Need to transfer a file from your phone or tablet device to your computer but don’t know how? It’s a common problem and one that can be tricky to solve if you don’t already know how to transfer files from device to device. Luckily, you have options, and the process isn’t that complicated once you know how it’s done.
1. USB Transfer
For this method you’ll need to have the correct cable for your phone.
The newest Android devices will need a USB-C cable. Recent, but not cutting-edge, Android devices will need a micro-USB cable. Some older devices may need a mini-USB cable. Googling the model of your phone or device plus “USB type” can help you find out which you’ll need. If you don’t know your phone’s model, you can check the model of your device in its settings menu.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you’ll need an Apple Lightning cable. Pick the cable designed for your model of iPhone.
To transfer files, connect your device and desktop with the USB cable. When both devices are plugged in, your computer will let you know it has discovered your phone. Depending on your operating system, you may need to click an option that reads something along the lines of “let me browse and transfer files” on the menu that appears – the exact wording will vary from operating system to operating system.
If no menu appears, don’t worry, your computer might have gone ahead and recognized your phone and set it up for file transfer.
Then, you can browse through your device’s storage to find your downloaded file and transfer it to any location on your desktop.
This method is similar to the USB transfer method but with no cables necessary. It does, however, require a desktop with Bluetooth connectivity.
To begin, pair your devices using Bluetooth. This process will vary from operating system to operating system, but you will most likely need to search for other Bluetooth devices on both your phone and desktop.
Once both devices have discovered each other, you will need to pair your phone and desktop on each device.
When your devices have connected with each other, open your desktop’s file browser and navigate to your phone’s storage. From there, move the downloaded file to any location on your desktop.
3. Cloud Storage
If you don’t have a micro/mini-USB to USB cable, or if you can’t use Bluetooth, you can use cloud storage services to transfer files.
Common cloud storage services include Dropbox and Google Drive. Both offer free storage, but you will need to create an account first.
Most cloud storage services have phone apps that you can download to your tablet, smartphone or other devices. You can then use these apps to upload your downloaded files. From your desktop, navigate to the web version of the storage service and retrieve your file.
As an added bonus, you can access your cloud storage from just about any device. So long as you have your files in the cloud, you can access your download on almost any desktop with an Internet connection.
Transferring files over email is simpler than setting up an account with a cloud storage service but may offer less functionality and long-term storage capacity.
To begin, use an email app on your phone to send an email to yourself, being sure to attach the downloaded file you need to the email. You can then open the email on your desktop and retrieve the file you attached. The attached file can be accessed from any desktop with an Internet connection, so long as you’re able to log in to your email account.
Sending Files from Your Phone to Your Desktop
Transferring files from phone to desktop doesn’t need to be complicated. If you have a USB cable or desktop with Bluetooth connectivity, either can be used to pair your phone and desktop and transfer files. If neither of those options are available, cloud storage services and email can also be used to transfer files.