How to Transfer Files From Android to PC Using USB Cable
Last Updated: February 11, 2016
The easiest way of transferring files from Android to or from your Windows PC or laptop is to use a USB cable.
Using a USB cable you can transfer files:
- To and from Android internal and external storage and your PC/laptop
- Between the internal and external storage on the Android tablet or phone.
- Transfer files from one Android device to another Android device e.g from phone to tablet
To transfer files plug the USB cable (micro usb ) into your android device, and the other end into a USB port on your PC.
Note: Works with Windows XP,Vista, Windows 7,8,10
- Locate your drives and devices on your PC.The android device appears as a portable hard drive. In my case it shows as nexus 7.
Note: your tablet/phone needs to be switched on
2.Double click the phone icon (nexus 7 icon), and you will see a disk icon, double click this disk icon to show the files and folders on the attached android device. (screen shot below)
You should note that not all files and folders on your Android device are accessible to your PC.
Android system files are protected and are not visible.
3. You can now transfer files from Android to your PC, and vice-versa just by dragging and dropping as you would when moving files between folders on Windows.
Here is a short video showing how it is done
If you have an external SD card installed on the device it will show as a second hard drive (see below) and you can move files to and from your PC to the external storage/SD card.
Note: You can also transfer files to a Mac but you will need to install and use the Android File Transfer program on Your Mac.
Transfer Files Between Internal and External Storage
You can also use your PC to transfer files between Internal and external storage on your android phone or tablet.
When you open a device that has an external SD card installed you will see both the internal and external storage displayed as two separate drives.
You can open each drive in a new window and move files between them just as if they were on your PC.
Transfer Files Between Android Devices
You can also use a Windows PC to transfer files between two Android devices using two USB cables.
Attach each device to your PC using a USB cable and the devices should appear under drives and devices.
Open the drives in Windows File manager and drag and drop the files to the desired location.
Android USB Settings
If you have problems transferring files then check that your device is configured to transfer files using MTP.
To check/change the setting then go to Settings and under devices select storage by pressing it.
Press the menu icon (top right and you should see USB connection tab appear.
Press it and the settings are displayed. Check that it is configured to use MTP.
Common Questions and Answers
Q- Can I delete files from my Android tablet/phone from my PC.
A- Yes you can.
Q- Can I transfer Files to an External SD card?
A- Yes if your phone/tablet has an external SD card then it shows as a separate hard drive.
Q- Can I access Android system files using this method?
A- No you can’t. You are limited to your SDcard folder.
Q- Do I need any special software on my PC/laptop to do this?
A- No You can use the standard Windows File Manager.
Q- Does my phone or tablet need to be switched on ?
A- Yes it does
Articles and Resources:
- Transfer Files between Android and A PC Using Wi-fi
- Understanding the Android File and Directory Structure
- Understanding and Managing Android Storage
- Google nexus help- Transfer files through USB