
In summary, if your phone is a Samsung, then the Android software is already on there, but even if it's not, it "should" work on most phones.
To be clear, there are _many_ solutions. I don't use the solution above, for example, but _most_ people will be using that Microsoft Wi-Fi setup.
Reply to
Andy Burnelli

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