Send files to another computer, with FileDrop (Windows, Mac)


Imagine the scene: you are sitting in your living room/office/cafe and would like to send a file to someone’s computer who is next to you. What do you do? Email it? Copy it to a shared Dropbox folder? Attempt to configure a shared network connection? With FileDrop, it is simply a matter of dragging and dropping the file to an an-screen dropzone.

FileDrop is a free desktop client for Windows and Mac that makes the file transfer process quick and easy. Once installed, it looks for other FileDrop installations on the same IP (the same WIFI or network) and displays a dropzone on your desktop to drag and drop the file(s) that you want to transfer.

Using it is as simple as installing, granting network access (you will be prompted automatically), and ‘refreshing’ in order to detect other computers. It can take a while to detect other computers initially. Be mindful that both computers need to be on the same network, so if someone by chance is connected to another WIFI network for example FileDrop will not be able to find it.

FileDrop ScreenShot

The verdict:

The best thing this program has for it is the simplicity of it, especially if any of the computers involved does not have Dropbox or something like it, and specifically if you want something quick and easy and you do not want to set up folder shares or whatnot in Dropbox or on a network. It connects Windows and Mac PC’s, so the platform is no problem.

[Thanks to reader Panzer for the tip about this software]

Get FileDrop here (Windows, Mac).

  • Fred Thompson

    Dukto is similar but has ports for Android, iOS and Blackberry as well. It does seem to crash frequently when I try to send large items.

  • I use HFS (Http File Server) for that.

    • Fred Thompson

      HFS is only for Windows, correct? FileDrop is sort of like the old pneumatic tube systems in offices. It’s quite an elegant interface. (Quite large on the desktop, though…)

  • epicleo

    What i can do if a want to transfer files easily with other laptops.
    I just have to install it and already?

    • Fred Thompson

      Read the article. The computers must be on the same network and each must be running the app.

  • David

    Great idea, but doesn`t work. Recognises the machines ok, but on drag/drop does nothing.

    • Samer Kurdi

      David. Not sure what to tell you, except that it worked for us when we tested it.

    • BonnieT

      Not working here either. Installed on XP just fine and when I installed it on my Win7 the XP saw it – however the Win7 never finds anything when I refresh and I tried copying a file from XP to 7 and it just sat there – didn’t ask me anything or do anything.

      • Fred Thompson

        Same here. Not seeing other computers. My security is Avira, TinyWall and custom hosts file. Installs a bundled version of Adobe AIR. Very poor idea. If it needs AIR, it should first check to see if a version is installed then prompt the user to install AIR if needed. Autodesk does something similar. Poor design.

  • Krishna

    What if an unknown person is sitting 20 feet away, shares the same IP/Wifi and has filedrop. Will my file be sent to him as well ?

    • Samer Kurdi

      Well, at the very least it would be a good conversation starter 😉

      But actually the program will display a circle for each computer found. Simply drag and drop files onto the circle representing your friend. This is also what you would do if there were say, many of your friends around and connected, and you only wanted to send a file to one of them.

  • Just tried this out. Works fine. Pretty simple, I like that it will show the username of the person running it, so you know who you’re sending to before you drop, and that the recipient has a chance to Accept or Reject a transfer. Some interface silliness when dragging multiple files (couldn’t click the Accept/Reject buttons because the filenames were in the way, but pressing Tab worked to highlight the one I wanted, at least in Windows). One thing to mention, many wifi (especially in coffeeshops) are set to not allow multiple guests to “see” each other, so I don’t know if this application would work in that situation.

  • There is a new major update of this app just came out. This version is much more stable and accurate. So it should fix the problem with Win 7 and XP.

    You can watch the video here:

  • Colin

    Just tried this. One of my pcs runs Vista Ultimate, the other Win8 home. Neither can find the other!

    I have refreshed each 7 times now. I will close both pcs down soon and try later in the week, but at this point the program looks useless.