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How to transfer files between Raspberry Pi and PC

Time needed: 5 minutes.

In this tutorial we’ll learn how to transfer files from your Raspberry Pi to your Windows PC and the other way around. Once you have completely followed this tutorial, you will be able to drag and drop files from one device to the other in a very easy way.

  1. Prepare your Pi and PC

    First of all, your computer and your Raspberry Pi, need to be connected to your local network. The easiest way to check your network connection on the Raspberry Pi, is to hoover over the connection icon on the top of your screen. Depending if you’re using a WiFi connection or a wired the connection, the icon changes. But the place and the provided information remains the same. If you see “eth0: Configured …” or “wlan0: Configured …” with an IP address your Raspberry Pi has a connection with the network and you’re OK.

    Raspberry Pi network connection
    Next, on your PC you need a FTP client application as FileZilla or WinSCP to transfer files. If you don’t have it yet, you can download it for free from the developer’s websites:
    http://filezilla-project.org/
    http://winscp.net/eng/download.php

    In our tutorial we’ll use FileZilla. But you can use your favorite FTP client as the principles will remain the same.

  2. Figure out the IP address of your Raspberry Pi

    Hoover over the same icon you used to check your network connection. The IP address appears after “Configured”. Write it down. We ‘ll need it to establish a connection.

    Remark: If you have more than one IP address appearing (wired and WiFi for example), chose just one of them. In general a wired connection (ethX) is faster and more reliable to transfer files.

  3. Enable the ssh connection on your Raspberry Pi

    After having checked the networking connections and knowing the IP-address of our Pi, we have to enable the possibility to setup a ssh connection with your Raspberry Pi now. We can do this easily in the configuration window: Click on the raspberry-icon on the left upper corner of you screen and select “Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration”.

    Then, select the tab “Interfaces” and enable SSH as shown in the figure below.

    Raspberry Pi SSH connection

  4. Configure the connection on the FTP client of your PC

    After opening your FTP client, you can enter the Host parameters. These parameters are the ones from your Raspberry Pi. As shown in the figure below, enter following parameters:
    Host: enter here the IP-address you wrote down from your Raspberry Pi
    Username: enter a username of your Raspberry Pi. By default it is “pi
    Password: enter the password of the Raspberry Pi user. If your password is still the default password “raspberry”, your Raspberry Pi is really vulnerable (we strongly recommend to change you password ASAP).
    Port: 22

    Raspberry Pi connection FileZilla Host

  5. Start the connection between your PC and Raspberry Pi

    As soon as you click the “Quickconnect” button, you normally get a “Unknown host key” message. This is because it’s the first connection setup and the security key has to be stored on your PC. Check “Always trust this host,…” and click OK to avoid this message in the future.

    FileZilla host key

  6. Start transferring files between your PC and your Raspberry Pi

    Now a connection has been established between your PC and your Raspberry Pi. You should see a screen like this one:

    FileZilla Connecting Raspberry Pi and PC
    Well, that’s it. On the left part you see the folders and files of your PC, on the right the folders and files of your Raspberry Pi. You can drag and drop files in both directions now! The files will be copied from one device to the other.

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