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 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.
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 on Windows, then Android.
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.
At the same time, open the Quick Settings panel on Android by swiping down twice from the top of the screen. Here, long-press Bluetooth. In the resulting menu, tap Pair new device and wait while your phone discovers your computer. You’ll be asked by both devices to confirm a security code to pair them.
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 at the bottom-right corner of your OC. 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 and select Bluetooth to share the data, then pick your PC in the subsequent list.
Once the data has transferred, you should receive notice that the file transfer has completed successfully. You’ll be asked where to save it, so browse to your preferred destination and click Finish.
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. We’ve featured this useful service previously, so check out our definitive Pushbullet tutorial to learn more about it.
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 access notification. 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.
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.
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
As a last resort, you can take advantage of two everyday types of apps.
With cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive you might have 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.
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.
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.
If you’re looking for methods to transfer files between other platforms, check out the fastest file transfer methods between PCs and mobile devices.