How do I transfer files from my android smartphone to windows laptop?

NOTE: Bluetooth is working fine on both the devices and is in ON mode.


4 Answers 4


There are a lot of different ways to get files to/from computer to Android device. Here I would like to share three methods frequently used:
1. Transfer Files Using USB Cable.
2. Wireless Transfer Using Cloud Storage.
3. Transfer Files via WiFi or Mobile Networks.

The following is the detailed intro of these three ways.

Transfer Files Using USB Cable
The most direct and simplest way to transfer a file from your PC to android phone is using the USB cable. Most of the phones we bought equip with a compatible cable, so there’s no need for you to buy one. Just connect your PC and your Android using the cable, and you will see there’s a message on the phone screen asking what do you want to do.
Choose the option that allows using the phone as a storage device, and you’re good to go. Transferring file is as simple as copying the file from your PC to a USB drive.
Note: The exact format of the message varies, depending on the manufacturer or your telecom carrier of your android phone, but different roads lead to the same destination.

Wireless Transfer Using Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is famous for online collaboration and easily sharing data across multiple devices, like file servers, desktops and mobile devices. So using cloud storage to transfer files is also a convenient way. Most of the big players, such as Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive, provide free spaces to users, which is big enough to transfer your commonly used files.
All you have to do is to register a free account. And install the PC client and app for your android phone. Each app designates a hard drive folder, and anything saved on your PC will be automatically synced to the cloud and other devices.

Transfer Files via WiFi or Mobile Networks
Some people may think connecting Android device to PC with the USB cable is annoying, or using the Cloud Services is not reliable enough, here I will introduce you another method, using WiFi. Most people have WiFi networks at their workplace or home, so it’s really convenient.
There are lots of apps allow you to use the WiFi to transfer files. Let’s take one of them-WiFi File Transfer -for an example. All you have to do is type a specific URL into the web browser of your computer, you can see your device’s internal memory and SD card, from where you can download any files to your computer, or upload files to your phone.

Contrast of the Three Ways
The limit of WiFi File Transfer and Cloud Storage is the size of the file, the free version of these apps limit the file size. You can transfer the music, pictures, movies, word document, etc by above two ways. For files with large size, you can use the USB cable directly.

6 Ways (via Network) are here

  • Is there an app which i can install on my android smartphone and use the bluetooth to transfer the pictures from the smartphone to my laptop ? Jan 6, 2014 at 5:40
  • I do not have an internet connection on my smartphone, but i do have an internet connection on my laptop. Jan 6, 2014 at 5:42
  • I think you can send files from mobile to PC(which have a bluetooth antenna) without using any apps. Just do it as how you done with phone-to-phone.
    – Akhil
    Jan 6, 2014 at 6:07
  • +1. Thanks. Does using bluetooth on both phone and computer turn the phone into some server (web, ftp, ... server)?
    – Tim
    Aug 18, 2015 at 16:29

If you are using Windows, USB should be your best bet. But several distros of Linux doesn't support MTP protocol (ICS and above) and hence, you can't mount your Android to those computers. There are a number of methods which you can use for wireless file transfers. My favorites:

  1. Install Airdroid- This is a very simple app which converts your device into a lightweight web-server. After installation, connect your PC to your Android over WiFi hotspot or existing infrastructure WiFi network. Airdroid will give you a web address. Just type it in your PC web browser and you would get a nice file management interface for your phone.

  2. Use any FTP server for android (like remote file management tool of ES File Explorer)- The connectivity method is the same as mentioned above. Here you can use FTP for file transfer over USB (Tethering mode) or WiFi (Hotspot mode). This is very handy if you're using Ubuntu (due to FTP client integration in Nautilus). In Ubuntu, press Ctrl + L and type the ftp://:/ in file path. You should get full SD card mounted as network drive.

I've been using the second method since past few months. Since android WiFi access point always gives the same IP, I've managed to put everything in a bash script to facilitate one click mount.

BASH Script:

nautilus ftp://<device_ip>:<port_no>/

Don't forget to grant 'execute' permission to your shell script!

sudo chmod 777 <path_to_your_script>
  • 2
    Why 777? You can just chmod +x. 777 is bad practice.
    – p1xel
    Jan 7, 2014 at 8:05
  • +1. Thanks. Does using bluetooth on both phone and computer turn the phone into some server (web, ftp, ... server)?
    – Tim
    Aug 18, 2015 at 16:29
  • Also I followed your second method, but it seems that I can't move a directory of my phone from my computer. What do I miss?
    – Tim
    Aug 18, 2015 at 17:30
  • @Tim: Some FTP servers don't support recursive file operations. That's why you might be getting this issue. Are you able to copy and paste single file (from server to client)? Aug 18, 2015 at 17:34
  • @Tim: Bluetooth file transfer is also based on client-server model. It uses a specialized object exchange technology, called OBEX, which facilitates file transfer over asynchronous radio link. Aug 18, 2015 at 17:50

when you connect your android phone to the windows pc you will get notification in notification in notification panel of android . Tap on it and choose mobile device (MTP) to browse the contents of your phone both internal and external memory will be shown .

the below link will give you a short description about it :



Email yourself the files. It is often the easiest solution.

  • Easiest? Perhaps. Most time-consuming and inconvenient? Almost always.
    – dotVezz
    Jan 7, 2014 at 2:50

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