One of the more common things people need to do is transfer files from their mobile device or tablet to their desktop. 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. 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.
- Put some more bounce in your step with the best productivity apps for Android!
- Get even more work done with the best office apps for Android!
AirDroid is one of the most popular ways to access your Android device from your PC. With it you can do things like send/receive SMS messages, see notifications, and they’re currently testing out ways to control Android and use apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, etc but that feature requires root. There are also plenty of other features. Of course, you can also send files to your PC from Android and vice versa and you don’t have to connect your device to any specific network to do it. It’s a great way to put your Android device on your computer.
One of the most popular ways to deal with files is to put them in cloud storage. Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box.com, and many other cloud storage companies let you sync your device to the cloud and also have integration with PC. Thus, you can send files to the cloud then access them in your web browser or download them to your PC for later use. Then you can upload stuff to your cloud storage from your PC and access them on your Android device. Uploads can take some time, depending on your Internet speed, but it’s a great way to not only transfer, but store files in a place where everyone can see them. Check out this article for the best cloud storage apps!
[Price: Free / $4.99 per month / $39.99 per year]
In the space of apps that connect PCs to Android devices, Pushbullet is right up there with AirDroid as one that is considered “among the best”. It does the SMS send/receive from PC along with stuff like copying a link from Android and pasting it on PC, check notifications, and file transfers. Like AirDroid, your device connects to your PC regardless of what data network its on so you can transfer files and check messages from anywhere which is nice and the developers have been working hard to create a clean cut and efficient interface as well. There’s also a Chrome extension for easier use. It’s free to use many of the features, but obtaining all of them will run you about $40/year.
[Price: Free / $2.99]
Solid Explorer has grown up quite a bit in a short time and is now among the best file manager apps available right now. On top of being a top notch experience for browsing your various files, it also comes with FTP, SFTP, WebDav, and SMB/CIFS baked in so you can connect to the Internet in various ways and download various files. It also has cloud storage support for a variety of services which can help you navigate them fmore quickly. It also comes with foot tools, Chromecast support, and a ton of other features. It’s free to try as a trial, but eventually you’ll have to fork out the $2.99 to use the full version.
Sync by BitTorrent is an application that those with security concerns should definitely read more about. Sync allows you to pair your device with a computer without using the cloud or anything like that so you can transfer files between your devices directly. It has some decent features, including automatic camera backup, universal file type support, and the biggest feature is that it connects directly to your computer with no middle man. You can transfer as many files as your computer hard drive will hold and essentially turns your computer or laptop into your own, personal cloud storage server. It’s completely free to use, so check it out!
Non-app ways to transfer files
If apps aren’t your deal, there are still some other ways to transfer files from your PC to Android and vice versa.
- Use Bluetooth – If your laptop has a Bluetooth module or if you have a Bluetooth dongle for your desktop or laptop, you can pair your device with your computer using Bluetooth and send files that way. Do be warned, the transfer rates are very slow and you’ll probably only want to do this with small text files, pictures, or documents. You probably don’t want to use this for stuff like large videos or lots of files at once.
- USB On-The-Go – USB OTG cables allow you to connect your device to USB devices such as mice, keyboards, and external hard drives. That also includes flash drives. You can use the cable to transfer documents to your flash drive or external hard drive or off of those things on to your Android device. They’re also relatively cheap on sites like Amazon and eBay.
- Share to email – This only works with small files like photos or documents, but you can send most types of files over email. There is a size limit for most services (usually around 20MB), but that’s more than enough for something like a simple PDF file, a document, or even some music files. It’s not optimal but it’s easy and everyone has email.
Related best app lists:
- Here are the best apps for screen recording, and other ways too!
- Get the latest weather right on your home screen with these awesome weather apps and weather widgets!
If we missed any of the best methods or apps to transfer files from Android to PC, tell us about them in the comments! This is an update of a formerly written article, so check the comments for some suggestions from our readers! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.