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Using http file server (HFS)

I have just discovered a great little app which allows you to quickly share files from your PC like a web server.

Why would you want that?
  • No need to worry about share permissions in Windows to get it working
  • No need to worry about sharing to Linux, Macs where you might need to enable more services
  • No need to "install" software to start sharing your files out
  • Just need a web browser to browse and download the files you have shared out
  • its open source and its free
 I am going to run through the basic steps of setting it up to start sharing your files on my Windows 10 Desktop

  1. Go to to download the windows version of the exe file

  1. Once you have downloaded the file which is around 2.4.mb then copy the file to a location where you will want to run this from. For me its at "D:\hfs\"
  2. Run "hfs.exe"
  3. You may receive a "Open File - Security Warning". If you are Ok with this then click "run
  1. As this is the first time running of HFS.exe it will ask you if it can create two new inbound rules for this exe and which profiles they will be applied to. I have just allowed "private networks" and clicked "Allow Access". There maybe situations where you need to allow it for public networks as well. You can make this change via the within Windows Advance Firewall settings.

  1. You show now see that the program has loaded so check what IP it is using to act as the web server by looking at the address bar. You only need to check if you PC has more than one IP address

  1. If the address is not right then select Menu>IP Address and see if can see the IP address you would like the web server to run on and select it
Sharing your files and folders
You can share specific files or just share folders so that people can just browse to find the files that they need. 

To share files you click on Menu >Add Files and browse to the files that you would like to share. If the files are in the same directory then you can use the control key to do multiple selection.

To share folder you click on Menu >Add Folder from disk and browse to the folder that you would like to share. There are two options when sharing the folder which is "Real Folder" or "Virtual Folder". Real folder is where it reads directly from the disk and with virtual folder it loads all the files to memory. So if you have a lot of files and its big then select "real folder". Further explanation available here

Now when you open a browser to the IP address you will see the files and folders that you have shared out

If you click on a file it will download and if you click on a folder it will drill further in to the structure.

I have only scratched the surface of this nice little app as there are more features such as;
  • requiring login to access files/folders
  • view bandwidth utilisation
  • view source IPs
  • apply basic access control list
  •  apply speed and simultaneous limits
  • plus many more
One note : The windows firewall rule will stay enabled when you shutdown the application so you will need to go in to Windows Firewall to either disable or delete the rule after usage.

Credit to Massimo Melina (aka rejetto) for creating this simple and lightweight application and I hope you will find it useful in moments where you just had to quickly share and transfer some files to some one.

Here is the links to the author website and wikipedia:


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