Moving files in between your Android maker and a home windows PC, Mac, or Chromebook doesn"t have to be daunting — or dependence on any type of cloud services.

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A couple of simple swipes, and also you're top top your method to accessing the files and folders on your Android phone native your computer or apologize computer. JR Raphael to walk you through these simple steps.

Your smartphone is a an effective computer in her pocket — and also with Android, component of the PC-like muscle way being able to plug her phone into any Windows, Mac, or Chrome OS system and also then drag and drop files either way.

Unlike iPhones, Android devices allow you to access their document systems directly from a desktop, there is no the require for any kind of cumbersome interfaces or facility procedures. In fact, transferring records to or from an Android device is usually no different than plugging an external hard drive into your computer and moving data to or from it.

All you need is your phone, her computer, and a cable to attach "em — with micro-USB or USB-C top top the call side and USB-A or USB-C on the computer system side, relying on the specifically, of your devices. (Most present Android phones use USB-C, whereas many pre-2016 tools have the older micro-USB standard. USB-A, meanwhile, is the timeless connector harbor you"re provided to seeing on computers, though an ext and an ext models now also offer USB-C.) There"s a decent chance that the very same cable the connects your phone to its wall charger will certainly work.


Got it? Good. Here"s what you need to do next, relying on whether you have a Windows, macOS, or Chrome OS system:

Android document transfers for home windows computers

With Windows, things room as basic as can be. Simply plug her phone into any kind of open USB harbor on the computer, then revolve on her phone"s screen and unlock the device.

Swipe her finger under from the height of the screen, and you need to see a notification about the existing USB connection. At this point, it"ll most likely tell you her phone is associated only because that charging.

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JR Raphael/IDG

After you connect your phone to your computer, a notice will let friend prepare it for carrying files.

Tap the notification and pick "Transfer files" or "File transfer" in the menu that appears. If media papers are every you"re planning come move, girlfriend could additionally use the "Transfer photos" (sometimes listed as "PTP") option, which"ll treat your phone favor a digital camera. Once you"ve made your selection, go to your desktop and open up up a record Explorer home window using the an approach that makes the most sense because that your windows configuration:


Click the paper Explorer symbol in her taskbarOpen the start menu and also click This pc or ComputerClick the This PC, Computer, or My computer icon on her desktop

Then look for an icon representing her phone alongside other portable devices and also drives. Click or double-click that icon, and also ta-da! You"re staring at your Android phone"s interior storage. You can now click around and browse folders, drag and drop files in between your phone and also PC, or manipulate the data in any means you want.

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JR Raphael/IDG

Your Android phone"s storage looks like any regular difficult drive as soon as viewed native a computer.

Android file transfers for Mac computers

Got a Mac? The Android file transfer process is a little more facility for you — but fear not, because that it"s quiet pretty darn easy.

The main distinction is that prior to things will work, you"ll need to download and install an main Google program dubbed Android file Transfer. To use the program, her Mac should be running macOS 10.7 or later, and your Android machine must have Android 3.0 or later on — other that must pretty lot be a given with any kind of reasonably recent Android product.

Once the program"s in location on her Mac, simply plug her phone into your computer, revolve on her phone"s screen and also unlock the device, and then look for the very same USB status notice described above.

Tap the an alert and select "Transfer files" or "File transfer." The Android document Transfer program have to then automatically open on your Mac, and you should have the ability to browse your phone"s storage and transfer documents to your heart"s content.

If the official Android record Transfer routine doesn"t work well because that you — a vexingly usual complaint among Mac individuals these job — consider the favorably reviewed third-party command One agree as an alternative. It costs $30 because that a solitary license, $100 because that a five-user team license, or $150 for a 50-user firm license.

Or — well, skip under to the final section that this story for one various other option.

Android file transfers for Chrome OS computers

You"d expect paper transfers between Android phones and Chromebooks to be as basic as can be, since Google"s the driving force behind both that those operating systems — and also by golly, you"d it is in absolutely right.

Just choose on a windows system, all you"ve gotta carry out to connect your Android phone come a Chromebook is plug that into any type of open USB port, then tap the USB charging notification on the phone and select either "Transfer files" or "File transfer" indigenous the note that shows up — or select "Transfer photos" or "PTP" if you desire your phone to it is in treated choose a camera, through a focus solely on multimedia files.

Once you perform that, the Chrome OS Files app should automatically show up on her Chromebook with your phone present as among the warehouse options. The system will probably also prompt girlfriend to back up every one of your phone"s media files to Google Drive; you can permit that, if you"d like, or i disbanded it and simply drag and also drop documents in one of two people direction as needed.

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JR Raphael/IDG

Pulling up her Android phone"s warehouse on a Chromebook is basic as have the right to be — and typically has a one-click choice to copy all her device"s media files as well.

There"s really not lot to it — nor must there be.

And if you desire an also simpler means to take treatment of business...

Don’t like cables?

Hey, wait a minute — aren’t over there apps and also cloud services for this type of thing? certain there are, and we"ve gained you extended there, too. Check out "Transferring records wirelessly between devices" in our in-depth Android paper management overview for everything there is come know.

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This article was initially published in august 2017 and also updated in October 2019.