Access files via USB or SSH using Windows Explorer without iTunes

sch11

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 21, 2010
60
0
I haven't had much luck searching. What's the best way of accessing your iPhone file system using Windows explorer, if you don't have iTunes installed? I know you can use an SSH client like WinSCP to access files, but that's more cumbersome than mapping a network drive. And, of course, SSH access using WiFi is slower than USB.

There seem to be some good options if you have iTunes installed, but I want to avoid doing that if at all possible. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

sch11

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 21, 2010
60
0
Thanks for the suggestion. All of macroplant's applications seem to require iTunes to work on Windows.
 

BobboZR2

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2008
139
0
Ah, I see. I didn't realize there was an iTunes requirement for it. I guess it's because I've always had iTunes.

Why are you shying away from iTunes?
 

sch11

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 21, 2010
60
0
No good reason, really. I just don't want to install iTunes on all the computers I'd like to transfer files from. It's very intrusive (incessant update prompts, prompts to install unrelated software, random content deletion threats, constant phoning home, etc.).
 

AnionicStrength

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2010
75
0
I'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet, but the Samba package on the BigBoss repository is great for just this reason.

Once you have it installed on your phone, and have set a root password, you can connect to a read/write share directory on your phone.

This shared directory is located at /var/samba_share on the iPhone filesystem.

Once your iPhone and the computer you want to access it from are on the same network, you can access it just like any other SMB share.

On Mac:

Finder > Go > Connect to Server... (⌘+K)
Next type in smb://root@<iPhone IP address> and press Connect



Obviously you need to replace <iPhone IP address> with the actual IP address of your phone.

On Windows:

Right click My Computer and select "Map Network Drive"
Type \\<iPhone IP address>\share into the folder field and click finish.



The speeds are pretty good, but kind of what you would expect out of the iPhone's Wifi chipset.

Enjoy.
 
Last edited:

AnionicStrength

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2010
75
0
I fail to understand how installing any program is easier than connecting by SMB which is installed on all major operating systems by default.

I suppose to each their own though...
 

sch11

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 21, 2010
60
0
Thanks a lot for pointing out that samba package. In practice, when you use that to transfer files to your iPhone, how do you transfer your files from the shared samba directory to the folder you want them in?
 

sch11

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 21, 2010
60
0
For anyone interested, following the copytrans guide worked for me. I can now access my iPhone via USB using iFunBox without iTunes installed. But note the following:

1. I used the method that involves downloading the iTunes setup file, renaming it to a zip file, and extracting AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi, etc.

2. I installed AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi before AppleApplicationSupport.msi, and I ran into a Windows error relating to a problem starting the Apple Mobile Device service. There were two kinds of error messages - one was a Windows error reporting prompt, and another was an installer error warning that gave me the option to abort, ignore, or retry. I ignored the error; AMDS installed without further incident; and the AMD service started properly after I installed AAS.

3. I didn't install Quicktime; I already had QT Alternative installed. I haven't run into any problems yet, but I've only transferred a few files so far.

I'll post back if I run into problems. Please let me know if I've done something stupid.

For people interested in the Samba option AnionicStrength mentioned, there's a shareware package on Cydia that allows you to do something similar. The free version only gives you access to a single folder (which doesn't seem very useful), but a paid version allows you to access the entire filesystem using a samba share. This sounds very nice, but I probably won't bother with it, since it's a huge package that not many people seem to be using, so I suspect it may not be very efficient or stable, etc.
 
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