How to copy files to Apple iPhone through FTP protocol


FTP drive iconApple iPhone contains some annoying restrictions. For example, it is unable to work as a mass storage device and you cannot simply copy files over to it. Another problem is, that you need Apple iTunes installed in the computer and a special USB cable to manage the phone.

We will show you how to use Apple iPhone as a portable drive and how to transport any kind of data with wireless through FTP on Windows and Mac OS X.

How to create FTP server from your iPhone

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the standard for host-to-host file transferring on the Internet and TCP/IP based networks. FTP server can be created on any computer as well as other smart devices.

There is application called FTP Drive + HTTP Server available on iTunes that can easily create FTP server on your iPhone with just a few steps.

FTP Drive + HTTP Server on App Store
Apple iTunes App Store with FTP Drive + HTTP Server

First download the app from the store. It is not free, but 1$ is not to much.

Open the application and click on Settings icon. In Server part set the Enabled option to on. HTTP and FTP port in 99% cases may be set by default.

In Authorization part set the User name, Password and set Authorization enabled. It is better to protect your data against abusing.

FTP Drive + HTTP Server settings FTP Drive + HTTP Server settings

FTP Drive + HTTP Server settings

In Options part you can manage rules for FTP User.

FTP Drive + HTTP Server settings

FTP Drive + HTTP Server settings


How to connect to your iPhone FTP Server

When your FTP server is created, click on Information icon. You will see important information about HTTP and FTP IP addresses and ports that you can use to connect to your iPhone.

FTP Drive + HTTP Server information

FTP Drive + HTTP Server information

Use Total Commander or muCommander

The easiest way how to connect to your FTP is to use any FTP manager. The one is integrated in popular Total Commander file manager (and its variant for Mac called muCommander).

Open the Total Commander. Click on Net option → FTP New Connection...

Total Commander
Total Commander FTP connection

Retype FTP IP address from Information page in the FTP Drive + HTTP Server application. Uncheck the anonymous connection box and click on OK button.

Total Commander host connection
Total Commander host connection

Type User name and password that you set in the FTP Drive + HTTP Server. Now you are able to copy data from your computer to the iPhone.

In muCommander on Mac go to the Go menu → Connect to ServerFTP tab and fill the blank boxes with Server address, Username, Password, set the port and click on Connect.


muCommander for Mac

Use FileZilla FTP Client

Another way is to use FileZilla, a free open source FTP, FTPS and SFTP client for both Windows and Apple Mac computers. Download the FileZilla from the Internet and open it. Fill the boxes Host, Username, Password and Port. Click on Quickconnect button.

FileZilla Client for Windows
FileZilla Client for Windows

Now you are able to transport data to and from iPhone to computer simply through network. You are also able to manage, preview, copy, erase data in the iPhone. Simply click on File icon in the application.

If you don't have any FTP client installed in your computer, the FTP Drive + HTTP Server application has also its own solution for you. Open web browser and retype HTTP address viewed in the Information to the web browser address bar and press Enter. You will see a simple web interface that can be used to copy files to, or from the iPhone.

Related software and links:

Apple iTunes for Mac icon

Apple iTunes for Mac    Apple macOS / Mac OS X platform
Program used to organize and plays your digital music and video

Apple iTunes for Windows icon

Apple iTunes for Windows    Microsoft Windows platform
Multimedia file manager and library for Apple users

muCommander icon

muCommander    Multiplatform platform
A file management utility

Total Commander icon

Total Commander    Microsoft Windows platform
Highly popular file manager for Windows


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