How to access your PC files from your BlackBerry 10 device

Coming soon in BlackBerry 10.1: access your home and work files on the go through Link!

By Simon Sage on 30 Apr 2013 10:20 am
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One of the hidden gems in BlackBerry 10.1 is a new feature for Link that allows you to remotely access files on your PC from your BlackBerry Q10 or BlackBerry Z10. Yes, you can do this when you're on the cellular network, far away from your home's Wi-Fi. This, in a nutshell, is awesome. Sure, there are a few reputable third parties that provide this kind of service, but having the functionality baked right into BlackBerry 10's native file explorer, right beside microSD and Dropbox  storage, is ridiculously helpful. All you need to get started is the latest version of BlackBerry Link, and BlackBerry 10.1 on your phone

BlackBerry Link

As is the case with most of these kinds of solutions, your computer has to be turned on,  but luckily Link doesn't have to be running in the background in order for you to be able to access your designated shared directories. After you've paired up your BlackBerry 10.1 device with Link 1.1 and up, just tap the little gear at the top when your computer is the active tab along the bottom. Here, you'll have a list of the familiar settings, but the new section is Remote File Access. Just make sure that your BlackBerry is checked off in that section, and designate which computer folders you want to share below that. 

BlackBerry remote file access

On the device side, there's a new section under settings for BlackBerry Link which has to have everything enabled - the Link toggle, and Download Files Over Mobile Network. You'll also have a list of the computers that BlackBerry is connected to. Yes, if you've paired up your phone with, say, a work computer and a home computer, you'll be able to remotely access files on either one (provided they're turned on). Apparently the system also allows you to browse mapped network drives and NAS drives too, which is awesome for business set-ups. Though the main use case here is reading files on your PC from your phone, this Link file sharing is a two-way street; if one were so inclined, you could save files right onto your computer from your BlackBerry 10 device. Why, you can open up text files in Documents to Go, edit them on your device, save it, and have your changes propagate back to the original. 

Remote file access on BlackBerry 10

There are a few caveats. For one, you can only play music files one at a time - an unfortunate turn for those hoping they could turn their home PC into their own personal cloud jukebox while on the move. It's also clear that the Active Frame representation of your free hard drive space isn't fleshed out yet, though that might not be something you necessarily need to know while you're on the move anyway. Naturally, larger files like videos will need longer to buffer, and that may be more of a strain on your device's battery than it's worth, depending on the circumstance. There aren't any thumbnails for images just yet, but maybe we'll see that before 10.1 goes public. One tiny hurdle I bumped into was my Windows Firewall - be sure to turn yours off or get a working exception set up. 

I've only gone the afternoon with remote file access in this way, and I can already see it as being something I'll use regularly. What do you guys think? Pretty sweet, eh? Do you see yourself using this often? What do you think about leaving your computer on all the time for this kind of function?

Need help setting it up? Check out our forum thread!

111 comments

yisoshy

Amazing!

Posted via CB10

KDB84

Awesome!

Posted from my Z10 via CB10

SpideysHero

Can't wait for the update!!! Pumped!!!! Viva bb

Posted via CB10

walnuts1024

Friggn awesome. This is something I've wanted for a long time.

Posted via CB10

Tomas Carrillo

Interesting I'll try it, just to check.

Posted via CB10

pean181

Really interesting... can't wait for the update

Posted via CB10

amp323

Is it possible to playback playlists? This could be a work around to being able to play only one file at a time...

Posted via CB10

00stryder

I think someone was trying to do this in the forums, I don't think it worked but I could be wrong. It's because the system views files individually, but one person suggested that hopefully down the road BlackBerry bakes this feature into the music player app (currently you can only access RFA files via the File Manager).

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

Trini-34

I just did it. Thank you for posting this. I now have access to my desktop files from my Z10. Nice Job BlackBerry!!

Supa_Fly1

I seem ti recall this feature being on 10.0 as well. It wasn't listed in settings but it was there in File Manager as well as on previous to current version of BlackBerry Link desktop app.

Posted via CB10

00stryder

Pretty sure this wasn't available on 10.0, if you're still on that OS though give it a shot and see if it works.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

blakobecwa

Keep in mind along with the Windows Firewall your Anti-Virus Software may be blocking some Network Threats. Check those options as well.

My Problem wasn't Windows Firewall it was my Anti-Virus.

harpmoon

Yes, I've noticed some lag for videos when connected to the mobile network, bit it works flawlessly while at home connected to Wi - Fi. The only other time I get lag is when opening the folders I have setup for remote access, granted these folders contain several hundred GB of data and hundreds of sub folders, so I would expect that. Once again, that only happens on my 4G network connection. Also, I have about a dozen or so folders chosen for remote access (not including their sub folders) so I am glad to see there's no cap at, say ten folders, which u feared and am thankful there is not. It is interesting though since BlackBerry has developed relationships with Box and Dropbox to allow deep level integration of their services in the OS, when this feature is in and of itself is almost cloud storage. Granted, not really, but for some users, this will suit their needs and replace the need for a cloud storage solution. Others will always need and continue to use cloud services though.

Posted via CB10

Foreverup

hmm I wonder if I can use this for work computers to access my hard drive and shared drives without BES 10

HabsFan9860

I have mine set up like that, I put a folder on it (my shared folder) pop in files, that I want access to and voila.) A trick you can use so that it updates the files on your PC is put the originals in the 'shared folder' and put shortcuts to where they were originally located.

polytan02

Bring us the official OTA 10.1 update for Z10!

Would this work from bluetooth or wifi only?

Posted via CB10

pooo

Read the article... It says it works over the mobile network.

mradil

Has anyone tried streaming movies? Ie. Avi or. Mkv's?

Posted via CB10

00stryder

Yep, works beautifully. Two things to note though:
1. .mkv files may have audio and/or video formats contained that cannot be read by your device (certain codecs aren't supported, yet)
2. PLEASE pay attention to your data usage as this is essentially equivalent to downloading the movie to your phone. If you watch a full movie that's 1 gb on your home device, expect to use roughly the same amount of data watching it. So unless you have unlimited data, watch out for that.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

DuexNoir

Awesome! I've been wanting something like this for a long while now. I know I will be using this a lot...and maybe this is where Heins say we only need our phone for business as I can see my need for my computer even less.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

mradil

Has anyone tried to stream movies?

Posted via CB10

DuexNoir

Just to clarify my previous post, that I'll need to actually sit in front of my computer and use it even less...even though I am using my computer. lol.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

kiara 25

When would 10.1 be available for z10

Posted via CB10

00stryder

We don't know yet, likely around the time BlackBerry Live takes place (May 14-16). Even then, it depends on when carriers release it. Sucks, I know, but it is what it is.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

techberry1105

This is so effin awesome!!!! It's baked in features like this that compensates for the unavailability of certain power apps!!!!

Posted via Zed 10

brosee

That's fantastic. I never understood why this wasn't always an option. Glad it's here now.

Via my Commodore Vic 20

StefanoB

I'm hooked to BOX (got the PlayBook 50G account) but I think this is very cool! Is there any significant difference between the services in every day use?

Posted via CB10

Miss_Hawkins

When is 10.1 coming to Z10?!!! Can't wait

Posted via CB10

Marloncx

I am getting an error 1920. Rim tunnel service failed to start.

Posted via CB10

00stryder

Possibly try uninstalling/reinstalling Link, or before that restart the program and/or your PC. A lot of people found that it didn't work until they had restarted their computer and/or their BB10 devices.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

scalemaster34

Hope Verizon finds a fix for this feature when they release the official 10.1 update... with the leak you have to turn off the Radio to get the "link" to work using Wi-Fi.

00stryder

Correct, and Simon I think you should add an edit to your post to notify users as it's pretty frustrating if you're not aware of it.

We so had reports that one user on T-Mobile could ONLY use this with mobile data turned on and Wifi turned OFF... Very weird indeed.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

andrewmcwhirter

Can someone please show an example of setting up access to a NAS or network drive?

soaresr

I would assume you map the drive on your computer and add the folder in BB link.

ncpete

So, that means instead of the 10GB of storage from my google and Sky drives, I now, functionally, have my entire 12 TB NAS available as cloud storage for my device? YES!

PH_BB

I think this is just one of the surprise BlackBerry has in store for their "Mobile computing" platform.

Posted via CB10

rdsage

BlackBerry! Built for work and play.

jasonmelling

Now, advertise this! (if the other OS' don't have it already).

MobileMadness002

Android - "ES File Explorer" has this for droids. Works great btw...

buwee

Yeah, but it is from a 3rd party and not baked into the a secure O/S - Be a cold day in h*** before I open up my computer to a 3rd party app especially one running on Android LOL

lawguyman

This is a significant improvement over what ES File Explorer offers.

That feature on ES File Explorer is useless for anyone that does not have a static ip address or uses a dynamic DNS service.

Geeks could use it (but they could do it without Es File Explorer via FTP too) but it is too hard for normal people to use.

This is something that is easy enough for everyone to use.

j21jam6

This is HUGE- having access to home PC as well as work files. I read about this two nights ago and already I'm able to get work done directly from my Z10. This is akin to the advent of the Ipod in my opinion. Invaluable!!!

Sent from my looooong waited for Z10

playpen007

That's what I am talking about. If you forget your Power Point presentation on your Laptop at home, no earth shattering. Any where any places, you are always going to get your files.

Spdyrel

Now if I could just get 10.1 on my Verizon BBZ10......I wonder if the Q10 will be updated before the Q10

Posted via CB10

Temple Sascha

So if i am on the same WIFI network does the data still go via internet or only over the local LAN?

buylocal_getaBB

Only on the LAN, and local data is not included in usage so while home at least i could watch my downloaded copy of the hobbit (almost 6 gigs) on the crapper and never worry about data usage. However if I'm spending 3 hours on the toilet I probably have other problems...

Posted via CB10

Mgulead

Awesome !

Posted via CB10

miketko

Can't wait for 10.1. Don't feel like loading the Leak. Don't have tome for that

Posted via CB10 with my Zed 10

EECGeek

Only takes but a few minutes. So much joy after that!

KasukeSadiki

This offers a pretty good glimpse into the whole "mobile computing" paradigm Thorsten keeps talking about.

SEAWARRIOR

nice,,, available storage on each paired device is pretty slick, too...

starfleet_k

This is awesome!!! Been waiting for something like this! Have access to all my storage at home... good job BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

pooo

Would you be able to connect with more than one computer? Both work and personal?

TripNFry

yes.

" You'll also have a list of the computers that BlackBerry is connected to. Yes, if you've paired up your phone with, say, a work computer and a home computer, you'll be able to remotely access files on either one (provided they're turned on). "

scalemaster34

I have four different computers setup. But I could not get my work computer to connect. Think there is something in the corporate network that is blocking it... :(

blackseed1

Nice, especially for IT. Would love to have Cortado back, best printing option for bb.

Posted via CB10

FryBerry

This is awesome. I am always out and about, and it will be incredibly valuable to have access to all of my files!!!! This really is huge!!!

BillW69

This really gives legs to Heins' statements that one day soon we'll really only need one mobile computing device. When we get the 10.1 update, I can take my Z10 on the road and leave my PlayBook behind.

IllmasterMathematics

Wait, does this automatically download the files to your phone to reflect what's in Link or only on-demand?

00stryder

No downloading, more so just remote access of the files (thus the name). You CAN download them to your device but there's no need. I'd compare it to how Dropbox is handled by the PlayBook (download files to your device to gain access to them) versus how it's handled on the BB10 devices (can open/modify/save files without them being downloaded to your device).

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

trynacu2

This is so cool. Thanks for the demo.

Majestic Lion

Is this also one of those things that can pop up in your BBM status? "So-and-so is watching Gingerbread Girls.avi"?

Heh.

KMB4

When I heard about this I just smiled. We definitely see where BlackBerry is heading with this feature. It certainly gives Heins words on Bloomberg yesterday more clarity. They intend for us to only need the device and perhaps our own server and voilà. Makes you wonder how Box and Dropbox etc. feel about it

Posted via CB10

cyco1978

Love the features, silly that Windows never had this option built into there phones. Thanks BB10!!!

Posted via CB10

shootsscores

Is there a way to remotely start a pc? Anything can be done with enough money but is there a simple (read cheap) way to do it? I'd love to have my own personal cloud service but don't want to keep a computer running 24/7 for days or weeks when I might only be using the link feature for minutes per day or week.

lawguyman

No. It would be nice if if it supported a wake function.

I keep my PC on all the time anyway. It is not expensive.

Xopher

This is a great feature. You can access files while on your computer, and send them to your device, or you can access the computer from your device. Very useful.

Hopefully this makes its way to the PlayBook, too.

Posted via CB10

norteltre

This one has the WOW! factor. Awesome.

Pdoody

This looks awesome!

I just replaced my Visa laptop with a win 8. HATE IT! But that's a different conversation.

Do you have any idea if I can have BB Link on my desktop and Laptop so that I can share files between those two computers? That looks a heck of a lot easier than trying to get a Win8 to talk to a Vista!

Data547

Just checking... noone can disable any of the firewalls at work. That for obvious reasons. How safe is Link if it isn't viable without disabling the Windows firewall. IS has an extensive series of files that employees can access remotely. However, the ftp works with the firewall to maintain system safety.

Awaiting a Q10 availability in the US-

KyonCoraeL

OMG THIS IS WHAT I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED!

Kah Carter

Nothing not already stated... hurry up with the update

Kah

EECGeek

Would this be able to be hacked, or is the data encrypted by BB?

Rasec Blanca

Awesome, but Rogers hasn't yet released a date for the 10.1 update. They don't even have it yet to test from the reply tweet I got from Rogers.

Posted via CB10

jcv822

Will this work for mac?

Posted via CB10

00stryder

It does work for Mac, though some users have had issues. Generally it works without major issues though.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

Daniel Montanaro

This is going to be a great feature to have. Good job BBRY.

Posted via CB10

ALToronto

Does this feature still work if the computer is in sleep mode, and I'm logged out?

As much as I hate Windows, I may start using it just for the remote access. Unless someone figures out how to use it with Linux.

omega supreme

Call me when you can access files with my pc turned off... I never leave things on when i'm not home, unless it serves a security purpose like leaving a light on (which i have a timer on).

Dapper37

Even if this reduces your use of this feature, it doesn't render it useless. No one else at home? Ever?

Posted via CB10

omega supreme

No, i live by myself and my family lives 3000 miles away so if i'm not home, no one is...so the feature IS useless to me at the moment... Aside from that, most of what i would need to access is either on my phone or tablet and if i were to go on vacation i would just transfer a few tunes to my phone or tablet which is rare since i seem to stream most of my tunes anyway...i could see it being useful for people that never turn off their pc and don't mind the added increase in their electric bill.

jhanks64

Then you aren't the person this is targeted at. I can't carry around the hundreds or thousands of files just in case I might need one. For example, I might need to look at a PDF invoice I emailed months ago or want to show a client a picture from a previous job. This could be is very useful!

omega supreme

that is why i said it's useless TO ME... as for your problem I really don't see why you can't backup your files or pictures on a cloud service and use that which can be accessed anywhere at any time. leaving your pc on at home just to access it through your z10 doesn't seem very convenient and/or reliable... what if your z10 loses power, or you have a power outage at home?... like i said before, it's good for people that don't mind leaving things on when away from home.

Ferdinand Rn

Can't wait for the new os

Posted via CB10

James Shotton

This feature doesn't appear to be available on my OS. It is not an option.

Posted via CB10

Kardinal_D

Absolutely useful!!! Nice

kawikaratekid

This is big!! I will use this feature all of the time.

Posted via CB10

world traveler and former ceo

awesome feature!!! can't wait to get the q10 and try it out!!

dmurillo3

How do I get the 10.1OS? It looks like I'm still running on 10.0.10.116 and there are no new software updates available.

Posted via CB10

BruvvaPete2

You can either wait for it to be released officially or check the CB blogs for the leaked version.

berryaddictnoza

Cool! I can keep all my bids on my PC instead of Dropbox, can BB10 get any more awesome?

Z10pack

Well done BB, well done.

Brutal Efficiency

Even though I know that there are various third parties that can replicate this, it is not very known in Australia that this is possible.
I think that in countries like this, it will be a deal maker. BlackBerry should capitalize on marketing this very thing.

It is also soooo much more streamlined to do this through your BlackBerry than to go through your BlackBerry to go through a third party.

Blackberry Faithful

royfakhry

When I clicked on Laptop it just displayed the loading circle and then I got a white screen. Tried to reboot phone and PC, confirmed I had file permissions, I even disabled my antivirus but still couldn't access files on my PC just a blank screen. I am on T-Mobile Z10 OS version 10.1.0.1483

I deleted the PC from Settings/BlackBerry Link to try and add it again to see if the problem is resolved but now can't find a way to add it again. Although it is still there in BBLink and checked I don't have it on my Z10.

Please help

Adolfo Redillo

If anyone is having problems getting this working this is how i got mine to work. I disabled windows 7 firewalll then I uninstalled BBLINK. Rebooted my comp then reinstalled BBLINK and rebooted again instead of running link after install. The phone was unplugged and bblink turned off on the phone. Installed bblink on comp entered all info again and finally everything is working as should. I enabled everything on the comp side first and then turned on bblink access on the phone. The only problem I am having is I cant access the files with mobile network turned on and YESSS I enabled it on the phone. Mayb a bug but works flawlessly on wifi with the 10.1 leaked version on STL100-4. And I do have access to my NAS (cloud) also.

RedSpdr

Too bad i dont have 10.1 this function is pretty cool :(

martinjdub

Way cool...let's see what IT Security says :)

Posted via CB10

07thking

Mobile Computing baby!

BruvvaPete2

... and this is why BB10 is referred to as a mobile computing platform...

iOS... try to keep up, ok?

ZEDTROSPEKTIV

Will this work on Mac systems as well?

Posted on CB10 via ZEDTRO10

Supa_Fly1

Yes it will ... you'll need to have the latest BBLink for Mac update installed, Restart.
Firewall issues also affect even though I've enabled BBLink to be allowed for connections in Preferences> Settings>Firewall> Firewall Options. Still seems to be blocked on LTE on my Z10 unfortunately.

On OSX (I'm on ML) you'll need to specify, in BBLink's Settings, which folders you need access to. On your BB10 device you'll need to see in Settings > BlackBerry Link that your PC is paired. Also in BBLink on your Mac you'll need to ensure you're Logged In with you BB ID (also in your BB10 device).

HOLY CRAP!!

You can MOVE files via BlackBerry Link over LTE as well!!
You can MOVE files to your device storage, your MicroSD, or EVEN on your MAC !!

HELL YES!!!!

gdassoy

That is very useful, can't wait.

Posted via CB10

cbohnet

The truth with the time transferring over wife I prefer hooking it up

Posted via CB10

Nudpham

Great information for me! thanks.

java0317

One word, SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTT!!!!!
I do have a question, thought. Are this a secured/encrypted connection?

leonidus bb

why do they not advertise these cool features. in India the commercial that we have for blackberry is so stupid doesn't show any thing great about the phone though a lot has to be shown. Please learn this and only this art from Iphone

Rootbrian

Once they have it set for linux, I'll be abandoning windows for sure.

tg1

This looks SWEET makes me want 10.1 for the Z10 even more. This would be very cool. Does anyone know if you could give it access to Desktop and sat 'C' drive that way I could have access to basically my entire computer for that one file I forgot to put in my Dropbox folder.

diruocco

Is it normal that I don't have " Download Files Over Mobile Network". Instead I have use cellular network...
I am on official 10.1 with bell

Michele Young Gremillion

Any clues on why my new Q10 will not "pair" with my MAC? I imported all my old stuff from my old BB into Link. I see both the MAC and the new device in BB Link. I can sync and manually pull items from the MAC to the new device. When i try to "sign in" it shows "unable to sign in with your bb id" but gives me no way to input anything.