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Here's how to find phone files on a PC with an Android smartphone

You can get it done in just a minute or two.

Published onNovember 18, 2023

Sometimes, you may want to access files on your smartphone from your Windows PC. However, there are a few things you need to do before you can do this. And while there are some great apps for moving Android files to a PC, you don’t really need one. Here’s what you can do to find phone files on a PC.


To find your Android phone files on a PC, connect your phone to your PC with a USB cable, and tap the notification that says Charging this device via USB. Tap on the notification again, and select File transfer / Android Auto. Your phone will show up on your PC, with the files available for access.

Editor’s note: We used a Google Pixel 7a running Android 14 and an HONOR MagicBook 14 running Windows 11. Some steps may be slightly different depending on your hardware and software version.

How to find phone files on a PC

Let’s go over the instructions to find phone files on a PC, step by step.

  1. Plug your Android phone into your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Once plugged in, move to your smartphone.
  3. Slide your finger down from the top of the screen to pull out your notifications.
  4. Tap on the notification that reads Charging this device via USB. This will expand it.
  5. Tap the same notification again.
  6. Select File transfer / Android Auto.
  7. Now, move to your computer. Launch the File Explorer.
  8. Go to This PC.
  9. You should see your phone under Devices and drives. Double-click it.
  10. Go into Internal shared storage.
  11. You should see all your files here!


Any USB cable should work, but some cables are faster than others. We have a guide to the different types of USB cables, if you need some help understanding the differences.

Also, you will need to keep in mind the type of ports your device and computers support. Your Android phone likely has a USB-C port, but it might also have a micro-USB one. Additionally, your computer might have standard USB-A, USB-C, or a combination of both.

What’s best in terms of USB-C cables depends on what your specific phone/PC supports, what you want out of the cable, and more. We have a list of the best USB-C cables, if you need some recommendations.

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