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View Windows Home Server’s Shared Files and Folders on an iPad


The following How To Guide was submitted by Gordon Jackson – a big thank you to Gordon for getting in touch.

We’ve previously covered how to stream video from Windows Home Server to the iPad using Air Video but what about shared folder access? If you’re using an iPad for work, it would be great to be able to access files stored in Windows Home Server’s shared folders, but there’s no way of achieving this without a little work. Fortunately, we have the answer which involves a long forgotten Windows Home Server add-in and an app for Apple’s iPad. Let’s get started on the next project in We Got Served’s Summer of Home Server.

1. Download and Install Web Folders for WHS


Almost three years ago, Brendan Grant released an add-in for Windows Home Server called Web Folders for WHS. The add-in’s original intent was to improve Windows Home Server’s remote access experience through better file and folder navigation – a task that Microsoft ultimately got around to sorting out themselves in a subsequent power pack. However the plumbing that the add-in performs on some of the underlying Windows sub-systems is going to be extremely valuable in helping us access our files on the iPad. As Brendan explains:

My new add-in, WebFolders4WHS gives users a new browser based way to access their files, as well as letting them do it through the Windows Explorer shell and any other WebDav client that supports HTTPS. This add-in is nothing more than a bit of glue that wires up a few Windows sub-systems such as: Windows UNC Shares, an IIS Virtual Directory, WebDav and the Windows Distributed File System. Because this add-in uses existing functionality, all existing user accounts and share permissions are maintained and remain in full effect when a user accesses files via a Web Folder.

The key phrase here is “any other WebDav client that supports HTTPS”. If we can find one of those for iPad, we’re good to go!

So, download the add-in and install it on your home server. You do this by copying the add-in file to your home server’s shared Software/Add-ins folder, the logging into the Windows Home Server Console, clicking Settings > Add-ins > Available, and installing from there.


2. Ensure Windows Home Server Remote Access is Switched On

Restart the Windows Home Server Console as instructed and head back to the Settings tab, but this time we’ll visit the Remote Access option. Ensure your remote website is switched on by hitting the Turn On button. The globe and monitor screen icon will switch to colour from monochrome.


3. Configure Web Folders Settings

The add-in installs a new option in your Settings tab called Web Folders. Click it and you’ll see the following:


Now, click on the Setup button, read the warning and click Yes to begin the setup.


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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • Bastiaan

    Nice article!
    I have submitted it, as a feature request for VAIL, pointing to this article.

    Please vote± https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/f

    • Rick

      Link is broken

  • Ascario

    What about Android? Seems to me the only product people support with apps or whatever comes from apple. Talk about anti-competitive!

    • Lars Ole Simonsen

      Nothing anti competitive about that at all! You and anyone else are completely free to develop an app for android that does the same thing or something even better.

    • http://www.pader-sync.com/mobile-webdav-client.ht

      Web Dav Client for all the rest…

  • The Kitty

    Cool – this would be icing on the Vail cake if we could get MS or an add-in done.

  • if the allowed Flash on the iWhatevers then it would kill off the demand for apps.

  • Terry Walsh

    The issue here is that your router doesn't support NAT loopback which is required to access your homserver.com address on the internal network. There are workarounds available (search WGS Forums) or you could swap your router for a Linksys or Zyxel router which generally support loopback.

  • Dennis

    I have followed all instructions and I am able to see the folders on the ipad. However when I try to access files, I get the message "untrusted server certificate" Does anyone know a solution to this? Strange thing is also when I try to access myname.homeserver.com from my own internal network, I can't get the webpage get loaded but when I use the server's internal IP address, it works

  • Jeff

    I am having problems as well.. followed all instructions but can't get the folders to open in this step:
    To complete the setup, right click again on each folder you’re sharing and select Open. This will bring up a webpage and request your user name and password, which is required to authorise opening of the folder on your iPad.
    I keep getting an error that says that IE can't display the webpage. It looks like it is surfing to the correct page but it doesn't work.
    So close.. very frustrating!
    Any advice?

    • You'll need a router that supports NAT Loopback to be able to access your homeserver.com address on the local network – I've found Linksys routers tend to have support, otherwise there are workarounds available if you search WGS forums

      • Jeff

        Thanks for your quick reply Terry. I have a Linksys WRT600N and it appears that inthe advanced routing section that NAT is enabled? Would the setting be somewhere else?

  • Dennjs

    I fix both problems I mentioned earlier by adding the myname.homeserver.com to the hosts file. I can now access the server from both THE inside and outside without having server certificate issues. Thank you Terry for pointing me in the right direction.

  • Rod

    I followed all the directions, but I get an error when I connect. I thought it was because I was in the same network (via wifi) but when I connected through the cell network I still cannot connect.

    PLEASE HELP, I would love this to work as it would be perfect for my business. I get:

    Connection failed with the error:
    Operation could not be complted. (OSStatus error – 9844.)

    Can anyone please help?

    • Rod

      If I connect without wifi I get the error:

      Connection failed with the error:
      Operation could not be complted.
      Connection refused

      • Rod

        One more thing that may be of help. I cannot do the last step of page 2, and start of page three. When I right click and hit open on the web enabled folder, it will NOT open in my PC browser … but it does on my blackberry.


  • Ole Johan

    GoodReader access with WebDAV works fine when I access my whs from iPad on the internet. However on my LAN it fails with a certificate error. From the dialogue above I understand this is due to lack of NAT loopback in my router; I adress the server by local IP but the certificate is based on internet address or domain name.

    My question is whether there is a posibility to do something on the certificate side to make this work?

    Or is there a way to set up a fix for the missing NAT loopback?

  • grifter2025

    I’m having some trouble understanding exactly what URL I am supposed to save from step 5 at the top of page 3.

    I have many “webfolders” on the serves and each time I make tham web enabled I get a new window and new url for each one.

    Which am I supposed to enter into GoodReader? It doesn’t seem to work with just the https://servername or the longer URL I get for each folder individually. No matter what I get:

    Connection failed with error:
    Operation could not be completed.
    (kCFErrorDomainCFNetwork error 2)

    Other info:
    If I enter the numeric https:192.168… address I can connect to the server but with no content.
    Also, my server doesn’t ever show up as a Local Server via WiFi (which is my main interest)

    Please help and know that you will have my sincere gratitude!

  • Usually I don?t write-up on blogs, but I need to say that this post quite forced me to do so! Thanks, very nice article.

  • Scott B.

    I am not sure this add-in is going to be available in WHS-11. It is one of my favorites so I have been doing a little research… It isn't an add-in yet but can be installed through admin remote connection…

  • aart12

    I've used Web Folders 4 WHS on WHSv1, and it was fantastic. Top rate.
    When, oh when, will we see a version for WHS2011??!!!
    Really need it!
    On this subject of WHS2011 and WebDAV… does anyone know how to configure WHS2011 to do WebDAV functionality that is supposedly built into WHS2011. For the life of me, I can not find anything on it (at least I have yet to find it).
    If someone knows of a source, please post a link!

  • Mike in Sugar Land

    I finally got it working. Here's what I had to do:

    I use Untangle for my router, which is very hard to figure out, as a "non-IT" guy…
    I created a new port forward, labeled "internal port forward", with the following conditions:
    Source Interface: Internal
    Destination Address: xx.xx.xx.xxx (this is my external static IP address)
    Forward traffic to the following location
    New Destination: xxx.xx.x.xxx (this is my homeserver local IP address)
    New Port (optional): leave blank!

    that finally let me click on Open on the Web Folders folders.
    The url is "https://myhomeserver.homeserver.com", with an emphasis on the https

    Back in Good Reader, and configuring the Any WebDAV Server:
    url-address: https://myhomeserver.homeserver.com/WebFoldersSha

    Jeez, it took me a while to figure out the Untangle server end…

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