Here’s a neat hack that lets you access the media on your Windows Phone (pictures, videos and music) through File Explorer so you can drag and drop content directly onto the device without going through the Zune interface. I should note that I don’t see a way to add Word documents this way so what it appears to do is let you view the same items that you could view through Zune but through Explorer. If you’re into it, here are the steps:

  • Open Windows Registry Editor by typing “regedit” in your star menu
  • go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB and then search for ZuneDriver which should appear under VID_045E&PID_04EC&MI_00 and then go to device parameters.

Now you just need to change a few registry values:

  • Change ShowInShell from 0 to 1
  • Change PortableDeviceNameSpaceExcludeFromShell from 1 to 0
  • Change EnableLegacySupport from 0 to 1

Now connect your phone to your PC, and Zune will launch. When you close Zune (yes you need to close it once it launches) you’ll see your phones media in Explorer.

Now with all things involving registry editing, we take no responsibility for what you screw up doing this. I did try this – it does work. Not sure I ‘need’ this until I can get other file types onto my phone…so for now, to be continued…

These steps come from MobileTechWorld


  1. Yep. Got the same view as you connecting my Surround to an XP machine. And Zune reconnected after poking around so no problem there. My guess is there is something on the device side blocking the view of other directories and Microsoft won’t open that up until they have created the proper pipeline to manage it, either within Zune or some other portal like SkyDrive.

    I emailed Word, Excel and PDF files to myself and had no problem saving the Word & Excel files to my device, so I know they are in there somewhere. The Adobe Reader app only opens the file (quite well actually) but there are no options to Save As.

    I also moved a couple files to my device using the WP7 PC Connector app and dropped them in the Dowload folder, which I assume the app created on my device. But when I opened Word and Excel I was unable to see those files. So we may all have to wait a little longer.

  2. Here’s to hoping something as simple as drag and drop doesn’t require a “How-to” guide in the future.

  3. @David K Simple to me is as follows.

    1)Plugging usb into computer
    2)Selecting open in window when Windows prompts me what I want to do with device.
    3)Dragging said window to the right side so it automatically re-sizes to half the screen.
    4)Opening my media folder to re-size to the left screen.
    5)Dragging whatever I want to wherever I want.

    Forget 3rd party software. I organize everything with folders I name myself. I find my organizational skills far more logical to myself than any software.

  4. @cjc: If you sync from Zune to WP7 it retains the file fodler structure from your PC. I’m actually not into that cause my PC structure sucks (and I use shortcuts tog et around what I did years ago) so at least your good behaviour will follow through on the phone

  5. Hi there.
    very happy with your post. now, how can I install my downloaded .xapp apps in the explorer and install via the phone? Waiting to hear from you soooooon.

    once again. thank you.

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