Help with sharing photo files between Windows PC and iPad Pro 11 inch

My son, an avid amateur photographer, takes photos on a DSLR and processes them on a Windows PC using Lightroom CC. He needs to send these on a regular basis to his daughter (my granddaughter) who uses an iPad Pro 11" to create content for Instagram and Youtube.

Can anyone recommend a good workflow to share image files and occasional video files between the PC and the iPad Pro?

They currently use Dropbox to transfer the photo files, but this is a bit slow considering the upload/download bottleneck.

I plan to purchase a portable SSD (Samsung T5) for my granddaughter to use with her iPad Pro. She needs more storage for her growing collection of video files, processed with Luma Fusion. Could the proposed portable SSD be used to share batches of photo and video files between the Windows PC and the iPad Pro? I don’t know if the iPad Pro could read the same disk format as that used by the Windows PC. The Samsung T5 SSD would use a USB-C connection; I’m not sure if the Windows PC has a USB-C port

Would a NAS device be worthwhile? How would the iPad Pro access files on a NAS? My son has an Airport Extreme (the latest wifi-AC version) - would it work to connect a portable HDD to the Airport Extreme to function as a low-budget NAS? The Airport Extreme is set up in bridge mode, functioning as a WAP, not as a router.

Any other ideas?

If you create a shared folder on your PC you can transfer files directly using the Files app on your iPad.

But I prefer to use FileBrowser for Business most of the time.

As far as your SSD, a disk formatted with exFAT can be read by Macs and PCs. I do not own an iPad Pro but I have read that it is supported. You would need to confirm this for yourself.

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@WayneG - Thank you.

If I understand your suggestion correctly, sharing files/folders in a Windows PC essentially makes the PC a server for other devices on the LAN. Is this correct?

And then the iPad Pro can access the files/folders on the PC using the standard Files app or the FileBrowswer for Business app - is this correct?

This appears to be straightforward and limited only by the local network bandwidth. I’ll forward this to my son and granddaughter to try right away.

Thanks again.

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@SpivR - thank you.

Yes, I think there is a subscription to Lightroom/Adobe CC. We will try this also.

Correct. This is how I move movies & music to/from my Plex server.

A little sidetrack, but have you tried FileExplorer on iPad? FileBrowser’s sticking pint for me is that you keep needing to go into FileBrowser to connect to the server when trying to browse from Files. FileExplorer handles that in the background for you.

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If your granddaughter uses Adobe’s suite their cloud solution might be the easiest way, and she will find the media already in the right environment; I remember that the upload / download process was quite efficient when I used it.

The problem with CC: I can’t share selectively (with authentication) to another user. Would also be a great feature for professional workflows.

Look interesting, thanks

Hey All, I’m the “avid photographer.” Thx for the replies. It sounds like a shared folder on my PC laptop is the simplest solution. I do have a Lightroom CC subscription, but quickly maxed out both the cloud and my PC storage because I shoot pics in RAW that are quite large files. I’ll investigate a more expensive Lightroom subscription with more storage, but I also need home network storage. It looks like I can get a couple 4TB external (2 identical file copies and delete all except working files on my laptop) pretty cheaply, but I understand there are other options such as NAS and RAID. Any suggestions on what I should learn more about or consider in my research? I have to love pretty quickly on a solution since my laptop is full.

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I have several Tb of photos - DSLR/mirrorless RAW photos in Lightroom, iPhone photos in the Apple Photos app (and iCloud Photos turned off). I keep it as simple as possible: an external 8Tb drive for files (maybe two-thirds-filled), an identical 8Tb drive as cloned backup (I do regularly-scheduled backups with CarbonCopyCloner), and a subscription to BackBlaze for cloud backup. I have not needed a NAS (have fun selecting between different brands and models and processors), and have not had any problems with this setup in all the years since I’ve gone digital with my photography. Up-front cost for my two 8Tb drives, plus CCC, is around $340, plus $6/month for BackBlaze.

If you really need something now an extra $100/yr on your Creative Cloud plan will give you 1Tb Adobe storage, up from the 20Gb that comes with the $120/yr plan.

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@McLovin - Suggestions by @bowline are perfect to keep things inexpensive and simple: an external disk drive plus a 2nd identical external disk drive for cloned backup of the first drive. Your computer and both of the external drives can be backed up with a subscription to BackBlaze (link:

One external drive can be backed up to the other using software such as Aomei Backupper Standard (link: This Aomei software is for Windows; Mac users in this Mac-oriented forum would probably use Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. Here is a link to a review of Aomei Backupper:

An advantage of using direct-attached drives for your photography storage is that a cloud storage service such as Backblaze will back up your external direct-attached drives as well as your computer. Backblaze will not back up network drives (NAS). Backblaze is $6/month for unlimited storage, or $60/year if paid yearly. Great service, reasonable cost; highly recommended. An under-appreciated feature of Backblaze is the always-available access to individual files or folders in your Backblaze could storage account.

Regarding NAS - if you want the added features of NAS. a good place to start your research is Synology ( The two-drive Synology DS218+ or DS718+, or the four-drive DS918+ could provide expandability for dozens of TB of storage and would certainly work for your application, but it may not be worth the added cost and complexity. NAS units are essentially always-on computer servers that can offer many other features - multimedia services such as Plex Media Server, surveillance camera storage, DNS server, VPN server, and dozens of other services. But using all of this involves a learning curve and willingness to maintain and update the NAS system. And - consider how you would back up the NAS. RAID technology provides redundancy for the individual drives in the NAS … but the only protection for a failure of the NAS unit itself is yet another backup scheme: a large-capacity disk drive, another NAS, or another cloud backup service.