How to Transfer Android Files

Would you like to copy files from your computer to your Android smartphone but you don't know how to do it? Would you like to share photos, music or other files with a friend's smartphone but don't know which apps to use? Don't worry, if you want, I'll be here to help you.

If you give me some of your time, I'll explain how to transfer android files in the simplest and fastest way possible. I will therefore explain how to connect an Android smartphone or tablet to the PC; how to use the Wi-Fi network and Internet connection to transfer files wirelessly (i.e. wirelessly); how to take advantage of technologies such as Bluetooth and NFC present on many devices and much more.

In short: whatever type of smartphone or tablet you have, I assure you that you will find a way to transfer files to it and you will immediately learn how to make the most of it. What are you doing still standing there ?! Come on, choose the solution that best suits your needs and use it to copy photos, documents, songs and other types of files to your Android devices!

USB Connection to Computer

Let's start with the more “traditional” procedure, that is the one that allows you to transfer android files from your computer by connecting the two devices via USB cable.


After connecting your smartphone or your Android tablet to the PC, this should recognize the device and automatically configure the drivers necessary for its operation. The operation is signaled by the appearance of a case icon on the Windows taskbar.

If the Android device is not recognized by Windows, there is something wrong with its settings or you have to resort to the "manual" download of the drivers necessary for its operation.

First I suggest you check the device settings. Then expand the notification menu Android (just swipe your finger from the top of the screen to the bottom), select the item related to USB connection from the latter (eg "USB for charging") and put the check mark next to the item File transfer. At this point, the PC should recognize the device and allow you to access its memory.

In the unfortunate event that Windows fails to recognize your device even after activating the "File Transfer" mode on Android, you need to get hold of driver and install them "manually".

To find the drivers necessary for your smartphone (or tablet) to work on your PC, connect to Google and search [your device model] driver. On the page with the search results, locate the link to the official website of the manufacturer of your device (eg Samsung, Huawei, etc.) and download the drivers from the latter. Try to avoid sites other than the "institutional" ones of the various manufacturers as you could easily run into malware or outdated / malfunctioning drivers.

Once the download is complete, open the file exe o msi you downloaded on your PC and always click on Next o forward to complete the driver installation. Then restart your PC, connect your smartphone or tablet to the computer again and this time Windows should be able to recognize it.

In some cases, smartphone and tablet drivers are included in the all-in-one applications that various manufacturers release for managing Android devices from the computer. For example, if you have a Samsung device you can find the drivers necessary for your device to work on your PC in the Smart Switch application.

Once the connection between your Android device and the PC has been established, you can access the device memory (or the microSD card installed inside it if it is a device with expandable memory) simply by opening theFile Explorer Windows (the yellow folder icon located at the bottom left of the taskbar), by selecting the item Computer / This PC from the left sidebar and double clicking on the name of your smartphone or tablet.

You will find yourself in the presence of many folders with "strange" names. Among these you will find many folders with the names of the apps installed on the device (in which there are, in fact, the files of the apps you use on Android) plus some "generic" folders, such as Download where there are files downloaded from the Internet and DCIM where there are photos and videos. To transfer a file from the Android terminal to the PC or vice versa, all you have to do is take advantage of the classic copy and paste of Windows.

If you want to copy photos and videos to your PC in an "orderly" way, ie having the ability to edit tags, albums and so on, expand the notification menu of Android, choose the item related to USB connection (eg "USB for file transfer") and put the check mark next to the item Photo Transfer (PTP).

Then go back to File Explorer> Computer / This PC on your computer, right-click on the icon for your smartphone or tablet and select the item Import images and videos from the menu that appears. The wizard for importing photos and videos from Android to Windows will start. Then put a check mark next to the entry Review, organize and group the items to importclick on your button forward, organize tags and folders in the way you prefer and press the button Import to start the data transfer. To change the destination folder of photos and videos (which by default is the Images Windows), click on the item Other options which is at the bottom left.


If you are using a Mac, to connect your computer with your Android device you must use Android File Transfer: a free file manager that allows you to easily manage the files contained on smartphones and tablets equipped with the robot system. green.

To download Android File Transfer on your Mac, connected to the official website of the program and click on the button Download Now. Then open the dmg package which contains Android File Transfer and copies the program icon to the folder Applications macOS to complete its installation.

Now connect your Android device to Mac via USB cable and wait for Android File Transfer to start automatically. If the program does not start automatically or an error message appears, expand the notification menu Android (swiping your finger from the top of the screen to the bottom), select the item related to USB connection (eg “USB for charging”) and place a check mark next to the item File transfer.

Mission accomplished! Now you are free to browse the folders of your Android device and manage the files on the memory of the latter. This means that you can also copy files from Mac to smartphone / tablet and vice versa, just drag and drop to or from the Android File Transfer window.

If you want to copy the photos and videos made with your Android device to the Mac, expand the notification menu of Android, select the item related to USB connection (eg "USB for file transfer") and put the check mark next to the item Photo Transfer (PTP). Then open the application Photos macOS (or Image capture) and select the images and videos you want to import to your computer.

Applications to Transfer Files Wirelessly

Don't feel like connecting your Android smartphone or tablet to your computer? No problem. There are excellent free applications that allow you to transfer files from Android to computer and vice versa (or even from Android to other smartphones and tablets) in mode wireless.


AirDroid is an all-in-one solution for managing Android terminals from a PC. It allows not only to transfer files wirelessly (via the Internet or via the local network if the two devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network), but also to view smartphone notifications on the computer, send and receive messages from the computer and much even more. Up to 200MB of storage is free with an upload limit of 30MB per file. It can be used directly via browser (with limited functions) or via a client to download for free on Windows or macOS. For transferring files from PC to smartphone, the web version is more than enough.

To use AirDroid, you need to create a free account on it. Then connected to the official website of the service, click on the item Subscribe which is located at the top right and fill out the form that is proposed to you by entering e-mail, password e nickname. Once your registration is complete, log into your inbox and click on the confirmation link to activate your account.

At this point, download the official AirDroid app on your device, start it and log in using the account you created just now. After this step, you are ready to copy files from your PC to your smartphone or tablet wirelessly.

To copy a file to your Android device from your PC wirelessly, connect to the AirDroid Web site from your computer, log in with your AirDroid account and wait a few seconds for the connection to be established with your smartphone or tablet. Once connected, drag the files you want to copy to the Android device in the box Drop files or folders here placed in the lower right and that's it. By default, files are uploaded to the folder AirDroid/Upload of the device, but you can also change path by pressing the button [...] located next to the item Upload to.

If you want to send files from AirDroid to your computer or other Android device, go to the tab Transfer of the app, select the device to which you want to send your files and use one of the icons located at the bottom to choose whether to send photo, music tracks, papers or other types of files.

The AirDroid client must be installed on the target computer for the transfer to be successful. To transfer files from Android to Android, the official AirDroid app must be installed on both devices.

Send Anywhere

Send Anywhere is an extremely convenient and effective service that allows you to transfer files wirelessly using simple codes (without registration). Each file uploaded to the service corresponds to a code which, once typed on the target device, allows you to download the file in question. It supports data transfer via the Internet and via local network (if the devices involved in the data exchange are connected to the same Wi-Fi network) and is compatible with a wide range of devices: Windows PC, macOS and Linux, Android devices, iPhone, iPad and more. It is also accessible directly from the browser. Its upload limit is 1GB per file if used via a browser and 20GB if used via a client installed on the computer.

To transfer a file from your computer to an Android device, all you have to do is start the Send Anywhere client, click on the button Send located at the top left and drag the files to be transferred to Android in the program window. Next, click on the button Send and you will get the code to type on Android to start downloading files. If you prefer to use the Web version of the service, connected instead to its home page, drag the file you want to send to your Android devices in the browser window and click on the button Send.

At this point, to start downloading files from Send Anywhere, install the official app of the service on your Android smartphone or tablet, select the tab you receive in the latter and type the code you got on the PC.

The procedure to send a file from Android to the PC (or to other smartphones or tablets) is equally simple. All you have to do is select the tab Submit of the Send Anywhere app, select the files to share and press the icon of theairplane which appears at the bottom right. You will then get the file download code to use on the target device.

ES File Manager

I've talked to you about ES File Manager countless times. It is an excellent free file manager for Android that allows you to browse the folders of smartphones and tablets as if you were using the File Explorer on Windows or the Finder on macOS. Well, perhaps not everyone knows, but among the many functions of this application there are also some that allow you to share files with your computer (via FTP) and with other Android devices on which the app is installed.

To share files via FTP, press the icon ≡  of ES File Manager (top left) and select the items Network> Remote Control Manager from the bar that appears on the side. Then press the icon (...) located at the top right, go up Settings> Set Management Account and set a username and password combination to protect access to the device. After this step, go to the menu Network> Remote Control Manager  and presses the button Start.

At this point, access the FTP server indicated by ES File Manager (e.g. from theFile Explorer of Windows or from the CyberDuck application for macOS and you will be able to exchange data between smartphones, tablets and computers wirelessly. Obviously, for everything to work correctly, both devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

If you want to exchange files between two Android devices, you can press the button ES File Manager and select items Rete> Sender from the bar that appears on the side. Next, press the button Submit to send a file or press the button you receive to receive a file from another Android terminal on which ES File Manager is installed.

Cloud Storage Services

Another solution that I highly recommend you to consider is the services of Cloud Storage. If you had never heard of them, cloud storage services are like online hard drives that allow you to store your files in them and automatically synchronize them on all devices: smartphones, tablets, computers, etc. On smartphones and tablets, data is not automatically downloaded offline - otherwise you would end up taking up all the device memory in a flash! - but they can be viewed immediately via the Internet and, if necessary, can be downloaded offline with a simple “tap”.

The use of cloud storage services is extremely intuitive: after downloading the appropriate clients on your computer and portable devices (smartphones and tablets), just copy a file into the folders monitored by the service you have chosen to use and these are automatically saved to the cloud. After being saved on the cloud, the data is automatically synchronized on computers, smartphones, tablets and all devices on which the cloud storage service client is installed (as long as you log in with the same account on all devices) .

Eat easily intuitive, the space offered by cloud storage services is not infinite: there is a space threshold that can be used for free (usually between 2GB and 15GB) and to go further you have to subscribe to paid subscriptions. Now, however, ban the chatter and let's see some of the best cloud storage services that can be used on Android.

  • Google Drive - is Google's cloud storage service, so you should find its app included as “standard” on your Android device. It offers 15GB of free space and can be accessed from PC, smartphone and tablet. Using a special client to be installed on the computer, it allows you to synchronize files with Windows and macOS. I've explained how to use it well in my tutorial on how to share files with Google Drive.
  • Dropbox - is one of the most popular cloud storage services in the world. Its main strengths are compatibility with a wide range of devices and operating systems (it is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone and more) and the speed of file synchronization. Its free plan includes 2GB of storage, but you can increase the space by inviting friends to subscribe to Dropbox and completing some procedures indicated by Dropbox itself. To learn more, check out my tutorial on how to use Dropbox.
  • OneDrive - this is Microsoft's cloud storage service. It's the one that automatically syncs data from Windows 8.x and Windows 10 PCs, so if you have a Windows PC you might find it very convenient to use. It offers 5GB of free storage and is also compatible with macOS and iOS. If you want to find out more how OneDrive works, read the tutorial I dedicated to it.

If you want to save a file in Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive or in another cloud storage service on Android, all you have to do is select the file in question, press the sharing and select the app related to the cloud storage service from the menu that opens.

Bluetooth Ed NFC

By now, most Android devices, even the cheapest ones, have technology support Bluetooth. This means that you can share files with other smartphones and tablets and with PCs that support Bluetooth simply by keeping them within easy reach of each other. The use of Bluetooth has no particular constraints, this means that you can use your Android device to exchange files with smartphones, tablets and PCs of any brand and with any operating system. Unfortunately, iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) that support Bluetooth technology are excluded from this category, but have restrictions that prevent the free exchange of files with other devices.

To share a file via Bluetooth, first go to the settings of your Android device (the gear icon), select the item Bluetooth from the screen that opens and, if necessary, activate the lever relating to Bluetooth support (top right). At this point do the same thing on the target device of the files. If you want to share files with your computer, find out how to activate Bluetooth on your PC and Mac by following the tutorial I wrote on the subject.

Finally here we are! Now select the file you want to share via Bluetooth, press the button sharing Android and select the item Bluetooth give the menu to compare.

Choose, therefore, the device to which to send the file and wait a few seconds for the communication between the two devices to be established. To complete the transfer, you will need to confirm on the target device.

If you have a smartphone or tablet with a stand NFC (near field communication) and also the target device supports this technology, you can exchange data between two Android devices simply by opening the file in question and placing the back of the device that must send the data to the back of the device that must receive the data. Within a few seconds you will feel a vibration and the exchange of files can be completed (subject to confirmation on the target device).

For the procedure to be successful, you need to check that NFC is active in the Android settings (menu Settings> More / Other settings). Samsung terminals also support a technology called S-Beam which works virtually identical to NFC but uses Wi-Fi Direct to transfer data (instead of Bluetooth) and therefore is faster on average.

USB Flash Drives

In conclusion, I would like to point out the existence of some USB sticks for Android that allow you to transfer files to smartphones and tablets in a very simple way. These are traditional USB sticks that on the one hand have a MicroUSB connection to be connected to smartphones and tablets. They only work on devices with support OTG (USB On-The-Go), a technology by which you can use USB sticks, keyboards, mice and other devices on smartphones and tablets.

The price of these keys is not prohibitive, quite the contrary. Below I point out some of the most interesting that you can currently find on Amazon.