Friday, 5 June 2015

SD Card Write Access Returns to WiFi File Explorer

Long time users of WiFi File Explorer may remember back in the olden days where you could actually write to the SD card in your Android device - crazy stuff, huh? You'll also remember when Android 4.4 was released and ruined that blissful utopia, taking away SD card write access, meaning a lot of file operations in WiFi File Explorer (and other file-based apps) stopped working as they used to, like upload, delete, rename, etc.

Android 5.0 addresses this to a degree and once again allows SD card write access to third party apps, albeit in a rather convoluted way. The user must grant an app access to a particular area of storage using a folder chooser dialog which is presented via the Android OS. I'll take you through those steps in relation to WiFi File Explorer so that you can once again manage the SD card using the app. Remember though, this only applies to devices running Android 5.0+ and the latest version of WiFi File Explorer; it will not fix the issue on Android 4.4 devices.

1. Go to the Settings in the WiFi File Explorer app and click the new SD Card Permissions option. It will show a popup that briefly explains what you need to do: "Select the SD card (the top-level, not a subfolder) from the following file chooser dialog to allow write operations, e.g. upload, delete, rename, etc.". You are essentially choosing an area of storage that you say this app can have permission to write to.

2. Click OK and a folder chooser dialog will now be displayed and for most users its initial state is completely empty, which isn't very helpful or intuitive, like below:

3. At this point you need to go to the menu and tell the folder chooser dialog to show the SD card:

4. Now choose the SD card from the left hand side of the folder chooser dialog, which may be named something different if you have given your SD card a disk label:

5. Finally you must choose the top-level root of the SD card as highlighted below - don't select a subfolder:

6. You'll now see a brief popup message back in WiFi File Explorer that indicates the successful granting of permissions for SD card write access. If you see a failure, something has gone wrong and you must start again. There is a known bug in the system file chooser on the HTC One M8 and some other devices whereby the dialog will crash if the SD card doesn't have a disk label. This is an Android OS bug and can be worked around by giving your SD card a disk label when it has been slotted into your laptop or PC.

7. Now you can back out of the Settings in the WiFi File Explorer app and perform all those lovely write operations on your SD card again using the WiFi File Explorer web interface!

So Google doesn't make it easy and there are certainly a few hoops to jump through, but you should only have to do that once to get yourself where you want to be. A few things to note though:
  • This only gives WiFi File Explorer SD card write access, not any other apps;
  • If you upgrade from the free version to the PRO version of WiFi File Explorer, you'll need to perform these steps for both versions of the app;
  • It should last between reboots, but not if you uninstall and reinstall the app;
  • You'll also need to perform these steps should you remove or replace the SD card;
  • If you stop being able to write to the SD card via WiFi File Explorer for any reason, just perform these steps again.


  1. Thanks for figuring this out for us and for the step-by-step instructions. This is great!

  2. Good job! But I'm having a problem. I was trying to upload some files and the status is "Completed", but no files were uploaded.

    1. Can you email me at so I can support you.

  3. Would be nice if a single file can be uploaded before being prompt to get the pro version. Won't even let you do a single file.

  4. Great answer. Changed the SD card and could no longer write to the external storage. The last picture above was my key...choose the top-level root of the SD card as highlighted in red - don't select a subfolder. Everything now works as before. Thanks Paul for your time and support to this app.

  5. Nice job!! Congrats for this great option to write to sd card.
    Support us and we will support your nice app..

  6. Upload is very, extremely slow. In my computer browser it does not open explorer so I can select file and upload, very poor over all rating.

  7. I thought there had to be an answer why my WiFi File Explorer would not work on my new ASUS ZenPad 8 running Android 5. My questions have been answered. Thanks. I was getting some strange message when trying to make a new folder on the microSDXC card: "Directory could not be created! directory failed!"

  8. Thanks for this - been trying to find a solution for this for ages!

  9. Doesn't work for Moto G Gen 2. When the SD card folder is selected as instructed, the message "Permissions Failed" appears. Files then appear to upload and the file name appears in the folder, but the size is 0 bytes and the file is corrupted. Free version worked OK without setting SD card permissions. Pro version is useless for me. Windows 7 Home Premium, Firefox 47.0.1. Any ideas?

  10. Amend last comment. NO files can be uploaded to ANY folder on the Moto G Gen2. All files appear as 0 bytes in size and are corrupt.

    1. Hi Ben,

      Please email me and I will try and help you.


  11. hi ... i have the same problem with BEN NASH.
    i cant upload any file from pc to my galaxy s7 sd card.
    i see the upload and it loading, but it is no file on my telephones
    when i upload it on the intern storage it works fine but on the externe storage doesent work.

  12. Not working on my stock N update. SD card is selected, then says I chose a Document folder.
    Motorola Z Force Droid.

  13. Sir, for my Sony Bravia TV 55" Android 6.0 this app not let me upload files from computer via home WiFi, neither delete files from external USB memory on TV. USB files directory appears on computer as /storage/AA0..., but I cannot make actions with it. Change home directory on TV didn't help.

  14. I am glad to find amazing information from the blog. Thanks for sharing the information. Annual return filing