Need to learn how to transfer files from phone to PC or laptop? It’s easy with the right tricks.
You have a photo on your Android phone or tablet, and you need to get it onto your PC. But how do you do this?
As it turns out, you have several options, such as cables, cloud software, even apps.
Put simply, transferring files from Android to a Windows PC isn’t difficult. Here’s everything you need to know about moving files from your Android phone to your PC.
1. Transfer Files From Android to PC With Bluetooth File Transfer
Is Bluetooth enabled on your PC? Perhaps you have a Bluetooth USB dongle, or your device has Bluetooth built in. Either way, sending data via Bluetooth file transfer from Android to Windows is a good option, particularly for smaller files.
To begin, you’ll need to enable Bluetooth, first on Windows, then Android.
To enable Bluetooth on Windows:
- Press Win + I
- In Settings, open the Devices > Bluetooth & other devices
- Switch Bluetooth to On
- Click Add Bluetooth or other device
- Select Bluetooth again to scan for compatible devices
Meanwhile, enable Bluetooth on Android:
- Swipe down from the top to open Quick settings
- Long-tap Bluetooth
- In the next screen, tap your PC’s name under Available devices
- When prompted, confirm pairing (Pair on Android, Yes on Windows)
When pairing is complete, the computer will display a Device Ready notification.
For more details, see our guide to connecting your phone and PC using Bluetooth.
With a connection established, find the Bluetooth icon in the System Tray in the bottom-right corner of your desktop. Right-click it and select Receive a file, then click Next to commence transfer.
Meanwhile, use your Android file browser or Gallery app to select the file you wish to transfer. Use the Share button, select Bluetooth to share the data, and then pick your PC in the subsequent list.
Once the data has been transferred, you should receive notice that the file transfer has been completed successfully. You’ll be asked where to save it, so browse to your preferred destination and click Finish.
2. Share Files From Android to PC With AirDroid
AirDroid is a vital app for all Android users. It’s free with an optional premium subscription. You’ll need to create an account or sign in using Google, Facebook, or Twitter if you’re pressed for time.
AirDroid offers notification and tethering tools as well as simple file transfer to a computer on the same Wi-Fi network. You’ll need to install this before proceeding.
Download: AirDroid (Free)
Once you’ve done that, head to the AirDroid download page, grab the desktop client, and install it. Next, configure AirDroid for file sharing.
- Open the AirDroid mobile app
- When AirDroid requests permission to access and manage all files on your device, tap Continue and enable Allow access to manage all files.
- Tap OK to view different Security & Remote Features.
- To enable file transfer to a PC, open Security & Remote Features and check Files is set to On
If you’re not prompted to sign in, select any one of the icons or menus to prompt for your details. To transfer files from your mobile to a PC with AirDroid:
- Ensure both PC and phone are connected to the same network
- In the AirDroid Transfer tab, select your PC name
- Tap the paperclip icon to browse for data to transfer
- With the file(s) selected, tap Send
Need to make a mobile to PC file transfer with Android? Simply drag and drop the file from your desktop into the AirDroid client.
3. How to Share Files From Mobile to PC With Pushbullet
Like AirDroid, Pushbullet syncs data and notifications between your phone and PC. In short, if you don’t fancy AirDroid, or can’t get it to work, Pushbullet is your best alternative. Begin by installing the Pushbullet Android app.
When installing, you’ll have to sign in via Google first and follow the follow-up prompts to proceed.
Next, you need to agree to let the app access your media files. Click Allow if you’re okay with this, then head to Pushbullet’s website. You can sign in to the web client or download the dedicated Windows app.
To send a file to your PC:
- Select Pushing in the bottom navigation bar
- Tap the paperclip icon.
- Choose Send file
- Select the file to share
- Hit Send button to finish
A moment later, the image will appear in the web client on your desktop next to the name of the sending device. To save the transferred file, tap the file or image name, and it will be downloaded instantly.
If you face some issues with an Android to PC file transfer, use Pushbullet’s Remote Files feature. Follow these steps:
- On the Pushbullet mobile app, tap Account > Remote Files and enable Remote File access.
- On PC, click Remote File access, and select your Android device. This will show you all the different files and folders on your Android phone.
- Select the file you want to transfer and click Request. The file will be shared almost instantly if you’re connected to the same network.
You’ll see the file appear under Devices > Your Android Device. Tap the shared file to download.
4. Share Files From Mobile to PC With a USB Cable
Equipped with just your phone and PC? If you have a compatible USB data cable handy, (it’s preferable to use the original to avoid issues), this is the fastest Android to PC file transfer option.
To use this method on older Android devices:
- Connect the USB cable to your PC and your phone
- On Android, look for the Allow access notification
- Tap Allow to proceed
- Drag the notification shade down and find USB file transfer turned on
- Tap to expand the full preferences
- Confirm File transfer is selected
On newer versions of Android, once you connect your PC and Android phone:
- Wait for the Use USB for pop-up
- Tap File transfer
- If the pop-up doesn’t appear, swipe down and tap Android system > File transfer
Following this, respond to your PC. In the Windows notification, select View Device and Open Files. Your PC will then automatically open a folder view of your Android device storage.
If it doesn’t, open File Explorer and look for your Android device in This PC. You can identify it by its model name. When connected, you’ll be able to browse the phone’s contents and copy data to your PC.
Note that if you’re connecting these devices for the first time, Windows will attempt to install the relevant drivers first. Your phone may also install an Android file manager for your PC via USB to open whenever the phone connects.
If you have trouble with this, see our guide on how to fix an Android phone that won’t connect to a computer.
5. Transfer Files From Android to PC Using an SD Card
Another basic method that doesn’t bother with apps or wireless networking protocols is to copy data to your phone’s microSD card. This is a particularly useful option if you don’t have a USB cable and want to keep it simple. You will need a microSD to SD card adapter and a card reader, however.
Simply save the files to your phone’s SD card, then shut down the device. Eject the card, then insert it in your PC’s card reader to view the data.
If your phone doesn’t have a microSD card slot, most modern Android devices support USB OTG. Simply connect your USB SD card reader to your phone using a USB OTG adapter.
6. How to Share Files Over Cloud Storage
With cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, you might have already transferred data to your computer without knowing it.
For example, Dropbox and Google Drive both offer automatic camera upload. If you have the cloud service client installed on your computer, photos will automatically sync to your PC.
Similar features are available with other cloud services. You can copy any data to the cloud folder on your Android device and sync it to Windows.
7. Transfer Small Files Using Email
Email was the first extensively used method of non-disk data transfer between devices and remains a useful option for many. All you need to do is attach the data to an email on your phone and send it to yourself.
Then on your computer, access that message, and you can download the file. It’s pretty easy to do it this way, but clunky, so should only be used as a last resort. The other solutions listed above are more effective.
Transferring Files From Android to PC Is Easy
With so many methods of transferring data of any size from your phone or tablet to your Windows PC, you’re really spoiled for choice. The only problem you might have now is deciding which method you prefer.
To transfer files from Android to PC, use any of these methods:
- USB cable
- Use an SD card
- Cloud storage (e.g. Dropbox)
And you aren’t just limited to moving files between Android and a desktop computer. You can move your Android files over to an iPhone as well.
How to Transfer Data From an Android Phone to a New iPhone