I sometimes have the need for a way for transferring relatively large files (e.g. zip archives) between two computers, and don't always remember to have a USB stick with me. Is it possible to use a Windows Phone to do this sort of thing at all (like you could with Windows Mobile devices)?

  • 2
    You can if you upgrade to a WP8 device Dec 7 '12 at 22:19

If you have the Zune installed and synchronized with the device, there is a hack to get windows phone to be used as a mass storage device on that machine.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open the registry editor on your PC by typing regedit in your Start menu and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB;

  2. Now modify three entries (note, if you have multiple WP7 phones, you have to do it for each one)

    • Change ShowInShell from 0 to 1
    • Change PortableDeviceNameSpaceExcludeFromShell from 1 to 0
    • Change EnableLegacySupport from 0 to 1
  • You need to restart the computer too? Jun 26 '12 at 12:13
  • I now see (two) entries for my windows phone under "Computer", but there are no files or folders in it. Any hints?
    – habakuk
    Oct 22 '13 at 11:15

Windows Phone 8 supports the Media Transfer Protocol and can be used like a mass storage device on supported target operating systems. Windows Vista and later natively support MTP, but additional software is required for older versions of Windows, Linux and OS X.

So as long as your disconnected computers are running Vista or later you can easily transfer files between them and you WP8 device. For other operating systems, you may need to install additional software.


Windows Phone does not support this kind of use natively.

There are a few apps which mimic this kind of behavior but require companion apps on each PC and so are a more complex solution.

The "Windows Phone" answer would be to adopt the "3 screens and the cloud" approach and transfer files via the web. Windows Phone users get 7GB (no longer 25 GB) of storage on OneDrive so why not use it?

  • As it happens, SkyDrive is firewalled beyond recognition at one of the common locations that I'm at; One of the recent use cases I had was when trying to reinstall WiFi drivers on a friend's laptop where someone had also corrupted the CD-ROM driver, so I was able to download to the phone, and use mass-storage to get it going. Maybe I should just remember to carry more memory sticks around :)
    – Rowland Shaw
    May 2 '12 at 10:32
  • 1
    Get a USB drive which will clip onto your keyring. Works for me. :)
    – Matt Lacey
    May 2 '12 at 10:33
  • Turns out it does support it, per @Thomas' answer
    – Rowland Shaw
    May 4 '12 at 14:43
  • @RowlandShaw It's not a kind of "natively supported" but yes. The problem is that it can break in another Zune Update. Jun 8 '12 at 11:30

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