With smartphones becoming a near-essential part of everyday life, you may find yourself in moments where you want to transfer files between an Android device and your Windows machine. Fortunately, it’s very easy to achieve this these days with a number of good third-party apps (as well as onboard Windows methods, to an extent) here to help.
Here we cover the best ways to move files from Android to Windows and vice versa.
Share Android Files with Windows
It’s worth noting that there are plenty of ways to perform this transfer. Bluetooth is useful, as is plugging in a cable between your PC and your phone. However, this tutorial focuses on how to transfer over your Wi-Fi network. Even with these restrictions, the competition is pretty tight. We’re focusing on two apps to transfer files between Android and Windows 10: Your Phone and Sweech.
Your Phone App
For a couple of years now, Windows has had the “Phone companion” feature. It used to be pretty threadbare and still doesn’t just give you full access to everything that’s on your phone, but certainly does the job of managing and moving Android photos through Windows 10, as well as reading, sending and deleting messages.
On your Android device, you need to get the “Your Phone Companion” app, while on Windows, the “Your Phone” app should already be on your PC. You can find it by searching for “your phone” through a Start menu search. (If it’s not there, you can download Your Phone from the Microsoft Store.)
Once you have both of these apps on their respective devices, open “Your Phone” on your PC, making sure that your phone and PC are connected to the same network.
Follow the instructions to connect your devices, then once you’re in the app, click the “Photos” icon in the pane on the left to look at all the images on your phone.
From here, you can copy-paste images to your PC, open them in a desktop app, or even drag and drop them straight onto your desktop! Simple.
The other app we’re focusing on is Sweech, because it’s very quick to set up; you can be transferring files within one to two minutes of downloading it!
When you download Sweech, press the large play button that appears and give the app permission to access your files. Sweech will show you a local IP address and port.
Type it into the web browser on your PC, hit Enter, and you’ll see your phone’s file system.
You can browse your phone as if it were a folder on your PC. This includes dragging files from your phone onto your PC, as well as putting files into folders on your phone. Once you’re done, tap the Stop button on the app to shut off the file transfer.
Every time you use Sweech, it will use the same IP address and port. As such, if you don’t want to keep typing in the address when you use Sweech, you can bookmark the page for quick access.
You can use the shortcuts on the left to filter content by type. You can even send data to your phone’s clipboard from your PC. Just type what you want on it, then click the blue clipboard icon to transfer it to the phone.
How to Share Windows Files with Android
Accessing Windows folders on Android is a little trickier. First, you need to make the file or folder accessible by outside devices.
Making a File or Folder Public
The easy way to do this is to move or copy the files over to your Windows Public folder. Typically, this is located at “C:\Users\Public”. This folder is special because it’s automatically set up to allow other users on your network to access it.
If you want to share a folder without moving it to Public, you can set it up as if it were in the Public folder. To do this, right-click the file or folder you want to share, then click Properties.
Go to the Sharing tab, then click Share.
On the drop-down menu, select “Everyone,” then click Add. Click on Share at the bottom right.
By default, you’ll need your user credentials to access your PC’s public folders from outside. If you’d rather not enter them every time and trust all the devices on your network, you can instead disable the requirement and allow guests to see your public files.
To do this, type “advanced sharing” in the Start menu and select the option that appears.
Scroll down to the “All Networks” category – you may need to expand it. In this category, find “Turn off password-protected sharing” and click it, then click Save Changes.
Now you can access your public files without logging in. Be sure to turn this back on if you don’t want others on your network snooping on your files!
Accessing the Files on Android
Now it’s time to get access to those files. You’ll need a file explorer that has LAN capabilities so that it can access your PC.
If you have an app of choice, use that. For this article, however, we are using FE File Explorer. We chose this app because it makes it easy to connect to your PC, whether you’re using an account or a guest login.
When you boot up FE File Explorer, tap the Plus button at the bottom right.
Tap on “Windows.”
Here, you can enter the network details of your PC. If you’re on the same Wi-Fi network as your PC, you need not bother – just scroll to the bottom and find your PC in the neighborhood section.
The app will ask you if you want to log in to your PC or use a guest account. If you kept password-protected sharing on, select the top option and log in. If you turned it off, select the guest option.
Once done, you should now be able to navigate your PC’s public folders. Navigate to the files you want to download, then either tap the three dots next to a single file to see all the actions you can perform or hold-press a file to select multiple files to download or move.
As you can see, it is quite easy to transfer files between Android and Windows 10. If you are using Mac, you can make use of OpenMTP to transfer files from Android to Mac. You can even transfer files from your Android phone to your Smart TV.
Remember, there’s a lot more you can do if you have a Windows PC and an Android phone. For starters, you can send text messages from your desktop, run Android on your PC, and also install Windows 10 from Android.