There are loads of file explorers out there for Android, but as of several years ago, ES File Explorer has been one of the best options you can find. Besides its smooth interface, its stands out for its option to integrate your accounts on DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and lots of other services. Here we explain how to use this app so you can access all your stuff from your smartphone or tablet.
Although every file-hosting service has its own native client for managing your remote folders, what’s really interesting is having a single tool that offers universal access to all this information. It’s not the first time we’ve argued for the use of Androids as functional and portable desktop computers, so if you’re going to need continual access to your files, it’s better to have a multipurpose app like ES File Explorer.
How to access your cloud accounts
Open the left pull-out menu and choose the Network option. Inside, you’ll select the Cloud option.
To add one of the online accounts you have to click the New button at the lower left of the screen. A list will appear of all the compatible services: currently Box, SugarSync, DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, S3, Yandez, Baidu NetDisk, and Mediafire.
After clicking on the service you want to add, a pop-up will appear where you’ll have to add your login details for that account. That done, you can browse through the remote file system and interact just like you would with your local files.
How to access Windows shared folders
ES File Explorer also lets you access your remote files via different protocols, be it via FTP, SMB, or a shared local connection through your local network. Here we explain how to do the latter.
Obviously you’ll have to enable shared folders on your computer, which you can do from the option in the Network section of the Windows explorer. When you go to that window a tab will pop up if the option is not enabled.
Now go to any folder you want to share, right-click to go to the Properties section, and select the Share
In the Advanced Share section you’ll need to tick the Share this folder box, and can choose a different name for it to appear on the network, as well as modify the editing permissions.
Going back to ES File Explorer, from the left popup menu you’ll drop down the Network section and click on LAN.
When you click on the bottom Scan button it will detect all the shared resources on the network, where you should find the remote machine you’ve just shared. When you click, it will ask you for the username and password. There are features there for group sharing based on inviting profiles and other options, and to edit them you’ll need to enter your administrator details for Windows.
You should then have full access to shared folders, with the added benefit of being able to directly view multimedia files such as photos, video, or audio.