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How to transfer files from your Android to your PC: Guide

If you are struggling to transfer the data but you are unable to do the needful, then this article is for you. Here are 5 ways to transfer the data from your Android device to your PC.

Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Updated on: August 24, 2023 16:22 IST
Android, tech news, pc
Image Source : FREEPIK How to transfer files from your Android to your PC

While the latest Android smartphones usually offer a minimum of 128GB storage, this capacity might not meet everyone's needs. You might want to free up space by backing up photos or moving downloaded music to your computer. Android's open ecosystem provides multiple methods for accomplishing this task. You can employ a USB cable, Bluetooth, third-party apps, or local wireless connections. With numerous choices available, deciding which approach to take can be challenging. Here are 5 user-friendly methods to transfer files from an Android phone to a Windows PC or a Mac.

USB cable

Utilizing the USB cable provided with your smartphone is likely the simplest method to establish a connection and transfer files to your computer. If your phone utilizes the newer USB Type-C-to-Type-C cable and your computer lacks a USB-C port, you might require a different cable. Nevertheless, if this compatibility concern doesn't arise, the included charging cable suffices to facilitate file transfers between the two devices.

The speed of the transfer is contingent on the cable type and the storage specifications of both devices. For instance, if your phone employs eMMC storage, the transfer speed is relatively slower, whereas devices equipped with UFS experience faster transfers. Likewise, the process of transferring files to a SATA drive on a PC consumes more time compared to an SSD.

When transferring files to a Windows PC, follow these simple steps:

  1. Connect your smartphone to the PC by using the USB cable.
  2. On your phone, a notification or pop-up will appear. Choose "File transfer" or "Android Auto" as your USB preference.
  3. A file transfer window will open on your PC. Alternatively, navigate to "This PC" via File Explorer and locate the folder named after your phone.
  4. Browse your phone's contents and drag files to a designated folder on your PC. Typically, photos are in the Camera > DCIM folder, and downloads are in the Downloads folder.
  5. You can also select and copy files, then paste them into your preferred folder on the PC.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth is another option for file transfers if a USB cable is unavailable. However, it's important to note that transfer speeds with Bluetooth are relatively slow, making it suitable for smaller file sizes. While sending a single attachment or a photo from your gallery should work well, it's advisable to avoid using Bluetooth for lengthy videos or large photo albums due to the slower speeds.

Here's a step-by-step guide for using Bluetooth to transfer files:

  1. Enable Bluetooth on both your phone and PC/Mac. On Android, you can do this from Quick Settings by pulling down the notification shade. On Mac and Windows, look for the Bluetooth icon in the status bar or control center.
  2. Search for available devices on your Windows PC or Mac and choose your phone to pair with.
  3. A pin will be shown on both devices to confirm the connection. Ensure the pins match before accepting the connection.
  4. On a Mac, an extra step is needed. Open System Preferences > Sharing and enable Bluetooth Sharing.
  5. Find the file or photo on your smartphone that you desire to transfer.
  6. Tap the Share icon and select Bluetooth.
  7. On a PC, right-click on the Bluetooth icon on the Taskbar and choose "Receive a File." Then select the source device, and the file will be sent to your Documents folder. On a Mac, the file goes to the Downloads folder for immediate access.

ShareDrop

ShareDrop presents a convenient way to transfer files between your Android phone and Windows PC or Mac without any app installation. This web-based solution utilizes an encrypted peer-to-peer connection, powered by WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) technology. To begin, ensure that both your phone and computer are connected to the same network, and then follow the steps outlined below.
To use ShareDrop for file transfer between your Android phone and desktop:

  1. Open your preferred desktop browser and visit ShareDrop.
  2. Click the "+" icon located in the upper-right corner.
  3. Copy the web address and open it on your Android phone, or use your Android device to scan the QR code.
  4. Your phone's default browser will open ShareDrop. Choose your avatar.
  5. Access "Files" and select the images and videos you want to transfer. Tap "Send."
  6. ShareDrop on your desktop prompts you to save the files. Click "Save."
  7. Retrieve your downloaded files from the File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) app.

Google Drive

Another convenient choice for file sharing is through cloud storage. Your Google account, used for setting up your Android phone, comes with a default 15GB Google Drive storage, accessible on both Windows PCs and Macs. This allows you to share multiple files simultaneously. Google Drive is accessible to all Android users, and the following steps guide its usage.

  1. Launch the Google Drive app on your Android device.
  2. Tap the + button in the bottom-right corner and choose Upload.
  3. Select the files you wish to share from the list and wait as they upload (this may take a while for larger files).
  4. Open drive.google.com in your desktop browser and ensure you're signed in with the same Google account as on your phone.
  5. Your uploaded files are now available for download.

For a seamless file transfer experience between Android and Windows or Mac using Google Drive, consider installing and configuring Drive for desktop. This integration allows you to access Google Drive directly from the File Manager (Windows) or Finder (Mac) menu. Additionally, you have the option to enhance your storage capacity and access premium customer support by upgrading to a Google One plan.

OneDrive

With a Microsoft 365 subscription, users gain access to 1TB of storage on OneDrive, Microsoft's integrated cloud storage service. This service is seamlessly integrated into the Windows environment. If you're already a Microsoft 365 subscriber, opting for OneDrive could be a preferred choice over Google Drive for transferring files between your Android phone and Windows or Mac devices.

Follow these steps to seamlessly transfer files from your Android phone to your Windows or Mac desktop using OneDrive:

  1. Download and install the OneDrive app on your Android device.
  2. Launch the OneDrive app and log in using your Microsoft account credentials.
  3. Tap the + icon located at the top, then choose "Upload" to begin uploading files to your OneDrive account.
  4. On your Windows computer, open File Explorer by pressing Windows key + E. Locate your OneDrive account in the left sidebar.
  5. Access your uploaded files on your desktop for easy use.
 

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