Can I share an iPad folder with Windows, so Windows can access this folder?

  1. I do NOT mean to access a Windows shared folder from the iPad (e.g. as in How to access Windows share from an iPad?), BUT vice versa.
  2. I do NOT want to use cloud services, but only my local network.
  3. It should work directly via the network, not via an USB connect and not via iTunes. I would like to directly connect the folder via Windows.
  • 1
    What is an iPad folder? Is this a software recommendation where you want something better than a 6 year old not updated app to run as a network file server? There don’t seem to be many reputable, well received apps in this space though since Apple added SMB client to the files app.
    – bmike
    Jan 14, 2022 at 11:32
  • the SMB client for the files app works, allowing me to copy ("pull") my files to the iPad. I'd rather like to push it directly to a local iPad directory, but this does not seem to be possible. The workaround to connect to the PC's share and "pull" from there though is acceptable. Jan 14, 2022 at 15:03
  • If I understand it, you have more work to use files app since each PC needs to share out the files rather than hit the iPad
    – bmike
    Jan 14, 2022 at 18:12
  • Whilst I have made an answer, I really do think you will be unhappy with any attempt to use an iPad as a file server. The iPad is a content creation and consumption device, not a general purpose computer. Better to use a low cost NAS or wifi enabled HDD.
    – Gilby
    Jan 14, 2022 at 22:00
  • I do not want to make it a file server. I just want to push some docs to it once in a while. Because of privacy reasons I do not want to use cloud services. So GoodReader and Documents are reasonable solutions, only need to move the copied files later to my intended directory. Jan 15, 2022 at 0:02

2 Answers 2


What you are proposing is somewhat unusual as an iPad (and its operating system) is not well designed to act as a server. Nevertheless it should be possible though with some restrictions (sandboxing).

You need an app which will act as a file server on the iPad. A file server might use one of a number of protocols for sharing. Lets list a few and any apps I know of:

  1. SMB (Windows file sharing): I am not aware of any iOS app which acts as an SMB server.

  2. WebDAV which uses http: Apps like GoodReader or Documents by Readdle include a webDAV server, there may well be others.

  3. FTP: At one time there was an iOS app called 'FTP Server', but it is no longer in the App Store. I don't know of any other.

Remember that even if you use Readdle's Documents or some other server app, Apple's sandboxing requirements mean that any file transfers can only be to and from the application's Documents folder on the iPad.

A further restriction, confirmed by @HorstWalter's testing, is that the webDAV servers above only remain active whilst the app is in the foreground.

  • Just have tested GoodReader's webDAV function (they call it WIFI server) and this is close to what I need. As already mentioned, it appears to be restricted to the GoodReader folder which sucks, but anyway - it is a starter. Thanks! Jan 14, 2022 at 10:57
  • @HorstWalter From your testing with GoodReader, how well does it work when GoodReader is in the background?
    – Gilby
    Jan 14, 2022 at 22:02
  • Not at all in background, I need to open a "popup" Window in GR to run the webDAV server. As this popup window closes when I move GR into background, the connection is gone. Seems to be the same with Documents from the other answer. Jan 14, 2022 at 23:57
  • 1
    @HorstWalter I have added the background/foreground problem to my answer. Thanks for the research, but sad.
    – Gilby
    Jan 15, 2022 at 2:56

Use Documents from the App Store. It lets you setup a web server on your iPad and you can access files from Windows PC on your network.

  • Good hint, easy to setup WebDAV, same restriction as GoodReader (only access to Documents subfolders, which is AFAIK an iPad concept) Jan 14, 2022 at 14:54

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