It is often a pain to transfer files (even things like high-res photos) from your Android device to your PC. Yes, but it’s not impossible. Sometimes it’s a photo, sometimes it’s a song, and many other times it’s some sort of document, presentation, or other file that needs transferred. As it turns out, you have several options, such as a USB cable, Bluetooth, and cloud sync. Alternatively, you might use an app like AirDroid or Pushbullet. Perhaps you’ll resort to emailing the file or photo. There are actually quite a few ways to transfer files from Android to PC (and back again) and we’ll take a look at them here.
Steps to Transfer Files from Android to PC
1. Transfer Files from Android to PC With Bluetooth File Transfer
Bluetooth still has a lot of benefits in a Wi-Fi dominated age, and though pairing isn’t as quick or easy as using cloud storage. You can do it without the need of Wi-Fi. Turn on Bluetooth on your PC and mobile device. Is Bluetooth enabled on your PC? to enable Bluetooth on Windows: Press Win + I to open Settings. Open the Devices section and select the Bluetooth & other devices tab on the left. Here, switch Bluetooth to On and click Add Bluetooth or other device. Select Bluetooth once more to commence the scan for compatible devices. Then look on your computer to see if it detects any nearby device. Try checking the “Devices and Printers” panel if there’s no automatic connection.
Most PCs will then move onto a confirmation task, where you have to type in a code or compare numbers. This will allow the computer to pair with your mobile device. The device should then appear in your list of connected drives when you look at your menu or file browser. On many PCs, you can select “Send a File” from the Bluetooth menu by clicking on the Bluetooth logo in the bottom-right corner of your screen. You can also manage Bluetooth devices more directly from the Devices and Printers panel, if necessary.
Bluetooth is a reliable method because most devices offer Bluetooth connectivity, and once paired, it’s easy to automatically pair again. If you have a very old computer and a newer mobile device, however, there may be some trouble with matching protocols. There’s also the possibility that your computer may not have Bluetooth. Although you could purchase a Bluetooth adaptor, that doesn’t exactly help you transfer those files right now.
2. Transfer 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.
Begin by installing and opening the AirDroid mobile app. AirDroid will request permission to access calls, call logs, and media on your device. To use the app to its full capability, select Allow for these options.
Various tools are available in AirDroid. For the purposes for transferring files to a PC, ensure the Files option is set to On.
Next, head to AirDroid’s download page and grab the desktop client.
If you’re not prompted to sign in, select one of the icons or menus to prompt for your details.
On your phone, browse to the file you’re sharing, select it, and use the sharing menu to find AirDroid. Choose the file and send it.
Need to send files from your PC to your Android device? Simply drag and drop the file from your desktop into the AirDroid client.
3. Transfer Files From Android 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 again 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 into the web client or download the dedicated Windows app.
To send a file to your PC, tap the menu button in the app and selecting Pushing. Next, tap the paperclip icon, select your image, and hit the Send button.
A moment later, the image will appear in the web client next to the name of the sending device.
Almost instantaneously, if you’re on the same network, you’ll see the file appear in your browser window.
4. Transfer Files From Android to Shared Windows Folders
If you’re using an Android file manager and have a dedicated Windows sharing folder on your local network, copying data to your PC from Android is straightforward.
Although this method uses ES File Explorer, you have many other file manager choices on Google Play. You’ll probably find a similar function in the app you use.
ES File Manager has a feature called View on PC, which you can open by tapping the menu and expanding Network.
Tap Turn on to enable, then copy the displayed FTP address into your PC’s web browser (or file manager). You’ll see a browsable folder structure of your Android device. Here, it’s easy to find the data you want to share to your PC.
Once you’ve found it, right-click and select Copy To Folder. Browse to the location on your PC and click OK copy the data from your phone to your computer. This method is similar to using USB, but without the cable.
5. Transfer Files From Android to PC With a USB Cable
Equipped with just your phone and PC? Have the original USB cable that shipped with your phone handy? It’s always preferable to use the original to avoid any possible issues.
This is all you need for transferring files from your Android device to your PC in its most basic form. Connecting your phone to your PC with a cable may not have the slickness of using an app over Wi-Fi, but it’s certainly effective.
When you first connect your Android device to your PC, you’ll see the Allow accessnotification. Tap Allow to proceed, then drag the notification shade down. Look for USB file transfer turned on and tap this to view the full preferences. Make sure you have File transfer selected so the devices can see each other.
Next, turn your attention to your Windows computer. 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.
6. 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.
7. Transfer Files Over Cloud Storage or Email
Most of the best cloud storage providers offer a reasonable alternative to Wi-Fi transfer apps. You also don’t actually need Wi-Fi for every step when using a cloud sharing service. Simply fire up your favorite browser, register for a cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox and then upload your files. Afterward, you can download the app for your phone. And as long as you have a Wi-Fi or data connection access the same information.
The information will remain floating in the cloud, but it’s accessible from either destination. This is useful for when you need to transfer data between different platforms, and it makes it easy to share said info with friends and coworkers.
However, both drag-and-drop transfers and cloud services have some security issues. If you’re not using a secure wireless network, then data theft is a possibility. Be smart about your transfers and sensitive information. We recommend enabling two-step verification and using a unique password. Store it in a password manager on all your cloud storage accounts.
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. While this is a quick and dirty method, it’s pretty clunky. Any of the above options is much better if you need to do this often.
8. Try an NFC Connection
NFC stands for near field communication. It’s a data transfer technology that many phones and some computers now possess. This protocol requires your devices to be physically close. Hence the frequent “bump” and “tap” apps, but it’s still safer when compared to wireless transfers.
That said, it’s a bit more time-consuming and often limited. Apple, for example, only uses NFC for payment purposes.
Even if you can’t establish an NFC connection directly with your PC, take a look at external hard drives and similar devices that can use NFC. This may be an easy way to quickly transfer data to and from your PC using an intermediary device. Plus, you get an external hard drive to use in other situations.
9. When All Else Fails, Try a USB Drive
While the commonplace USB drive has recently fallen out of favor due to wireless functionality and the aforementioned cloud, sometimes the best option is still using a flash drive or an external hard drive to move your files. Not only is setting up a USB connection safer than transferring your data wirelessly, it’s ideal when you want to save a lot of content and transfer it all at once to multiple devices without weighing down your wireless network.
The key is picking out the right USB device to use. Many Android devices, for example, use USB On-The-Go. It can pair with compatible USB storage devices and allows for quick transfers between your PC and Android device.
Another alternative to consider is a wireless media reader. These are external hard drives that use SD cards or USB drives that can create their own hotspot. Thus giving you a plethora of connection options for both your PC and mobile devices. You won’t even need a wireless network nearby. Just think of them as a jack-of-all-trades for moving content around.
Transferring Files From Android to PC Is Easy
With so many different 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.
Hope the methods mentioned above was useful for you to transfer your files easily from your Android device to PC. If you have any question, don’t hesitate to share with us in the comment box below.