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.
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. The transfer rates are very slow. You’ll want to only use this solution for small files. 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. Most emails have a limit of around 25MB for attachments. It’ll work for the occasional photo.
- Share to chat – This works for a number of file types, especially if you use something like Discord, Slack, or Skype. You send yourself the file in a chat on one device and retrieve it on another. This should work for smaller files like photos. Skype and Slack have support for things like PDF files, archived (zipped) files, and other document types as well. It’s quick and it works fine for smaller stuff.
- Use your data/charging cable – This one is fairly obvious. Just plug your phone into your computer using the USB cable that comes with your charger. It should work for most stuff.
- Your micro SD card – Devices with micro SD card support can transfer files much like flash drives. You use a file manager app to move the files to the SD card, pop it out of your phone (after turning it off, of course), and then use an adapter to put it into your card reader on your laptop or a different adapter to connect it to your computer’s USB drive. You can find adapters for both variants easily on Amazon.
If we missed any of the best methods or apps to transfer files from Android to PC, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!