One of the most overlooked features in the NVIDIA Shield is being able to connect to your PC’s network.
Think about it. To get files over to your Shield TV, you’re probably copying them from your PC to a USB flash drive. Then you have to take that flash drive over to your NVIDIA Shield and copying them again.
That’s a lot of back and forth.
Imagine if you could just copy them once, from your PC directly to your Shield TV.
It turns out it’s pretty easy to set up. And in this article, I’m going to walk you through the process.
Note: Another great option is to mount network storage on your NVIDIA Shield TV. While we don’t cover that in this article, I have another tutorial dedicated to setting that up.
How to Connect NVIDIA Shield to PC
The theory behind connecting your NVIDIA Shield to your Windows PC is pretty simple.
The entire process should only take a few minutes. After that, you can access your Shield TV’s internal storage right from your PC.
However, there are some snags that you can hit along the way, so it’s important to follow along and not skip steps.
I’ve broken this tutorial down into two sections.
In the first section, we’re going to be configuring your NVIDIA Shield to transfer files over your local network. Then we’re going to jump over to your Windows PC and connect to your Shield TV.
Part 1: Configuring Your NVIDIA Shield TV
To start, open the Settings menu on your NVIDIA Shield. You can do this by clicking on the gear-shaped icon in the upper right-hand corner of the home screen.
Then click Device Preferences.
Renaming Your NVIDIA Shield
The first thing we’re going to do is rename your Shield TV. If you’ve already done this at some point, you can skip this step.
I recommend renaming your Shield TV to something a bit more descriptive. For example, I have a 2015 Shield, a 2017 Shield Pro and a 2019 Shield “tube.”
So I use the year as a descriptor to make things easier.
To do this, click on the About entry.
Under Device Name, you can see what your Shield is currently named.
This is what’s going to show up on your Windows PC when you browse your network. That’s why it’s important to change it to something that makes sense to you.
Click on Device Name and change it in the next screen.
Configuring Network File Transfers
Go back to the Device Preferences tab on the Settings menu.
Then click Storage.
Normally, this section of the Settings menu is where you’ll configure an external hard drive or SD card.
Today, you’re going to want to scroll down and enable Transfer Files Over Local Network.
When you click on this, a message appears to give you a little more information.
Enabling this setting will provide you a username and password so you can connect to your NVIDIA Shield through a computer on the same network.
Click Turn On.
The next screen gives you all of the mission-critical information that you’re going to need to connect your PC to your NVIDIA Shield.
The system will generate a username, and password for you. It will also display the Shield’s IP address on the network.
The username is based on your primary account’s email address. Usually this is your Gmail account, unless you’re using your NVIDIA Shield without a Google account.
You can change your username by selecting it.
Note: Your username doesn’t have to match your Windows PC username, or anything else. It can be anything you want.
In my case, I changed my username to Shield_2019 to keep it simple.
You can also change your password. However, you won’t be able to change it to anything you want.
When you click on your password, you’re given the option to reset it or leave it alone. Resetting it will make the system randomly select another password for you.
You may have to hit reset several times before you find one you’re comfortable with.
Once you have your username and password the way you like them, it’s time to move over to your Windows PC.
Take special note of your username, password and your IP address (circled above). You’ll need all three in order to connect your PC to your Shield TV.
Part 2: Connecting to Shield TV From Your PC
Believe it or not, the hard part is done!
On your PC, open up a new file explorer window. A great shortcut for this is to hold down the Windows key and press ‘E’.
Alternately, you can type “file explorer” in the search field and that will also open one.
The easiest way to connect is to type your Shield’s IP address directly into the address bar.
Note: When you type the IP address, you need to add two back slashes in front.
For example, my Shield’s IP address was 192.168.1.88.
When I type this in the address bar, I would type \\192.168.1.88.
If you don’t add the back slashes, it will try to pull up that address in your default web browser instead of the file explorer.
If everything goes according to plan, Windows will ask you for your network credentials.
Enter the username and password that you created in the previous step and click OK.
After a few seconds, the right-hand side of the window will change to show your Shield TV’s file structure.
If you have an external hard drive, Micro-SD card or USB flash drive attached, you’ll see both Internal and External directories. If not, you’ll only see Internal.
Click on Internal to see all of the Shield’s subdirectories.
Now you can access your NVIDIA Shield’s folders directly from your Windows PC. You can copy movies, music or images directly without needing a USB drive.
This is also a great way to sideload APK files over to your Shield TV from your PC.